Permanency Tip of the Week: Helping the Youth Develop a Belief in the Concept of Permanency
The second component of a Youth’s journey towards Permanency involves the development of a personal belief both in the concept of Permanency in general and more importantly in Permanency happening for themselves. Through a slow and steady exposure to Permanency centered words and actions by their potential Permanency figures, our Youth can begin to see and feel the positive impact that Permanency. Examples of these can be picking them up for a visit on time, calling them when you told them you would call, doing the activity that you promised would happen, sharing how they continue to positively impact your life by being themselves, and potentially most important is to apologize and holding yourself accountable for mistakes you make. Our Youth’s belief in people and Permanency can be easily shaken, so be alert to this and remember to validate and support them even more during these difficult times.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Olivia’s Adoption Day
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption – Wendy’s Wonderful Kids – “On Olivia’s adoption day, you could not wipe the smile off of her face. She’d been promised adoption a couple times previously, but it hadn’t worked out. This time it was for real. She came home with us to her very own room and wanted to immediately hang her new initials on the wall. She changed not only her last name with her adoption, but her first name as well. She felt like a whole new person.”
Permanency Related Articles:
Cambridge University Press – Identifying optimal out-of-home placements for child welfare-involved youth is challenging. Examples of youth recovering within each “out-of-home” placement type (foster, relative, residential) are evident, as are examples of youth who are deteriorating. The heterogeneity in developmental history and current functioning of youth makes blanket policies regarding placement unwise. Examination of developmental heterogeneity and functioning of youth in the welfare system can provide insights about factors influencing outcomes, thereby informing practice, program and policy. We explore whether current relational health (connectedness) promotes positive outcomes for child welfare-involved youth while controlling for developmental risk (history of adverse, and lack of relationally positive, experiences).
Clinicians at 19 organizations serving child welfare-involved youth used a neurodevelopmentally informed approach to intervention, the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT), which includes metrics to assess the developmental timing of children’s risk, “connectedness” and neurodevelopmental functioning (e.g., sleep, arousal, cortical control). Data-driven statistical techniques were used to produce stable, generalizable estimates. Risk during the perinatal (0–2 months) period significantly predicted children’s functioning; current relational health predicted outcomes more strongly. Although early life developmental risk has a persistent effect on functioning, relationally supportive contexts may mitigate this risk. Improving relational contexts of child welfare-involved youth, regardless of placement type, is key.
Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) – This report presents evidence for HOPE (Health Outcomes of Positive Experiences) based on newly released, compelling data that reinforce the need to promote positive experiences for children and families in order to foster healthy childhood development despite the adversity common in so many families.
These data: 1. Establish a spirit of hope and optimism and make the case that positive experiences have lasting impact on human development and functioning, without ignoring well-documented concerns related to toxic environments. 2. Demonstrate, through science, the powerful contribution of positive relationships and experiences to the development of healthy children and adults. 3. Describe actions related to current social norms regarding parenting practices, particularly those associated with healthy child development. These actions are based on data that suggest that American adults are willing to intervene personally to prevent child abuse and neglect. 4. Reflect upon the positive returns on investment that our society can expect as we make changes in policies, practices, and future research to support positive childhood environments that foster the healthy development of children.
Thus, this report contributes to a growing body of work – the Science of Thriving – that encourages us to better understand and support optimal child health and development.
The Hill – State and local governments are poised to undergo a major shift in the way they think about at-risk children, thanks to bipartisan federal legislation aimed at encouraging families to stay together and out of the foster care system. The Family First Prevention Services Act, a provision within the Bipartisan Budget Act that President Trump signed into law in February, would give states incentives to keep children with parents or relatives, rather than immediately transferring them to foster care or the state’s care.
The bill is the latest step in a long-running debate over whether it is best to keep families together, as parents struggle through addiction or other problems, or to remove children from homes where they may be at risk. Some child welfare experts say the program could put more children at risk, and many say it marks a significant departure that will challenge state programs that are already strapped for cash.
The measure is “the most significant change in federal child-welfare funding in half a century,” said Neil Skene, a special assistant to the director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. He said the transition to the new system “is going to be difficult for a lot of states…”
Witness LA (CA) – According to a recent series of research briefs on youth and young adult homelessness by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, in the U.S., 1 in 10 young adults, or 3.5 million young people ages 18-25, experience homelessness in a year. Of that 3.5 million (73%) are homeless for one month or more. For those young adults, homelessness means a variety of experiences, ranging from sleeping outdoors, or in abandoned buildings, or in emergency shelters, to sleeping in cars, or “couch surfing.”
Some groups of young adults are more likely to find themselves homelessness than others. That “more likely” list includes LGBTQ young people, those of color, young adults who are unmarried parents, and those who don’t have a GED or high school diploma. Yet most dramatically, nearly half of the young adults who experience homelessness have been locked up—in their youth or in young adulthood, either in the juvenile or the adult justice system.
A new report released earlier this week by the Coalition for Juvenile Justice looks at the worrisome intersection between the justice system and homelessness, particularly for young adults…So, yes, some progress is being made. But, in California, as in most other states in the union, there is still much left to be done when it comes to helping transition age youth avoid homelessness—especially if they’ve had brushes with the justice system.
Child Welfare Information Gateway – This bulletin is designed to help child welfare professionals promote kinship care by providing kinship caregivers with information, referral, and support services to ensure the safety, permanency, and well-being of children in their care. Information about trends in kinship care, caseworker and caregiver training, and examples of successful State and local kinship care programs are included.
We also recommend the following Information Gateway publications:
- Kinship Caregivers and the Child Welfare System
- Understanding Child Welfare and the Courts
- Placement of Children with Relatives
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Take care and keep up the Permanency work – Our children, youth, young adults, families, and communities are depending on it!