Research and Reports

Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States

Very few professionals and public systems responsible for protecting and serving children are adequately prepared to prevent, identify and respond to the commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of minors in the United States. This report identifies new opportunities to advance understanding by providing innovative strategies that expand on and enhance current efforts. The findings conclude that because the nature of commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking is very multifaceted, approaches that are tailored to the specific needs of victims/survivors and their communities hold the most promise for a positive impact. Read More

Transforming Mental Health through an Integrated Health-Centered Approach to Child Welfare

As a representative microcosm of society, the child welfare system offers a real world opportunity to serve as a practical laboratory to pilot transformative integrated, health-centered and evidence-tested approaches to mental health that can be scaled to impact broader system change.
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Engagement: A New Standard for Mental Health Care

70% of people who drop out of mental illness services do so after their first or second visit. NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) accredits this to a lack of engagement with the individual seeking the services. This report expands on the impact that person-centered care and therapeutic alliance can have when treating brain diseases,calling for a cultural shift in traditional mental illness treatment. Read More

The Typology of Modern Slavery: Defining Sex and Labor Trafficking in the United States

This report by Polaris identified 25 types of human trafficking in the United States through an analysis of more than 32,000 cases documented between December 2007 and December 2016. Each type of trafficking has its own business model, trafficker profiles, recruitment strategies, victim profiles and methods of control to facilitate human trafficking. By utilizing this data, efforts to combat trafficking can stop using generalizations and advocates can create specific resources and responses. Read More

Sex Trafficking of Children in the United States: Overview and Issues for Congress

According to the National Academy of Sciences’ report on child sexual exploitation and sex trafficking in the United States, “very few evaluations of specific victim and support services have been conducted, and there are few published reports and even fewer peer-reviewed studies on these services. As a result, victim and support service professionals and programs lack a critically reviewed evidence base for practice. Read More

Facing Addiction in America

The Surgeon General released a monumental report identifying substance addiction as a brain disease. The report’s findings are echoed in Voices’ newest project. This partnership project with BBCBC, FSU’s College of Medicine, and Zingale Consulting explores the medical and business practices utilized in addressing brain diseases within Florida’s Child Welfare System. Read More

Human Trafficking of Minors and Childhood Adversity in Florida

A report was recently published detailing the relationship between human trafficking of minors and childhood adversity in Florida. Findings show that sexual abuse is the strongest predictor of human trafficking for both boys and girls, and that sexual abuse in childhood may actually function as a “gateway” to other forms of victimization. This research is some of the only in this field that provides adequate data on boys that have been sexually exploited. Read More

The Early Childhood Workforce Index 2016

Our nation relies on the knowledge and skills of early educators to provide high-quality early care and education. Yet preparing, supporting and rewarding early educators in the USA remains ineffective, inefficient, and inequitable. The case for changing this status quo is incontrovertible. Read More

See the Change: Girls’ Juvenile Justice Trends on the First Coast

A new report demonstrates progress for girls in the 4th Judicial Circuit, which used to be considered the harshest district in Florida. Read More

U.S. Concentrated Poverty in the Wake of the Great Recession

In spite of the declining unemployment rate, the amount of people living under the federal poverty line in the United States continues to remain stuck at recession-era record levels even though the recession ended in 2009. Read More

Breaking New Ground on the First Coast: Examining Girls’ Pathways into the Juvenile Justice System

Learn research-based findings of what girls in Florida’s Juvenile Justice system say about their pathways in the system. Read More

Kids’ Share 2014 Report on Federal Expenditures on Children

Based on the Kids Share report, 2014 federal spending on children increased slightly in aggregate real dollars between 2012 and 2013. That spending lagged behind the expanding economy, leaving children with a smaller share. Without changes to current law, federal spending on children is expected to continue declining. Children’s programs will receive a very small portion of the growth— just 2 cents of every dollar of the projected increase. Read More

