An Effective California Fellowship Program For Homicide Prevention

National Council on Crime and Delinquency pic
National Council on Crime and Delinquency
Image: nccdglobal.org

With a background as a psychiatrist, Bruce Maag has focused his career on expanding Ohio’s network of treatment foster care agencies. Bruce Maag is one of the Foster Family Based Treatment Association founders and was the organization’s fifth president. He is also active with the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NACD), which focuses on child welfare and juvenile justice issues.

NACD was recently in the news for the success of its innovative fellowship program in Richmond, California, which has one of the nation’s highest homicide rates. In 2007 alone, the city of 100,000 experienced 45 murders: a rate that exceeded Washington D.C’s rate by a factor of three.

Coordinating with the newly formed Office of Neighborhood Safety, NACD offered “potentially lethal” young men $1,000 each month simply for simply participating in the program and staying out of trouble.

A recent evaluation of the fellowship program, now in its eighth year, found that it has been effective. The costs were far less expensive than those associated with homicide, which average $400,000 when prison and medical expenses are considered. The program is now being considered by violence-stricken communities such as Oakland, California, and Toledo, Ohio.

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American Counseling Association Announces 66th President

American Counseling Association pic
American Counseling Association
Image: http://www.counseling.org

Since 2000, Bruce Maag has served as chief executive officer at International Phoenix Group, a treatment foster-care nonprofit he founded in Delphos, Ohio, to help underserved youth. With decades of experience in social work, Bruce Maag maintains membership with several professional organizations, among them the American Counseling Association (ACA).

Established in 1952 when four associations held a joint convention in Los Angeles, the ACA began as the American Personnel and Guidance Association. It changed its name in 1983 to the American Association of Counseling and Development before settling on its current name in 1992. The ACA seeks to maintain the public’s trust in counselors by enhancing the counseling practice. It serves professional counselors in the United States and 50 other countries.

On February 16, 2016, the ACA announced that its 66th president is Dr. Gerard Lawson. He begins his term as president-elect on July 1 with his term officially beginning the following July 1. Active in the ACA, he was a volunteer leader at the branch, division, and national levels. Currently, he is a member of the ACA’s governing council. A licensed professional counselor, Dr. Lawson works as an associate professor in the counselor education program at Virginia Tech University.

Children in the U.S. Foster Care System

Foster Care pic
Foster Care
Image: people.howstuffworks.com

Bruce Maag serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the International Phoenix Group (IPG) in Delphos, Ohio, an organization focused on North American youth with severe emotional issues. Bruce Maag dedicates his time and resources to advocating for underserved youth, some of whom are a part of the foster care system.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, there are over 100,000 children waiting to be adopted and over 400,000 in the foster care system. On average, children will spend two years in foster care. Many of these children don’t fully recall or understand what happened to their biological parents. However, the majority desperately want to be a part of a home and adopted by a loving family.

Likewise, families who support these children almost always do it out of a place of love and kindness. Yet many foster children will require time for adjustment and will need to go through an emotional healing process. Getting to a place of mutual trust can be a trying task for foster children and parents. Additionally, the adoption process itself is a long and formal one, which can be exhausting and disappointing if the adoption is not approved. However, there are organizations that can support both parents and children through the adoption.

The Unusual History of the $2 Bill

History of the $2 Bill pic
History of the $2 Bill
Image: 2dollarbill.org

A pioneer in Ohio foster care, Bruce Maag led the creation of a treatment foster care (TFC) agency that meets the needs of troubled youth. Outside of work, Bruce Maag has a passion for numismatics and enjoys collecting coins and currency of the United States. The rarest current small denomination of U.S. currency is the $2 bill, which has its roots in the Revolutionary War. In 1776, some 49,000 bills of credit valued at $2 were issued toward the defense of the newly conceived American nation.

An actual bill valued at $2 was commissioned in 1862 during the Civil War, and the bill was common until the 1950s, when print runs decreased significantly and collectors began to hoard them. The bill was discontinued completely from 1966 to 1976 and has seen only sporadic production in the decades since. Indeed, in many years the Bureau of Engraving and Printing does not print any $2 bills at all.

Today, many people have the mistaken belief that $2 bills are more valuable than their face value indicates. This is far from the case: like any paper currency, the value of the $2 bill is highly dependent on condition and the year issued.

Child Neglect in the United States

Child Neglect  pic
Child Neglect
Image: acf.hhs.gov

Bruce Maag is a psychology graduate who has worked in the fields of business and psychology through the years. In 2001, Bruce Maag founded the Ohio-based company International Phoenix Group Treatment Foster Care, a center that is dedicated to serving children and youth who have experienced abuse or neglect.

Child neglect is defined by the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) as “the failure by the caregiver to provide needed, age-appropriate care although…able to do so…” In the United States, neglect is the most common form of child maltreatment, with over hundreds of thousands of reported cases each year. In 2005, NCANDS reported almost 900,000 cases.

Neglect takes four forms: physical, educational, medical, and psychological. Signs of neglect are often observed by third parties, such as relatives, neighbors, or school personnel, who are close to the victim. In cases of suspected neglected, concerned persons may report it to their respective local social services for prompt action.