Permanency Tip of the Week: Too Troubled for Permanency? NEVER!!
In serving our Youth in Care across my many roles, I sometimes hear the statement that a certain child has too many problems to ever be considered for a Permanent Family or once he/she starts doing better, then we will start looking for a Permanent Family. These statements often lead to the conclusion that a child is unadoptable. We need to shift our beliefs to seeing Unadoptable is Unacceptable! Let us challenge ourselves to eliminate this belief and instead believe that ALL children can and will do better in loving family homes with properly trained and supportive parent(s)!
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Heart Gallery Success Stories – The Kemper Family
A Family for Every Child – Our adoption story began when our 3 bio children were young. Hank and I always knew we wanted to adopt “someday” and started taking the DHS foundations classes even before we were to a place in our lives where we could actually proceed with an adoption. We found the classes informative and a good resource for learning about children from “hard places” as well as connecting with other foster/adopt families…
Fast forward about 4 years to when I met a lady with several children and began a friendship with them. We didn’t live very close together so contact was infrequent but I was enjoying getting to know them until one night when the oldest child called to tell me they’d been taken into state custody and his parents arrested. When the dust settled, the parents ended up in prison and their large family of children was split into several different homes. At that point, it became clear to Hank and I that we would pursue the adoption of a large sibling group in order to prevent them from being split up. As disappointing as it was, we were too late to be a resource for my friend’s children since we’d stopped fostering the year before and were unable to recertify quickly enough to be considered…
Beth 10, Jo-Ellen 9, Jeremy 6, Trinity 3, and Henry 2 have now been part of our family for almost 7 months and it feels like they’ve always been there. Many of the “problems” the children were exhibiting in foster care disappeared and/or lessened once they realized they were all safely settled in their forever family and that they could trust Mom and Dad to take care of them and be fair with them.
A couple of the most touching comments include one of the girls telling me that she didn’t feel adopted, she feels like family. The other was when I overheard our new adoptees talking to our original adoptee and they were eagerly discussing their futures, all of which include adopting, “Like Mom and Dad,” they said. They want to know when we can adopt again! We chose adoption in part, not because our family was incomplete but because theirs was and we could change that.
Permanency Related Articles:
US Department of Health and Human Services – America now has more than 430,000 children in foster care, from infants to 21-year-olds, and new data released by HHS this week found that there are now more children in foster care than ever. We are happy to note that in 2016, there were more adoptions out of foster care than ever.
New York Times – Steven Arauz, a Central Florida elementary school teacher, is one of a tiny but growing number of single men in the United States who are adopting children from foster care. Mr. Arauz, now 30, adopted his son, Quinton, whom he met as a student in his fourth-grade class at Indigo Christian Academy in Daytona Beach.
Mr. Arauz is part of a small but growing trend: single men who adopt…”Historically, white married people adopted. But over the course of several decades, that paradigm has shifted,” says Adam Pertman, president of the Massachusetts-based National Center on Adoption and Permanency and author of “Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution Is Transforming Our Families — and America.” Mr. Pertman cited changing attitudes, prejudices and societal shifts as having an impact on adoption…He said he hoped to see the adoption field move from a child-placement model to a family success model, where resources, services and support become part of the adoption process.
“Children belong in families. Children do better in families. Children are healthier in families,” he said. “The mental shift is that men can be part of that solution.”No one can promise a fairy-tale ending to any family’s story, but Mr. Arauz and Quinton’s life right now looks like a success: It includes surfing and kayaking, travel abroad and volunteering together.“If love has changed Quinton, if all that happened in only half a year, I could only imagine what is to come,” Mr. Arauz said.
Star Tribune (Minnesota) – Concealed within what has been an invisible epidemic of youth homelessness lies an overlooked resource: the caring adults already in young people’s lives who want to help them succeed. That’s important context for the shocking estimates from the national survey released this month from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago: 1 in 10 young adults (ages 18 to 25) and 1 in 30 youth (ages 13 to 17) endure some form of solo homelessness over a year’s time.
The numbers are so high partly because the survey was designed to expand our understanding of who counts as homeless. A teen doesn’t typically go from living at home one day to living under a bridge the next…Left behind is the caring adult who could potentially help the young person make a successful transition to productive adulthood. One way to interpret the Chapin Hall data is that many people are willing to host a young person they know who needs housing. But that doesn’t mean that a traumatized young person and a well-meaning adult can sustain such an arrangement on their own. Outside assistance to mediate an agreement about shared expectations or to provide a rent subsidy can provide crucial support.
Once we start seeing these hidden relationships, we have the opportunity to help stabilize them — and stop a young person’s downward spiral into hard-core homelessness.
Child Welfare Leaders – The first of its kind in the nation, the Resilience Leaders program is a data-driven, cross-sector and systemic strategy designed to prevent the root causes of Adverse Childhood Experiences. Our continuous quality improvement process empowers agencies and builds capacity to improve vital services for our most vulnerable populations. The result-focused program strengthens a community’s system of comprehensive care and safety.
National Public Radio – A new government report says the number of children in the U.S. foster care system has increased for the fourth year in a row, due largely to an uptick in substance abuse by parents. The report, issued annually by the Administration for Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services, shows that 437,500 children were in foster care by the end of fiscal year 2016. A year earlier the number was 427,400.
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