Greetings Permanency Champions,
Permanency Tip of the Week: Permanency Needs and Issues Change Over Time
When we help facilitate the development of Permanency for a Youth, that is a great achievement; however, our work does NOT stop there. Instead this represents only 1 step in the long and winding journey that our Youth and their connections will go on for the rest of their individual and collective lives. We must normalize both the experience of challenges, some very significant, as well as the need to reach out as early as possible for support. Creating regular check-ins with our Youth and their connections as well as ensuring that they know how to reach out to us are critically important to maximizing the chances that the new-found Permanency will not only sustain, but strengthen.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Father Figure: Decatur man serves as advocate for adopted and foster care children
Decatur Daily (AL) – A slideshow of faces — of adopted infants and toddlers across north Alabama — flickers through Doug Bachuss’ memory. The Decatur attorney calls the children members of his hall of fame. “I would love to have an actual hall of fame with photos of the children. I can’t because of privacy reasons, but I do get to remember them in my mind,” Bachuss said. “Nothing is more rewarding than being a part of the creation of a family. As each adoption is complete and the family is formed, that makes an impact on you in your mind and in your heart.”
Today, more than 100 men across north Alabama will celebrate Father’s Day thanks in part to Bachuss. The 48-year-old father of three, who participated in the finalization of close to 200 adoptions and serves on the board of CASA of North Alabama, a nonprofit organization focused on meeting the needs of foster care children, sees adoption as a ministry, a calling. “If you are called to adopt, you are focusing on the child. Adoption is all about the best interest of the child. It’s not about the adoptive parents, it’s not about the natural parents, it’s all about the child, no matter what,” Bachuss said…
Through his work, volunteerism and outreach, Bachuss hopes his children learn the importance of family and community. “I hope to teach them to always have a good attitude and effort because those are the only two things you can control and that will help them be successful in whatever they do. I hope to teach them to work hard. And I hope they will enjoy and treasure their community,” Bachuss said.
Permanency Related Articles:
Orange County (CA) Bar Association – There was a time in the not-so-distant past when conventional wisdom held that juvenile offenders should be treated in much the same way as adult offenders. In fact, on March 7, 2000, by way of CA Proposition 21, prosecutors around the state were given the ability to directly file criminal charges against minors as young as fourteen in adult court, completely bypassing the juvenile justice system…On November 8, 2016, the electorate voted to repeal the ability of prosecutors to directly file charges against minors in adult court by passing Proposition 57, which reinstituted—with some changes—the pre-Proposition 21 requirement that only a juvenile court judge could order a minor transferred to adult court…The journey from Proposition 21 in 2000 to Proposition 57 has been one informed by scientific developments in our understanding of adolescent brain development…
The impact of developmental science on the juvenile justice system has been dramatic. Science now informs the public debate on youth crime policy and the legal standards applied in the courtroom. As a result, juvenile practice has become far more complex than in years past. The focus on developmental maturity and the individual circumstances that bring youth into the system has forced practitioners to expand their knowledge base beyond statutes and case law. Taken together, these developments have increased the standard of practice and will undoubtedly result in better outcomes for system-involved youth.
The Irish Times – Ireland could have the “best child protection services in the developed world” within five years, according to an international expert. Dr Andrew Turnell, who in the 1990s pioneered a radical approach to child protection known as “Signs of Safety” in western Australia, is training all of Tusla’s 1,466 social workers in the model. Over the next two years almost all of the 3,640 staff at the child and family agency will be trained in the approach.
Central is a change in attitude to vulnerable families and their children, away from a paternalism where social workers see only the dangers and impose solutions – often moving swiftly to the “nuclear” option of removing children – to one where they see also the families’ strengths, build on these and work with the family to keep children safe.
Demanding elimination of risk endangers children, he says, creating “risk- averse” social workers “terrified of getting anything ‘wrong’, hiding behind procedures and not trusting families”. “If you want to grow, you take risks. Risk can lead to things being better. Positive risk empowers families. No family will be made perfect and of course; there will be failures.”
Stressing the maxim “it takes a village to raise a child”, he says social workers are too often expected to put right the consequences of poverty and society’s failure to support poorer families and their children. Internationally, poverty is a factor in more than 90 per cent of child neglect/protection cases…
Chronicle of Social Change – Monique Marrow first started working on creating a trauma-responsive system in a juvenile justice setting when she worked as deputy director of treatment and rehabilitation services for the Ohio Department of Youth Services in 2005. Back then, her approach to talking about trauma in the justice system was met with some push-back. “Here comes Dr. Marrow, with her hug-a-thug speech,” she remembers some skeptical staff members saying.
But Marrow earned respect and trust after she found a way to improve conditions at youth detention facilities in Ohio, decreasing the number of critical incidents there as a result of staff training and trauma-responsive interventions aimed at children in the justice system…Training of staff needs to be significant enough to make very clear that it can be expressed differently across cultures.
Child Welfare Information Gateway – This factsheet is designed to help adoptive parents understand their adopted teenager’s experiences and needs so parents can respond with practical strategies that foster healthy development. These strategies include approaches that acknowledge trauma and loss, support effective communication, promote a teen’s independence, and address behavioral and mental health concerns.
AdoptUSKids – Thousands of teens in foster care are looking for the love, support, and encouragement that families provide throughout their lives—not just until they turn 18. Older youth who are adopted from foster care are more likely to finish high school, go to college, and be more emotionally secure than their peers who remain in or age out of foster care without a permanent family. Yet many people question older youth’s need to have permanent, loving families.
In this article, the following issues are addressed: 1) Why should we adopt a teen? They’re almost adults!; 2) If I adopt a teen, will I have to pay their college tuition?; 3) What about medical and mental health benefits?
Read more about available adoption assistance at the Child Welfare Information Gateway website.
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) – Yesterday evening, the U.S. House of Representatives passed five pieces of bipartisan legislation focused on child welfare reform. The following organizations join the statement below: the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, March of Dimes and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners.
“Representing health professionals and public health advocates across the country, our organizations stand together in applauding the U.S. House of Representatives for taking action that helps lay the groundwork for comprehensive child welfare reform. The five bipartisan bills passed by the House would improve the child welfare system to better meet the needs of the children and families it serves; we now urge the U.S. Senate to follow suit by building on this critical progress and advancing its own comprehensive child welfare reform legislation without delay.
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Take care and keep up the Permanency work – Our children, youth, young adults, families and communities are depending on it!