Greetings Permanency Champions,
Permanency Tip of the Week: Practicing Kindness Towards Our Youth in Out of Home Care
We all know the positive impact on our heart, mind and soul when people show kindness towards us: Intensity of pain seems to lessen, challenges do not seem as daunting and a previously dark future looks a little brighter. Our Youth desperately need the presence of all three of these positive impacts in their lives. What sorts of ways can we show kindness towards our Youth in out of home care? 1) We can place their need for Permanency on the top of our list of things to accomplish. 2) We can validate and support them without trying to fix them. 3) We can be fully present with them when we meet with them. What ways can you be kind to the Youth you serve this week? Let me know at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Meet the Hux Family
Children Awaiting Parents – Jeanne & Ron Hux never planned to have children. Jeanne is a licensed Social Worker specializing in the mental health field. Her passion is working with the special needs elderly; this is where she met Malcolm who changed their lives forever…Malcolm, 60 years old, spent 30 years in an institution. When his last foster care placement fell through, the Huxes knew that they wanted Malcolm to join their family. “Malcolm is our world, he is everything to our family,” said Jeanne. After being adopted (full conservatorship), Malcolm said he wanted a roommate… When they brought Malcolm to meet Bryan, the Huxes knew the two men were a perfect fit. They told the caseworker immediately that Bryan would be a part of their family. Both men have severe medical and mental disabilities which have brought many challenges to the Huxes but that has not stopped this family…
After having fostered these children, Jeanne wanted to adopt a baby with special needs. One of Jeanne’s employees sent her a picture of Anthony, a five-year-old boy she found listed on the Children Awaiting Parents website…Anthony is now seven years old and thriving with his new family. The doctors told the Huxes that Anthony’s life expectancy was going to be very short…Jeanne would like to encourage people to adopt children with special needs. She is convinced that if people realized there is such a need for families for children with special needs, more people would adopt!
Permanency Related Articles:
Seattle Times – Every day, Abby Trimble texted high-school freshman Victoria Delk: Don’t forget to put away your tablet and do your homework. And every day, Victoria didn’t pay attention. That went on for months. Then one day, Trimble, while playing soccer with friends, dashed off a text that went something like this: “I’m on the sidelines now, but I want you to do your homework.” “I felt bad,” Victoria recalled. Even during a soccer game, Trimble, an education specialist at Treehouse, which supports kids who have spent time in foster care, was taking time to try to help her. “I started doing my homework. My grades started going up,” Victoria said…
“Every time a student gets pulled out of a home to live with strangers, that will impact the ability to study,” said Peggy Carlson, who oversees services for foster kids at the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. On the other hand, 89 percent of foster kids served by Treehouse graduate in five years, as of 2016…Founded in 1988, the organization had been providing educational support for about 10 years, supplementing other programs for foster kids. It runs a free store in Rainier Valley called The Wearhouse, which offers clothes, toys and school supplies. Treehouse also gives out holiday toys and finances things that strain a foster family’s budget, like summer camps and sports and music lessons. All in all, it serves nearly 8,000 kids…
Tri-County Times (MI) – Ralph and Kim Jackson of Fenton never expected to raise four more kids, in addition to their own two sons and two daughters. But when Michigan Child Protective Services stepped in to take their grandkids away from their oldest daughter and her husband, the choice was clear. Their home was deemed unfit to live in, and the parents’ rights were finally terminated after the state charged them with environmental neglect…The Jacksons aren’t the only grandparents dealing with issues with extended family, causing grandparents to step into a parenting role, the second time around. Today, many grandparents are raising their grandchildren because of the opioid epidemic, according to a recent story on Today.com. It has become so common that for every child in foster care, 20 are being raised by a family member…
TEDx Glasgow – There are currently 15,404 children and young people in care in Scotland and many more thousands of people who have gone through the same themselves. Whilst in care herself, Laura was bullied and felt different and isolated. Throughout her working life, she has seen the barriers young people still have to face as a result of their time going through similar situations. Laura’s talk will provide an insight into what life feels like in care and the real people behind those grim statistics…
Psych Central – Can well-meaning, loving parents fail their child emotionally? Surprisingly, and unfortunately, the answer is yes. It is possible for even the most caring and well-intentioned parents to be emotionally neglectful. In fact, the largest subset of emotionally neglectful parents genuinely do love their children and want the best for them. I have encountered so many such parents over the years that I assigned them a name: Well-Meaning-But-Neglected-Themselves parents — or WMBNTs…
The truth is, to love your child is a very different thing from being in tune with your child. For healthy development, loving a child just isn’t enough. Parents must also be in tune with their child. For a parent to be in tune, he must be a person who is aware of and understands emotions in general. He must be observant so that he can see what his child can and can’t do as he develops. And he must be willing and able to put in the effort and energy required to deeply know his child. A well-meaning parent who lacks in any one of these areas is at risk of emotionally failing his child…
The Good News – 3 Things You Can Start Doing Right Now: As a WMBNT parent, it is never too late. Whether your child is a toddler, tween, teen or adult, there are specific things you can do to prevent or heal the Childhood Emotional Neglect that was passed down to you, and never your choice. 1) Begin to address your own Emotional Neglect. 2) Get more curious. 3) Make a point to talk about meaningful things with your child… When you give your child the message that you are interested in his true self, you are plowing through generations of neglect, and reversing it.
ACEs Connection – A lot of people who write about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) focus on the damage — the impact on mental health, the medical problems, the permanent changes to DNA, the behavioral challenges… But in my experience? There’s a whole lot of wiggle room in this wonderful life, driven not by our childhood experiences, but by how we approach today. I’m not just being philosophical here. These are my very practical, time tested actions you can take right now to start changing your state of mind, one little step at a time. They’re easy, they’re free, and they work. I am living proof!
I write a blog all about living with PTSD from childhood, growing up poor, and what new findings from research around ACEs. In today’s video, I reference my personal inventory technique to get rid of fear and resentment. I show you how to do it here.
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Take care and keep up the Permanency work – Our children, youth, young adults, families and communities are depending on it!
Dr. Greg Manning