Greetings Permanency Champions,
Permanency Tip of the Week: What Hopes and Dreams Should We Have for Our Youth?
It is a good practice to explore what hopes and dreams we have for the Youth that we serve. If we are honest with ourselves, we may acknowledge that we hope that we will not have to put out any “fires” today or maybe we dream that our Youth will stay in this placement longer than they did the last one. These are both painful and understandable responses to the repeated challenges that we sometimes experience in serving them – especially when we are experiencing some degree of secondary trauma, burnout and compassion fatigue. Let us take the time to care for ourselves so that we can embrace the hope and dream that all of our Youth will experience Permanency.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Adoption Inspires Helpfulness and Commitment in a Family of 23 Birth and Adopted Children
Children Awaiting Parents – Adoptive mom Claudette Lowery, who has helped raise 23 children, says the greatest reward is hearing her children say, ‘because you loved and believed in me, I made it’…It wasn’t until her 3 birth children witnessed Claudette filling the role of grandmother to the children of her “adopted” children that they truly understood the value of adoption. Claudette says, “They realized they weren’t losing me and it was a good thing. It was a wonderful feeling for me…” To others considering adoption, Claudette says. “Just try it! Children are the greatest investment you could possibly make. They are our future and we need to give them the love and family they need to reach their full potential. What greater gift could you possibly give?”
Permanency Related Articles:
Adoptions with Love – Birth Parents – For those who have made an adoption plan, the holidays are not always easy. If you have an open adoption, however, finding solace in letters, pictures, and updates can help. Knowing that your child is loved, happy, and healthy can bring the greatest peace of mind. Camilla*, a birth mother who placed her daughter for adoption through Adoptions With Love, agrees…When I started making an adoption plan, I had no idea what I wanted – or more importantly, what I would want in the future. I remember being pregnant and filling out the initial adoption paperwork, and having NO idea what I was doing. At that point, I still wasn’t sure if I’d go through with it, wasn’t sure if I’d ever actually submit the papers to start the process…I think the thing that helps me the most is looking at pictures of my daughter. I love seeing her photos and reading the letters her parents have sent me, because it reminds me of the amazing life she has and how much she is loved. It brings me peace to know that she’s a happy, healthy kid in a loving family. That’s exactly what I wanted for her. So even when I miss her, I know that she’s happy.
Children’s Data Network – A new study linked administrative records for youth leaving Probation supervision with data on previous referrals to Child Protective Services. The results indicate that among youth involved in the juvenile justice system, the prevalence of past child protection involvement may be even higher than previously realized…These data illuminate the importance of coordinating cross-system responses bot for “dual status” youth who are simultaneously involved with both child protection and delinquency systems and for “crossover” youth who sequentially come to the attention of both systems. They also suggest that it is critical that we carefully examine the resources available and connections made for families referred to child protection.
Additional information available through the Child Welfare Information Gateway.
Stateside (Michigan Public Radio) – There are nearly 13,000 children in foster care in Michigan, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Across the country, there are around 400,000 kids in foster care on any given day. But what we don’t know for sure is how many children have been “lost” in foster care.
Shenandoah Chefalo knows how easily that can happen. The Traverse City-based author and advocate put herself into foster care when she was 13. It was the only way she could think of to escape her abusive parents. But it wasn’t long before she realized that if she disappeared, nobody would care. Nobody would come looking for her.
Today she’s leading a grassroots project called #4600AndCounting, aimed at finding those lost children…
TODAY – The thought of a child dying alone in a hospital bed is one former bereavement nurse Cori Salchert finds unacceptable. Salchert fosters and adopts children in her home state of Wisconsin who have a terminal or life-limiting illness. While she knows she cannot make a difference in the life of every sick child whose parents cannot or will not take care of them due to their conditions, she has made a great difference in the lives of seven kids who would otherwise have no one…
Through her work with her own “hospice babies,” Salchert has also made connections in her community and around the world, helping grieving parents and caretakers live life to the fullest both before and after the loss of a child. “When we’re told in everything give thanks — oh boy, it’s so hard to do when it’s situations like these,” said Salchert. “But it’s about drawing close to God and not shoving him away, and knowing giving thanks makes it easier to bear.” “Dying is something we can’t change, but the ability to cope well with it is possible and that is wonderful.”
Emerging Mama – We were well into the third year of our family’s new normal, before I had come to the realization that things really were different for us. That no, all kids really don’t do this-whatever “this” may mean at the moment-and that we were not imagining the stress. We were not imagining the frustration. It took nearly four years to accept that the challenges we were facing couldn’t simply be dealt with by working harder or doing more. It took nearly four years to come to terms with the fact that living in a family with children who have experienced early childhood trauma(s) can be an isolating, lonely, and oddly enough traumatizing endeavor, with very unique and difficult challenges. So few on the outside can understand what it’s like to live inside our walls. That is not to suggest whatever is inside our neighbor’s walls is more or less difficult, just different perhaps. Below is my imperfect attempt to give words to some of our family’s daily struggles. 1. Invisible Disability. 2 There is SO Little Understanding. 3. Few Integrated Solutions. 4. Secondary Trauma…
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Take care and keep up the Permanency work – Our children, youth, young adults, families and communities are depending on it!