Gender Injustice: System-Level Juvenile Justice Reforms for Girls

Support for the mission and work of the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center was made even more important by the release of the Gender Injustice Report. Research from the report indicates that even as systems are initiating reforms and changing their approach, they are routinely failing to modify those reforms for girls or even to collect data on how girls are affected by the problems they are seeking to remedy. Read More

Children Living in Poverty: Decreases in Brain Development Increases the Achievement Gap

New research reflects influence of poverty on structural brain development in children—what can be done and why.Read More

Zeroing in on Place and Race

There are 5,527,000 disconnected youth in America today or one in seven young adults- about as many people as the population of Minnesota. The national disconnected youth population is larger than the populations of thirty US states. Read More

Property Taxes: A True Indicator of Economic Growth

In a newly released paper, The Relationship Between Taxes & Growth at the State Level: New Evidence, William G. Gale, Aaron Krupkin & Kim Reuben make the case that property tax revenues are more highly correlated with economic growth than traditional state-level taxes. Read More

Education: When it Counts the Most, Florida Does the Least

For the past decade, education experts have been warning Floridians of the shortcomings of its early learning policies and its effects on Florida’s brightest young minds. In fact, a recent study from the University of Florida, commissioned by the Office of Early Learning, proclaims that Florida’s early learning education does not prepare children for success in school. Read More

The Lifelong Impact of Preschool

Florida ranks 37th in resource allocation to its voter mandated Pre-K program. The program meets only 3 out of 10 national benchmarks that evaluate overall program quality and access. Watch this important report by CNN to find out how improving Florida’s Pre-K program is economically responsible. View Video

More Evidence for Why U.S. is Dropping in Global Rankings

According to new analysis of the 2013 federal data by the Southern Education Foundation, the nation’s oldest education philanthropy, this is the first time in at least 50 years that a majority of U.S. public school students are living in poverty. An average of 51% of U.S. students in Pre-K–12th grade now reside in low income families. The results are even more troubling considering that the U.S. economy is reported to be improving. The report reflects that 59% of Florida’s public school children are living in poverty.. Read More

Yale Study Shows Economic Rewards of Medicaid for Children

A new study from Yale looks at the long-term impacts of Medicaid for children once they become adults. Using newly available tax records that have been measured over decades, the study found that people who had been eligible for Medicaid as children earned higher wages and paid higher federal taxes than their peers who weren’t eligible for the federal-state health insurance program. The more years they were eligible for the program, the larger the difference in their earnings. Read More

Florida Drops to 28th in National Rankings of Public School Systems

In previous years, Education Week’s Quality Counts report has ranked Florida as high as fifth and no lower than 11th in overall state ranking. The significant drop from past years is a result of the improved methods for ranking based on measureable outcomes versus policy and administrative requirements. Read More

United Way ALICE Report

“A new United Way of Florida Asset Limited, Income Constrained,Employed (ALICE) Report finds a startling 45 percent – or 3.2 million – of all households in this state cannot afford basic housing, child care, food, healthcare and transportation. Despite being employed, often at more than one job, these individuals and families earn too little for a sustainable lifestyle. Read More

The Correlation between Social and Economic Progress

Learn more about the very real correlation between economic opportunities and the social well-being of children by watching these videos.

Wealth Inequality in America Learn the reality of how America’s wealth is distributed versus how we think it is distributed.

Social Progress Index 2014 Results Learn why measuring GDP alone cannot create long-term prosperity and well-being.

From Pre-K to Prosperity

The number of adults and children relying on assistive social services, such as welfare and Medicaid, is climbing at an alarming rate. To address this negative trend the authors of a newly released report, From Pre-K to Prosperity, inform readers about how the investment in high-quality early learning programs is not only a cost effective solution, but is also cost-efficient. Pre-K is the economically proven investment that provides children with critical thinking, oral and written comprehension abilities that can reverse their future need for welfare and Medicaid assistance. High-quality Pre-K programs give children abilities and skills that are fundamental to their future learning success and is the foundation for growing a world-class workforce and prosperous economy. Read More

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