Permanency Tip of the Week: Permanency Centered Goals – Juvenile Justice/Probation
Permanency centered goals in Juvenile Justice/Probation can help ensure that everyday decision we make involving our Youth has Permanency as their foundation. This area also includes the role that law enforcement can serve in responding to and viewing actions of aggression and defiance displayed by our Youth. The key goal in this area is to find a balance point between viewing the aggression and defiance related challenges through a trauma, abuse, loss, and neglect informed lens AND holding the Youth accountable for their actions. This can be particularly challenging both for our older Youth and young adults as well as once law enforcement gets involved. Through proactive and ongoing collaboration between all the systems of care, we can support the Youth and their new/emerging sources of Permanency.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: FOREVER FAMILY: The Cantus go from Fostering to Adoption, with a Whole Family
KENS 5 – San Antonio, Tx – The Cantu family out of Lytle originally fostered one child, then ended up adopting him, and then adopted his brothers. The Cantus from Lytle originally fostered a child who had been going through a rough time with his family. Eventually, they brought in his brothers. And that’s when the Cantus went from a foster home to a forever family for the three boys they were taking care of.
Permanency Related Articles:
Brookings – This report presents findings from a unique partnership between the University of Michigan and the State (of Michigan) that allowed us to match the universe of child maltreatment records in Michigan with educational data on all public school children in the state. We find that roughly 18 percent of third-grade students have been subject to at least one formal investigation for child maltreatment. In some schools, more than fifty percent of third graders have experienced an investigation for maltreatment. These estimates indicate that child abuse and neglect cannot simply be treated like a secondary issue, but must be a central concern of school personnel…
The findings suggest several important avenues for policy, including the following specific recommendations: 1) State officials should design and implement systems to allow for easier and timelier sharing of data between the education system and the child welfare system; 2) School personnel should utilize data on child maltreatment and/or foster care placement to identify students at risk of academic difficulties and provide support for these children; 3) Schools or districts with especially high rates of child maltreatment should implement programs specifically aimed at addressing this problem.
A high concentration of children who have been exposed to trauma imposes a substantial burden on teachers and administrators. While there are examples of programs designed to serve foster care youth, we do not know of any such programs designed to serve the broader population of youth who have experienced some form of maltreatment. Given the importance of early academic performance, it is critical for school systems to develop ways to support children who have experienced maltreatment. This will require collaboration across education and social service entities to an extent that is rarely seen today.
Chronicle of Social Change (Video) – “I told them we were being taken and I didn’t know where we were going and when we were coming back.” That’s how Kaysie, then 14, recalls telling her friends about the fact that she and her siblings were headed to foster care. What was supposed to be a weekend stay turned into seven years in the system.
The words strength and resilience are often used to characterize youth in care. They got through it because they are tough, they’re successful because they have grit. We want to find reasons why some make it, are successful and some don’t.
Maybe for Kaysie this was the ability to be reflective, to think of her journey as just that and keep moving forward. Kaysie has since earned a bachelor’s degree and is graduating from Rutgers University with a master’s degree in social work in two weeks. Recently, Kaysie, who has a talent for sewing, started making graduation stoles for youth in care to bring awareness to the 3 to 5 percent of youth who graduate from college.
Aeon – Stress pervades our lives. We become anxious when we hear of violence, chaos or discord. And, in our relatively secure world, the pace of life and its demands often lead us to feel that there is too much to do in too little time. This disrupts our natural biological rhythms and encourages unhealthy behaviors, such as eating too much of the wrong things, neglecting exercise and missing out on sleep.
Racial and ethnic discrimination, along with lack of educational opportunities and economic advancement take their toll on a large segment of the population in the United States. Incarceration is the rule rather than the exception for some of the most vulnerable. Adverse experiences in infancy and childhood, including poverty, leave a lifelong imprint on the brain and body, and undermine long-term health, increasing the incidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, substance abuse, anti-social behaviour, and dementia.
How does all of this stress ‘get under our skin’? What does it do to our brains and our bodies? What can we do about it? And is stress so multifaceted and pervasive that we could have trouble controlling it at all? We can never roll back the clock and reverse the effects of experiences, positive or negative, or the epigenetic change they produce. But we can move through those experiences to recovery and redirection; also, we can develop resilience through epigenetic change. New trajectories can engender compensatory changes in the brain and body over the life course.
California Evidence Based Clearinghouse (CEBC) – Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) help to ensure the needs of children and youth involved in child welfare are met, including referring them to important services such as educational support, therapy, life skills classes, and many other types of services. CASAs can use the CEBC to stay up-to-date on what works for meeting the needs of their case and, when appropriate, inform their recommendations to the court.
Foster Care Institute – Dr. John DeGarmo – 1) Before your foster child was placed in your home, he may have developed strong relationships with others. Perhaps these were friends his own age, or members of his family or family’s circle of friends. These relationships will have a strong influence on your child, both in a positive and negative fashion. It will be most important, whenever possible, to meet your foster child’s friends, and parents, and try to not only establish rules, but also attempt to determine if the friend will have a positive or negative influence…2) Your foster child will, more than likely, visit with his birth family from time to time. It is not uncommon for a foster child to let their birth parents know about your rules, especially if the child disagrees with your rules and expectations…3) Before you meet with your caseworker, make sure you are prepared beforehand… 4) Help your foster child develop a strong and positive relationship with his caseworker in his own way… 5) Be a role model for the birth parents. Everything you do as a foster parent will send signals to the biological parents on how a parent should act, as well as how to treat their own children.
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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