Greetings Permanency Champions,
Permanency Tip of the Week: Love is in the Air; However, Our Youth First Need Permanency
With Valentine’s Day, many of the sights, sounds and activities focus on seeking and finding Love in our lives. For our Youth in out of home care, the concept of Love can range from being challenging, to painful to possibly even totally foreign. Even the mere act of exchanging Valentine’s Day cards in school, can be enough to trigger significant cognitive, emotional and behavioral responses in our Youth. In our ongoing efforts to partner with our Youth to seek and find Permanency, let us be sure to be compassionate and thoughtful about our words, deeds and activities this week. This can be a powerful reminder to all of us why our Youth so desperately need Permanency in their life ASAP! #love
Permanency Success Story of the Week: ALYSSA’S FOREVER FAMILY STORY
Family Service & Children’s Aid – Here is the story of Alyssa finding her forever family!
“It could be said Brian and I had an aversion to lifelong commitments. After all, it took us nearly 10 years to tie the knot and our knocking knees still drowned out the minister. That all changed on February 10, 2015. That was the day the most adorable 8-month-old little girl arrived at our door and we felt our hearts expand in a way we had never known possible. The first time those big brown eyes looked into ours, we were hooked. We knew the road from fostering to adoption could potentially be a bumpy one, but with the support of Family Service & Children’s Aid it was an incredibly smooth process to our forever family. We have never been more excited to see what the future holds for us and our beautiful daughter!” Leigh & Brian
Permanency Related Articles:
Social Justice Solutions – There may be nothing more horrible than the isolation that comes with a childhood of complex trauma. It isn’t that we are alone. We are probably surrounded by people, but we are alone on the inside. Life is happening around us. It may even be happening to us. But we aren’t really involved. We are watching. We are watching others have fun in life. We are watching others meet milestones. We are watching life happen to others. But this life is not for us. This life is not ours to live…
But we don’t know it’s an inside job. It isn’t about others. It is about our own beliefs and messages. We are telling ourselves the reasons for our isolation but they aren’t real. Let’s look at the most common beliefs keeping us isolated. 1) I am not good enough for others; 2) I can’t connect with others; 3) I can’t trust anyone..
The irony is there are so many of us isolating from the world for these reasons. And if we knew about each other, we would build networks to support us in our journey home. But first, we must look inward and recognize the lies we were told and the lies we keep telling ourselves. We are not meant to be isolated. We are meant to connect and belong somewhere. But we will have to come out from behind the curtain of isolation we have created. Only then can we come home.
#SJSWorks #beating trauma
Chronicle Of Social Change – Child maltreatment is often measured by lives forever scarred by trauma and families torn apart, but a new study estimates that each case of abuse also carries a hefty price tag. According to researchers with the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center in collaboration and the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, each incidence of child abuse costs the public $400,533 over the course of a victim’s lifetime…Though the cost of child maltreatment is steep, researchers say that the estimates are conservative; the actual number may be much higher, as much as $5.6 billion. This is because many cases of abuse are not substantiated, are under-reported or have difficult-to-quantify costs.
The study concludes with three ways child abuse can be prevented: 1) Adopting a public health approach toward child abuse prevention; 2) Providing greater access to services; 3) Promoting education, including increased awareness of protective factors. #chronicleofsc #childabuse #childmaltreatment # childfatalities #publichealth
Foster 2 Forever – My son doesn’t remember being hungry — but his brain does! The trauma from infant neglect can cause lasting impressions in the memory bank of a baby. My son was just 8 months old when he came to live with us. Even in those short months, he had experienced serious neglect that unknown to anyone had a lasting impact on his life. He spent the majority of his infanthood in a car seat, as his parents partied and fought in another room. Just how often did he get fed? His cries for a bottle went unheard. How often did he get changed? His cries of discomfort from dirty diapers weren’t heard. When he came to live with us, he had a rash in the shape of a diaper on his entire front and bottom. “Babies don’t remember.” That’s what I thought. But I was very wrong…
My son doesn’t have a memory of being hungry as an infant, but his brain does. That baby’s developing brain was hard-wired with a terrifying memory of being hungry, not knowing when he would be fed, and believing he was going to die!…When I look back on the documentation at the daycares, his rages occurred around 10 in the morning and mid-afternoon. My child was hungry!! I can now attribute about 90% of my son’s behavior issues to hunger. Although I understand the trigger to the majority of his crankiness and tantrums, I still struggle with parenting my son — a strong-willed finicky eater! (That’s another blog post)
My son still has a memory of hunger – but he doesn’t remember it.
Chicago Now – 30 Adoption Portraits in 30 Days – Portrait of an Adoption – I was adopted at five months old, from a foster home in Fulton County, Ga. I was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. My adoptive father was in the service in Georgia at the time of my adoption, but we ended up in New Jersey, where he was from. That’s where I was raised — in a small, middle-upper class suburb of northern New Jersey.
I don’t remember when I was told that was adopted, maybe I was five…seems like I always knew. I remember that my parents told me that I was “special” because they “picked me out of a bunch of other babies.” I don’t remember recognizing anything abnormal, negative, or missing from my life as an adoptee growing up. I do remember wondering — later in my teens and in college — where I got my looks from, as I would hear people talk about how much a certain child looked like their parent(s).
I initially searched for my first mom in my early twenties. I was told that since I was adopted from Georgia, the records were sealed, but that I could put my name on a registry, and if she was on the registry, they would contact her to let her know that I was interested in finding her…I rest now in knowing that this is a hard situation for all of us in the “triad.” I no longer perceive it as purposeful neglect, which is liberating. I am presently in counseling to attempt to push through the myriad of emotions I have experienced regarding the surrendering of my children.
Karen recently sold her house in Florida in order to relocate to California where both of her children are. She lives on a ranch in Santa Barbara and works both as a caregiver and as a reservationist at a guest ranch. Karen loves to be outdoors, whether it is running or hiking with her dog Mimi or going to the beach. She tries to see her kids as often as possible. #30 Adoption Portraits in 30 Days #adoptive parents #birth family search #closed adoption #open adoption
Child Welfare Information Gateway recently released the podcast, “Child Welfare Then and Now,” shares the perspective of Sekema Harmon, assistant division director of field operations for the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services.
The podcast highlights the following topics: 1) Meeting families “where they are” and letting them establish what success looks like; 2) Georgia’s collaboration with agencies and other partners as part of a “blueprint for change”; 3) How technology has impacted the field; 4) The skills today’s younger professionals are bringing to the field; 5) Guidance and advice on managing and supervising staff and teams. #ACFHHS #GADFCS
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- Take care and keep up the Permanency work – Our children, youth, young adults, families and communities are depending on it!