Permanency Tip of the Week: Helping the Youth to be Welcoming of the Concept of Permanency
Having a loving, unconditional, parent-like and life-long relationship in their life can be a surreal concept to many of our Youth – especially for older youth with a history of multiple placement changes. One of the key issues that need to be addressed at all stages of the Youth’s journey, particularly at the start, is to support the Youth in acknowledging and beginning to grieve their past and present losses. As part of the grief and loss process, many thoughts and feelings (especially fear, anger, suspicion, and doubt) may come to the surface during this part of the journey. All these normal responses need to be validated and processed. Through this process, the Youth can begin to entertain the idea that Permanency might be possible in their life either again or for the first time.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: From Teen Foster Kid to an Adoptive Mother: ‘It’s Such a Good Life’
Tulsa World (OK) – Tucked into the back corner of a consignment store on South Lewis is a testimonial to motherhood. This is where Gay Larson runs the Oklahoma Heart Gallery, where portraits of adopted children brighten the walls. One of those children is 9-year-old Milena Blish. She is pictured with her adoptive family from central Oklahoma, her dad, Clayton, her baby brother, Hudson, and her mother, Molly.
Molly and Milena look particularly radiant. “Every time you see a child find a family, it’s worthwhile,” says Larson, whose Gallery is a nonprofit initiative whereby children available for adoption are photographed professionally and then promoted in galleries both online and via mobile displays. “You feel so happy for the kids, and their mothers, too, this time of year.”
“I used to be sad on Mother’s Day because I never had anyone to celebrate,” Molly says. “Now I’m so happy for what I’m able to give my children.” Molly has a story to tell about her own childhood. She can tell you about longing. Now that she has given birth to Hudson and adopted Milena in 2016, she can tell you about fulfillment…
Permanency Related Articles:
Foster Focus Magazine – Without a doubt, fathers are just as important to the nurturing and development of a child in foster care as a mother. Yet, much research has shown that the love of a father is different than that of a mother. Leading child psychologist Erik Erikson stated that a father’s love and a mother’s love are quite different, indeed, when he said that fathers “love more dangerously” because their love is more “expectant, more instrumental” than a mother’s love.” To be sure, successful foster fathers, or foster dads, recognize that they need to utilize different abilities, skills, and resources when working with children in foster care…
Key issues include 1) Role Model; 2) Duties and Responsibilities; 3) Learning about Love
Foster Focus Magazine – Sadly, many children in foster care come from homes where violence reigned. Profanity, abuse, and harsh words filled the air that surrounded a child. Additionally, where love was to be a child’s cornerstone, there was neglect instead, as the basic needs of the child were not met, and where the emotion of love was instead substituted with just the opposite. As a result, it is important that Foster Fathers, or Foster Dads, treat all others with the utmost respect, kindness, and love…
Key issues include: 1) Work Ethic; 2) The Importance of Partnership
Baylor University Magazine – While many birth mothers reported satisfaction with their decision, the newest findings show that the more time that has passed since the birth mothers placed their child, the less overall satisfaction some birth mothers felt. Some prior research suggests birth mothers’ grief and adjustment attenuates with the passage of time. However, the researchers note “the findings of this analysis highlight the importance of not confusing birth mother’s satisfaction with her decision and the feelings of loss that she may feel about the placement.”
ACEs Connection – I am thrilled to see that the National Childhood Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) has just released an excellent new fact sheet that discusses the importance of quality supervision that organizations can provide to staff members at risk for secondary traumatic stress (STS). This fact sheet identifies the core competencies for supervisors providing formal support to workers who are exposed to secondary trauma. It is intended to be a developmental assessment for supervisors, to help identify areas of need, and to guide the user to resources to strengthen those areas of competency.
Many of the references used to support these competencies come from the field of Reflective Supervision, a model strongly supported by the Philadelphia ACE Task Force and the Health Federation of Philadelphia and viewed as an imperative component of trauma-informed practice…
Annie E Casey Foundation – Child welfare professionals play a critical role in helping children and families thrive. The resources listed below — selected by the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Child Welfare Strategy Group — are focused on helping the experts excel in this important work.
Check out: 1) Keeping the Conversation Alive; 2) Engaging Kinship Caregivers with Joseph Crumbley; 3) Every Kid Needs a Family: Advice to Caseworkers; 4) The Road to Adulthood; 5)National LGBTQ Curricula and Training Materials; 6) “It Matters a Lot”; 7) Treating Childhood Trauma; 8) Group Care for Children and Adolescents; 9) Addressing Secondary Trauma Stress Among Child Welfare Staff; 10) Strong Families
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Take care and keep up the Permanency work – Our children, youth, young adults, families, and communities are depending on it!