Greetings Permanency Champions and Happy New Year!
Permanency Tip of the Week: Helping Our Youth to Hope and Dream Again
As we begin 2018, many people stop and reflect on what they hope for and dream about in the new year. What might our Youth in out of home care hope for and dream about? Our role is not to give them hope or create their dreams. Rather, our role is to help reduce the internal and external barriers that prevent our Youth from fully accessing their own sense of hope and creating their own dreams. Examples of these barriers include: depression, anxiety, loneliness, homelessness, unresolved grief, loss and trauma. Ultimately, the gift of Permanency for our Youth can help reduce and remove these barriers more than any other gift. Let’s make it our firm resolve to help provide this gift to as many Youth as possible this year and every year.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Denver’s Annual Adoption Day
303 Magazine.com – Luke and Kayleen Woodcock gave and got back this year. The young couple is one of 31 families who finalized an adoption on Denver’s annual National Adoption Day— an event that raises awareness for the 110,00 children in foster care awaiting adoption across the United States. Their new son Henry is one of 44 children that were adopted on November 16, representing the collective effort of policymakers, practitioners and advocates to remove more children from foster care within the Denver county…
Permanency Related Articles:
Child Welfare Information Gateway – Safe and stable reunification does not begin or end with the return of children to the care of their parents. Child welfare agencies may find it challenging to help families achieve timely reunification while at the same time preventing children from reentering foster care. This bulletin offers information to help child welfare agency managers by providing strategies for achieving reunification and preventing reentry and includes examples of promising practices being implemented by States and localities. Here is the PDF version of the article.
Chattanooga Times Free Press – In Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia, and across the nation, states are loosening restrictions on foster parents in order to encourage normalcy for the growing share of children in foster care. The new guidelines, known nationally as “prudent parenting,” remove legal liability and allow foster parents to make decisions on the fly as long as they consider the safety risk and the appropriateness of the activity for the child’s developmental age. They also have to ask themselves this question: Would they allow their own biological child to be supervised by the person who will be overseeing the foster child in their care?
Annie E Casey Foundation – A new video, “Promoting Brain Gains for Youth Emerging From Foster Care,” discusses adolescent brain development and ways child welfare systems inhibit or encourage opportunities for the successful transition to adulthood. The animated primer summarizes topics explored in a recent report by the Casey Foundation’s Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative™: The Road to Adulthood: Aligning Child Welfare Practice with Adolescent Brain Development… “Young brains thrive on rewards,” says Vee Garrison, a Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative Young Fellow and the narrator of the video. “When young people have positive experiences like these and succeed, the adolescent brain’s active reward center kicks in to reinforce those experiences by wiring more connections and giving a young person courage and confidence to achieve even more.”
The Daily Breeze (Long Beach, CA) – Sharon Luisjuan, a former foster youth now participating in CSUSB’s Renaissance Students program, Thursday, June 1, 2017.The program provides support services to eligible, current and former foster youth as they transition into the university and through to graduation. “When I was here at Cal State, I was homeless for three months,” Sharon Luisjuan said, looking west across the Cal State San Bernardino campus…
Only about half of foster youths graduate from high school, compared with 93 percent of their peers, according to a 2005 study by the National Foster Youth Institute. It gets worse from there: Less than 3 percent of them go on to graduate from a four-year college. By comparison, more than 33 percent of non-foster students 25 years and older earn a college degree, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And that leads to predictable ends: Former foster youths are more likely to be unemployed, more likely to be on public assistance, earn less than the average and are more likely to have been arrested.
In 1998, Cal State Fullerton created the Guardian Scholars program to fill the gap. The first program of its kind, it’s open to any student who has been a ward of the court or had a legal guardian and offers a full scholarship for program participants. The Renaissance Scholars program at Cal State San Bernardino was crucial for Luisjuan, who was in the foster care system before she was old enough to talk. Both of her parents were in prison. Her guardians would take food and showers away from her when she got bad grades and beat her and her siblings. Her foster family told her that she wasn’t going anywhere, even after she graduated from high school…
Newsmax.com – Here’s a way you can build your vocabulary and make a decision to do some positive good this year and for many years in the future. Romper.com recently ran a column titled “10 Words Only a Foster Parent Would Know.” Some words were Latinate legal terms and others were acronyms for government bureaucracies. But there were a few that carried incalculable emotional baggage and only serve to emphasize what a crucial service for good and humanity foster parents provide…
That’s why I’m urging readers — as we approach the most significant holiday of the year, which was a life-changing event for the world — to consider becoming part of a life-changing event for a child. Please think seriously about giving yourself and becoming a foster parent. You’ll expand your vocabulary as you expand your family and expand the horizons of a child that desperately needs a family.
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Take care and keep up the Permanency work – Our children, youth, young adults, families and communities are depending on it!