Greetings Permanency Champions,
Permanency Tip of the Week: Permanency Centered Goals – Child Welfare
Writing down a goal helps bring clarity, purpose, and accountability to our actions. Permanency should never sacrifice our commitment to safety and other legal mandates. Rather, it should serve as a foundational lens for every decision we make regarding status, placement, and actions involving our Youth. Permanency centered goals include actively identifying and connecting with all possible immediate, extended and community-based relationships that our Youth may have as early as possible once we establish contact with our Youth. This commitment to Permanent connections must remain in place at every stage of our engagement with the Youth and continue to be evaluated for efficacy and completeness. Engaging our Youth in the identification, pursuit and sustaining of Permanent connections is critical as it is THEIR Permanency that we are addressing, not ours. Taking a culturally informed lens is especially critical since the definition, display and experience of Permanency is fundamentally rooted in culture.
Permanency Success Story of the Week:
AdoptUSKids – “If your heart is tugging at you to learn more about foster care, go for it!” Justin and Marcie Cholewinski live in the same Virginia town where they were born, where they met on their school bus, and where they were married. Justin is a machinist and Marcie is a public school teacher. Both have always worked full-time.
We talked with Marcie about adopting siblings from foster care—and their plans to adopt again. 1) What attracted you to adoption from foster care? 2) Your family searched on AdoptUSKids for several months before being matched with a sibling group. Can you describe that process? 3) After two months, your family was selected to adopt the siblings. How did it feel? 4) How did you celebrate? 5) Were you able to keep the two children you adopted in touch with their sister? 6) You are still fostering and planning to adopt more children. What keeps you doing it? 7) What do you think are the most important things for other families who are thinking about adoption to know?
You can do it. If your heart is tugging at you to learn more about foster care, go for it! Yes, there will be hard days. You will have to sacrifice. Life will become more complicated. But helping a child in need is worth every second it takes to overcome any obstacle.
Permanency Related Articles:
Children’s Bureau Express – Celebration months give us an opportunity to shine the national spotlight on important issues, draw attention to need, and identify best practices. I will do that to an extent, but my main intent is to call into question and challenge our commitment, both as a system and as individuals, to primary prevention of child maltreatment and to strengthening families as our core calling…During this year’s prevention month, I challenge and invite all child welfare system participants, including government and private agencies, social workers, attorneys, judges, service providers, mental health professionals, substance abuse professionals, schools, the faith-based community, and community members themselves, to recognize primary prevention of child maltreatment as our common charge and collective responsibility. I challenge and invite all of us to stop narrowly defining our roles as reactors after harm has occurred and embrace the opportunity to truly prevent child maltreatment. I challenge you to make every month prevention month.
Chronicle of Social Change – The language of family finding is evolving in response to years of learning from practice and research. The family finding name itself came from these central questions: 1) Is it true this child has no one? 2) Is it true this child has no father? 3) Is it true this parent has no one who will help today or tomorrow?
Multiple studies and experience in the United States, Canada, and Australia have provided clear answers. Every child has or can have, someone who cares deeply about them. Every human being has or had a father, and every parent has or had adults with whom they can build supportive relationships…Lasting results can be achieved by partnering with families and empowering them to provide their own solutions so their children can safely stay in their families. By working with families, rather than against them, we affirm the dignity and humanity of us all and we join together to protect our most vulnerable children.
Creating A Family – What do adoptive families need and want post adoption to help them parent their adoptive families? What post-adoption services are available? What can agencies do and where can families find help? Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national infertility & adoption education and support nonprofit, interviews: Debra S. Waller, Chief Executive Officer, Jockey International, Inc. and founder of Jockey Being Family Foundation; Rita Soronen, President and CEO of Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption; and Susan Cox, Vice President of Public Policy at Holt International.
Social Justice Solutions – Although juvenile arrests in the US have decreased the past few decades, arrests for girls younger than 18 are up — yet there is little focus on the context behind this trend. Both intervention programs and the criminal justice system are tailored to the needs of boys, neglecting the fact that girls typically enter the criminal justice system for different reasons than male peers. Throughout this piece, we’ll examine the data about girls and the justice system, the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), racial disparities, and solutions that may help create better outcomes for girls.
Annie E. Casey Foundation – Young people exiting the foster care system need and benefit from help with educational and employment opportunities as they transition into adulthood…The brief emphasizes that there are specific subsets of this population, such as youth who have grown up in group foster care facilities and those who are beginning their adulthood as teenage parents, who are at a greater disadvantage when it comes to making their way in the world. The authors emphasize that these vulnerable groups need policies, programs, and support that can help them gain the work experience necessary for independence…
Key survey findings include the following: 1) Opportunity Passport participants are doing better than their counterparts in the general population and National Youth in Transition Database respondents; 2) White participants between the ages and 16 and 18 were more likely to experience employment progression than their Black peers. While that gap narrowed between ages 19 and 21, Black participants still lagged behind their White peers; 3) Young parents did not experience the same economic progression as their nonparent peers, and parenthood was associated with limited opportunity across all age groups; 4) Youth who had experienced more foster care placements did not experience the same amount of economic progression between ages 19 and 21 as those who had fewer placements.
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Take care and keep up the Permanency work – Our children, youth, young adults, families, and communities are depending on it!
Dr. Greg Manning