Greetings Permanency Champions,
Permanency Tip of the Week: You Cannot Connect Until You Feel Safe
Emotional and physical safety can be considered as the two basic tenets that must be met for a person to begin to be ready, willing and able to form a permanent life-long relationship. How often do the youth we serve, who are in out of home care, go throughout their day missing either or both aspects of safety? If we expect our youth to seek out and respond to sources of Permanency that we find, we must first work diligently and consistently to ensure their emotional and physical safety.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: How One Man Went from Foster Care Advocate to Dad
Huffington Post – The day that changed the course of Jon Cardoza’s life started out as a fairly ordinary one. He’d gotten in trouble at school – again – and was sitting down over sandwiches that afternoon to endure yet another lecture from his mentor. “That was the day he popped the question,” Jon recalls now, more than a year later. “He was like, ‘Oh my gosh, you are so frustrating; I should just adopt you.’”
At 16 years old, Jon had given up on the idea that he would ever be adopted. He’d spent the first dozen years of his life enduring abuse and neglect from biological family members. After several reports from teachers and neighbors of suspected abuse, he was removed from the home and spent the next several years bouncing around the foster care system. One of the only constants in his life had been Tom Bauer, a 50-year-old man who’d been reluctantly trained to be an advocate for children in foster care and had taken on Jon’s case when Jon was 12 years old.
Bauer had no intention of becoming a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), even when two acquaintances who worked for the local CASA organization in San Mateo County, Calif. insisted they saw qualities in him that would make him a good fit for the role…“I used to feel like family is just people you’re related to because I didn’t really have a caring family like this,” Jon said. “I was really surprised at how open they are, and I’m really happy to be part of their family. I didn’t change but I feel different (since the adoption was finalized). I’m more happy and more self-confident.”
Permanency Related Articles:
Iowa State Daily – For Michelle Spear, gaining access to her birth certificate is about control. Spear is the founder of the Iowa Adoptee and Family Coalition whose purpose is to give Iowan adoptees access to their original birth certificate which a law has blocked them from doing since 1941. The main argument against granting access is that the names of parents who wanted to remain anonymous would suddenly be revealed. Spear said her goal is not to find anything out. She wants to be like most adults in Iowa. “For our goals and our purpose, it has nothing to do with finding things out for us. It’s that we’re adults,” Spear said. “It is our desire to, just like anyone else in the state of Iowa, to have a copy of our original birth certificate…
Oregon, Colorado, Alaska, Hawaii, Alabama, Kansas, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine are the only states where adoptees have complete access to their original birth certificate…“We shouldn’t be hiding things from adults,” Wessel-Kroeschell said. “We shouldn’t be hiding heritage from adults, and another argument they made is they said, ‘You know, my biological mother and father decided they wanted to be secret from me, but nobody asked me. And so that was their decision. I’m an adult, now I get to make some decisions about me.’” #birthcertificates #iowaadopteerights.
- Part One: Services to Prevent Foster Care
- Part Two: Limiting Support for Congregate Foster Care
- Part Three: Adoption, Foster Home Recruitment, Reunification and More
Sharon Roszia – Rituals and ceremonies are symbolic forms of communication that incorporate participant’s histories and traditions…Ceremonies have also helped children and their families make sense of difficult life transitions and can assist with creating stability for families who are confronting heavy emotional turmoil. They can assist in expressing and releasing such emotions as grief, anger and confusion toward a situation or person; create containers for memories so they do not obstruct efforts to create a new family; change the environment in which a family functions; and allows for acceptance of new rules, roles and relationships.
Rituals and ceremonies are particularly relevant to children in transition and in building new family attachments…Rituals can be as simple as a set of songs and words to move a child into a bath and out; into bed and up in the morning or leaving for school and coming home. It can include notes in a lunch bag or a special pebble in a child’s pocket. It creates structure, routine and safety for the child whose world has already been upended… #permanency #rituals #ceremonies
Science Direct – A meta-analytic study…was conducted to examine the effectiveness of Family Group Conferencing (FGC) in youth care. Child safety (in terms of reports of child maltreatment and out-of-home placement) and involvement of youth care were included as outcome variables; study, sample and intervention characteristics were included as moderators. Overall, FGC did not significantly reduce child maltreatment, out-of-home placements, and involvement of youth care…Moreover, FGC was found to increase the number and length of out-of-home placements for families with older children and minority groups. The findings of this study showed that robust research proving the effectiveness of FGC is limited. It is, therefore, crucial for the safety and protection of children in youth care that, before broadly implementing this decision-making model in youth care, more robust studies examining the effectiveness of FGC be conducted. #family #youth
Brookings Institution – An estimated 500,000 children and youth are living in foster care in the United States today. A disproportionate number of them are poor and/or minorities. Foster care is intended to be a temporary safe haven until a child can be reunited with their family or until another permanent placement can be found. Being removed from one’s family and placed into foster care often results in life-changing trauma for a child, making the role of foster parents critically important to the child’s ability to cope and recover from trauma. The nurturing, guidance, and skilled parenting that foster families provide children and youth can make the difference in whether their trauma is exacerbated, or they can grow and flourish. Indeed, foster parents are the child welfare system’s primary intervention for helping children. Unfortunately, current policies and practices do not adequately promote quality parenting in all foster care settings. #drugepidemic
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- Take care and keep up the Permanency work – Our children, youth, young adults, familiesand communities are depending on it!