Greetings Permanency Champions,
Permanency Tip of the Week: Things Were Just Starting to go Well: Is this Sabotage?
When a family / new relationship is going well, there can be a temptation to “leave well enough alone” and not continue with the same intensity of services. With the life histories of our Youth in Care, this can be a risky course of action. Due to a life history that is often filled with trauma, abuse, neglect and loss, our Youth may not feel comfortable with sustained success in relationships. It can be helpful to verbalize that this may be going on for our Youth and if so, this makes them Normal! If we can engage with them and the parent(s) in an empathic and trauma informed way, we stand a good chance of being able to minimize/avoid the turmoil that can develop. Before we label our Youth as saboteurs, let’s identify them as potentially being in fear and reach out to them with care and empathy.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Introducing the Carver Family
This guest blog is written by Kendra Carver, a recent adoptive mother and advocate for adoption benefits. She is an employee of American Express, the 2017 #1 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplace.
Adopting a child has always been a dream for my husband and me. There are so many children in need of loving homes across America and the world. So, in the winter of 2016, we began the journey to make this dream come true. This journey has not been easy. It has been long and challenging – from home studies and background checks, to trainings and paperwork, to court approvals and extensive coordination across various agencies. However, it has all been worth it…By the end of May 2017, Tray officially joined our family full-time in Tempe, Arizona. American Express’ parental leave policy allowed me to take up to 20 weeks to bond with him. We used that critical time to create of lot of “first” memories for our family, such as our first camping trip, first big hike, first trip to the ocean and first family road trip (and we all survived!). Every morning, Tray’s smiling face and joyful singing to welcome the new day reminds my husband and me that we made an incredible decision. If it is your dream to adopt a child – pursue it. Regardless of how long the journey may seem.
Thank you American Express for helping us achieve our dream! And, thank you to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption for helping make the adoption of children in foster care a priority for so many Americans.
Permanency Related Articles:
British Assn of Social Workers (BASW) – We are delighted to introduce this report of the BASW Enquiry into the role of the social worker in adoption – ethics and human rights. Adoption is a life changing event – for the children concerned, their birth parents, siblings, grandparents, extended family and adoptive families. Adoption has been promoted strongly by governments across the UK in recent years, in England most of all, as the ‘gold standard’ approach to permanence and stability for children who are considered at risk within their families of origin and who have come into the care of the state. However, adoption is also one of the most controversial areas of social policy. …This Enquiry into sensitive and complex areas of practice is a start to further discussions and debate about improvements, not an end. The Enquiry aimed to create safe spaces to hear the experiences and views of everyone involved.
PSY Blog – Adults who have had stressful childhoods find it harder to sense risky situations approaching, new research finds. As a result, looming health, financial or legal problems could be more difficult to spot for people who were maltreated early in life. But when the bad luck hits, people who have had stressful childhoods get hit harder — perhaps because it is more of a surprise.
Professor Seth Pollak, who led the study, said: “It’s not that people are overtly deciding to take these negative risks, or do things that might get them in trouble. It may very well be that their brains are not really processing the information that should tell them they are headed to a bad place, that this is not the right step to take…”
But the people with high-stress childhoods, even after many trials, they weren’t using negative feedback to change their behavior and improve.” Brain scans also revealed that there was relatively low activity in areas related to loss as people were considering their choice…“Now that we have this finding, we can use it to guide us to look at specific networks in the brain that are active and functionally connected. We may find that childhood stress reshapes the way communication happens across the brain.”
Child Welfare Information Gateway – Individuals touched by adoption are united by a unique bond. Support groups for foster and adoptive parents can provide valuable opportunities for open and honest dialogue about common experiences or issues related to adoption. Regardless of the type of organization sponsoring a group or the formal and/or informal nature of the setting, support groups bring together parents who likely face similar challenges and questions as they redefine themselves as adoptive families.
Parents can offer valuable insights based on their own adoption experience and give and receive support through an exchange that benefits all parties. Adoption support groups are a great way to explore practical problem solving, coping strategies, and where to find extra help or resources if or when they are needed.
Futures Without Violence – Changing Minds – Every child needs access to the opportunities that prepare him or her to compete in the changing economies and realities of the 21st century. Yet, for too many children, exposure to violence and traumatic events in the home, school, or community can affect them throughout their entire lives. From a national stakeholders gathering of state and local leaders, federal partners, philanthropy, and others, this guide was developed to address how health, education, child welfare, justice, and child development organizations can further the prevention and healing of childhood trauma at the state level.
The objectives for this state policy guide are to outline approaches that can be adapted based on a state’s circumstances and community needs, and address the reality that children grow up and develop in the context of their families, communities, and cultures. Let’s work to prevent and end childhood trauma together.
Family Equality Council – The Every Child Deserves a Family Campaign brings together a broad coalition of organizations from across the political spectrum, including child welfare organizations, child welfare professionals, advocacy and civil rights organizations, and current and former foster youth with lived experience in the child welfare system. Campaign members are united in the belief that no otherwise qualified foster or adoptive parent should be turned away due to their marital status, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
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Take care and keep up the Permanency work – Our children, youth, young adults, families and communities are depending on it!