Permanency Tip of the Week: Struggling to Find Stability in the Midst of Change
When we think of change in our own life, our reactions might be all over the spectrum from excitement, to neutral, to fear and loathing. What about our Youth in out of home care? For many of them, change has often been chronic, traumatic and unpredictable from the earliest parts of their life. When we partner with them to seek Permanency, we need to realize that we are bringing more change into their life. Even though they yearn for Permanency, their reactions may not appear to mirror this desire. We need to step back and honor their reactions and support them both through and beyond this period of change associated with bringing Permanency into their life.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: 7 Siblings Adopted Together After Years in Foster Care
ABC News – A family of three in Georgia became a family of 10 when they adopted seven siblings who spent nearly their entire lives in foster care. Josh and Jessaka Clark, of Rincon, are now not just the parents of their 3-year-old son, Noah, but also Maria, 14, Elizabet, 11, Guillermo, 10, Jason, 8, Kristina, 7, Katerin, 7, and James, 5… “They are excited and now know they’re loved and know that this is it,” said Clark, whose parents were foster parents. “We’ve seen a change in behavior even since the adoption, a turn to, ‘I don’t have to keep my bags packed.’”
The siblings’ ability to stay in one home made for an easier transition to their permanent home, according to a spokeswoman for the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, the state agency that represented the children in the adoption…”This month as we celebrate National Foster Care Month, we celebrate families such as the Clarks who open their hearts to provide loving homes to children in need,” the statement read. “We hope others will be inspired to do the same.”
Permanency Related Articles:
ACEs Connection – In one of the most rigorous reviews of juvenile criminal justice records, the Adverse Childhood Experiences in the New Mexico Juvenile Justice Population study revealed that the frequency of early abuse, neglect and family chaos of incarcerated youth reaches staggering rates, skyrocketing above national averages.
Join our Free WEBINAR next Friday (the 13th) where Robbyn Peters Bennett will discuss the research with co-principle researcher George Davis, MD, a child & adolescent psychiatrist who has worked in the juvenile justice system for over 20 years. You can join live and ask questions. Hope to see you there!
Alabama Pre/Post Adoption Connections – Katie Gilliland, MSW – Communication and acknowledging your child’s birth family is a vital part of parenting adopted children. All children who have been in foster care or who have been adopted have experienced a significant loss. It’s important to realize that just because adopted children may not talk about or question adoption, that they aren’t thinking about their birth family… Remember to be honest with your child and to validate their feelings. These tools are best used when your communication involves positive adoption language. (Please see the table in the article for examples of Negative / Positive Adoption Language).
Children’s Bureau Express – The video “The Power of the Adolescent Brain With Frances Jensen,” produced by the Office of Adolescent Health within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is part of the TAG (Think, Act, Grow) series of videos and focuses on the development of the adolescent brain and how it affects risk and behavior, vulnerability to addiction, and mental health…Parents and other adults can apply this knowledge toward their interactions with adolescents.
Mother Magazine – With parenthood comes a newfound appreciation for the love and devotion raising a child takes. And it can be heartbreaking to be reminded that many children, through no fault of their own, yearn for that kind of love, that devotion. Currently, more than 400,000 children are in foster care across the nation. And the foster system is facing a crisis in many states due to a shortage of foster parents and foster homes.
No one knows the need for foster families better than 31-year-old Ashley Rhodes-Courter. With her husband, she has fostered more than 25 children, one of whom they adopted. And Rhodes-Courter, herself, spent 10 years in foster care, bouncing around 14 different homes, including a group home, and suffering abuse and neglect before being adopted at age 12 by Gay and Phil Courter. She recounts her experience in the heart-rending memoir, the New York Times bestseller Three Little Words, which grew from a New York Times Magazine essay she wrote as a teenager…Even if you cannot foster a child in your home, there are countless other ways to help…
Metro – Philadelphia, PA – Imagine being a child with no place to call home, no family and no stability. A small group of former foster children, now thriving adults and successful women, bravely sat united to share their tales with a room full of social workers and other former foster kids at a recent talk at University of Penn Law School to debut videographer Yasmin Mistry’s “Foster Care Film.” The documentary delves into the emotional psyche of some of the former foster women in short video stories.
“Some homes were OK, but many were not,” said Charell Star, the New York-based owner of lifestyle website Not Just A Girl In A Dress and foster care advocate, who went into foster care because her mom had drug problems and her dad was in and out of prison. “I did experience abuse, but was always able to maintain the hope that I would get to go live with my great-grandmother when she got better. That hope — coupled with the fact that I always loved school — helped me not internalize everything I was going through…”