Permanency Tip of the Week: Four Concept Process of Youth Engagement ~ Permanency
The journey of engaging Youth in the concept of Permanency can be seen as including four unique and yet inter-connected concepts. This should NOT be viewed as a four-stage process, since like the grief process, individuals may travel through on this journey at different rates, possibly in different sequences and potentially need to visit some of the concepts multiple times. Over the next four blog posts, these concepts will be covered one at a time. 1) Helping the Youth to become Welcoming of the idea of Permanency in their life. 2) Helping the Youth Develop a Belief in the Concept of Permanency; 3) Helping the Youth Develop Trust in the Concept of Permanency; 4) Helping the Youth Develop the Intra-Personal and Inter-Personal Skills to Connect Permanently. This perspective will challenge us to continually evaluate with the Youth where they are in their journey and will necessitate that each journey is designed to meet the unique needs of everyone we are fortunate enough to be able to serve.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Sandra Bullock Emotionally Discusses Growing her Family Through Adoption
NBC – Today – Sandra Bullock had long established herself as a successful big-screen star when she took on the role of a lifetime — off-screen. In 2010, the actress became a mother for the first time. Now, in an emotional interview with TODAY’s Hoda Kotb, Bullock opened up about how having kids changed her life, and she’s learned how her decision to create a family via adoption has changed other lives, too.
Bullock is mom to son Louis, 8, and daughter Laila, 5, and when asked about her priorities in life, she didn’t even pause to think about it. “It’s my kids,” she said. “Everything is about them being ok, being in school, having what they need, their moments. I need to be there for every single moment that they have. It’s harder for me to leave them than I think it is for them when I leave. I don’t leave that much, and I don’t work that much anymore either. … So my priorities are my kids, my kids, my kids. My family. My family. That’s it…”
Permanency Related Articles:
Chronicle of Social Change – Juvenile Law Center (JLC), with the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, has built an excellent new resource for the field in its National Extended Foster Care Review, a website that breaks down each state’s foster care guarantees after the age of 18.
Fittingly, the site was launched on the 10th anniversary of Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, a law signed by President George W. Bush in 2008. Fostering Connections, among other things, amended the Title IV-E foster care entitlement – the largest conduit of federal child welfare funds to states – to include matched reimbursement for any state that established a federally-approved extension of foster care until the age of 21.
The bill was born of research that put numbers to what most parents know through experience: that even teens with all the advantages in life are not ready to become fully independent adults at age 18. For foster youth, the outcomes for those “aging out” at 18 are grim, with high rates of homelessness, incarceration, and unemployment.
The review found that 45 states currently offer at least some form of extended foster care to youth who opt to remain in the system as they move into adulthood. The only remaining states without any foster care guarantees after 18: Delaware, New Mexico, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Rhode Island.
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) – Each year approximately 100,000 young people exit formal custody of the juvenile justice system. These youth are often discharged back to families struggling with domestic violence, substance abuse, unresolved mental health disabilities, and poverty. Many are returned to neighborhoods with few supportive programs, high crime rates, and poorly performing schools.
Public safety is compromised when youth leaving out-of-home placements are not afforded necessary supportive services upon re-entering their communities and are therefore at great risk to recidivate into criminal behavior. Juveniles and young adults may be incarcerated during a key developmental phase of adolescence. Lacking the necessary skills to cope with adult responsibilities when they are released, many youth face unemployment, school re-enrollment challenges, and homelessness upon release. Plans are rarely in place to support youth as they exit confinement and reintegrate back into their family, school, and community.
Reentry services and aftercare programs which target youth who are exiting custody and connect them with professional cases managers, mentors, or employment opportunities can reduce recidivism. By fostering improved family relationships and functioning, reintegration into school, and mastery of independent life skills, youth build resiliency and positive development to divert them from delinquent and other problematic behaviors…
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) – A study in the June 2018 Pediatrics found that nearly half of the children born to adolescent mothers in child protective services such as foster care, also ended up in protective custody by their second birthday. The study, “The Cycle of Child Protection Services Involvement: A Cohort Study of Adolescent Mothers” (published online May 29), looked at data from the Population Data Research Repository at Canada’s Manitoba Centre for Health Policy… Researchers said mothers who give birth while in care have specific needs that may not be met by existing services available to adolescent mothers to assist in the transition to motherhood. Learning the age children are most likely to be taken into care can help to identify time periods during which additional supports and services could potentially help break the intergenerational cycle of involvement with child protection services.
US General Accounting Office – States employ a range of strategies to recruit foster families and nearly all use private providers to recruit, particularly for therapeutic foster care (TFC) services, in which parents receive training and support to care for children who need a higher level of care. Recruitment strategies include searching for relatives, conducting outreach to the community, targeting certain populations, and obtaining referrals from current foster families. In response to GAO’s national survey, 49 states reported using private providers to recruit foster families.
Greenville (NC) Journal – Fostering Great Ideas (FGI) – Scared. Alone. Confused. Removed from the certainty of the familiar and placed in the world of unknowns, most children entering foster care fear the upcoming journey. Last year, more than 437,000 children in the U.S. lived in foster care, according to data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System…Moving from home to home with their belongings in trash bags, children in foster care can easily forget their worth. “It’s awful,” Jasmine Brockman says. “It makes you feel like we’re trash.” Brockman lived in 21 different homes during her seven to eight years in foster care. For every move up until she moved into her adopted home, she carried her belongings in trash bags…
FGI founder and CEO David White asked a question eight years ago to a Department of Social Services director in Brick Street Café. “Can our community do significantly more to improve the lives of children who live in foster care?” After three listening sessions in 2010 with great responses from the community, FGI developed in 2011 under guidance from the Community Foundation of Greenville. One year later, FGI operated on its own as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
“By 2015, we hired our first program staff, and now, we have 11 part-time staff, myself, over 400 volunteers, 225 donors, and operations in Greenville, Spartanburg, and Denver, Colorado,” White explains. As an individual and an entrepreneur, White is most concerned about what matters to the children in care. “We are the entrepreneurial complement to the current DSS system of care,” White says. “And the entrepreneurial complement always asks that question of how to change the life of the child in a stressed environment…”
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