Permanency Tip of the Week: Helping the Youth Develop the Skills to Connect Permanently
A critical component to helping Permanency to develop, grow and sustain itself is the capacity of the individuals involved to display positive interpersonal skills within the relationship. For many of our Youth, this can be a critical area of deficiency since these skills are largely developed through years of experience. Our role in addressing this potential deficit is to provide repeated learning opportunities for our Youth to both experience and practice these skills within safe and stable relationships. Adults in these Permanency relationships must be attuned to the fact that this relationship will likely not be reciprocal and/or balanced for a while (which is normal in many intact family relationships). This is not because the Youth does not want this type of relationships. Rather, it likely will be a result of them not knowing HOW to have this type of relationship. By normalizing this challenge for both the Adults and Youth, we can provide the Permanency relationship with the time and space needed to develop, grow and sustain itself.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Not Perfect—But Happy
AdoptUSKids – Kristen Brock shared her adoption story with us in a short note that began: Imaginary dating profile: Divorced, single working mom with teen son, adding two tweens with trauma history to her family. Little time for socialization, daily schedule always a surprise.
We were amused and intrigued, and asked Kristen to share more of what she calls a “long and sometimes winding” adoption journey with us:
1) What made you decide to adopt from foster care? 2) From the start, you were committed to adopting older siblings. Why? 3) Unfortunately, it didn’t work out exactly that way. 4) How did you help your sons adjust to your home and their new lives? 5) What else has adopting from foster care taught you? 6) What have been the greatest rewards?
It has been an interesting, heartbreaking, roller-coaster ride! There were times when I wondered why I took this path. But now the really rough days seem miles away. The boys have made amazing progress in school and in healing. There is no such thing as a perfect family, but we are a happy family.
Permanency Related Articles:
Dayton Daily News – Returning the Favor is an American reality web television series on Facebook Watch that premiered in 2017. It chronicles the travels of Mike Rowe throughout the United States in search of people who give back to their communities. The show’s motto? “Because one good turn deserves another.”
Rowe visited the eight-acre On the Rise Farm, which serves at-risk youth in Clark County struggling with family, social, educational and behavioral issues. On a daily basis, children and teens cook, clean, care for animals, sew and garden, according to the nonprofit’s website. Tutors also are provided by the Wittenberg Community Service Program, and help the children with their homework…
“Mike and the gang swing into Springfield, Ohio, to return the favor to Debbie McCullough and Cathy Tofstad — two best friends who run the On the Rise Farm, a local nonprofit organization serving at-risk youth in Clark County through hard work, compassion and work ethic,” the show description stated.
Medium.com – Dr. John DeGarmo – The baby lay screaming in the hospital crib, its tiny frame racked with pain. Powerless to help, the nurse tried to comfort the baby as best she could. Two more babies in the hospital were suffering with the same condition, yet there was little she could do. The newborn baby was going through withdrawal from drugs ― drugs transmitted by her mother during pregnancy. Known as neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS, these withdrawal symptoms can take the form of seizures, elevated heart and respiratory rate, difficulty in sleeping and eating, and extreme bouts of irritability, and even problems in growth development…
“While there are indications that a recent surge in opioid use and other substance abuse has led to an increase in the overall number of children entering foster care, it is far from clear that this is the clear driving factor,” said Daniel Heimpel, executive director of Fostering Media Connections. “When it comes to babies, it is important that there are treatment facilities that help mothers recover from addiction, which are also equipped to provide medical services to substance exposed newborns…”
Chris Carmichael, President of Royal Family Kids, has seen the opioid crisis affect the children from foster care who participate with Royal Family Kids camps across the nation, “In the past year, we have seen a dramatic rise in the number of children entering foster care, largely because of the current opioid crisis. The foster care system is already strained, and this surge of children entering the system is very alarming. Many of these children are addicted to opiates and suffer from a variety of trauma-based disorders. We have incorporated new training for our volunteers to be able to work with children suffering from this crisis, but we need more volunteers than ever.”
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption – Wendy’s Wonderful Kids – We first learned about our daughter, Fatima, in the autumn of 2015. We had been in the search process for more than a year and we were becoming very discouraged. We often heard we lived too far away for family visits and/or caseworker visits. When we received Fatima’s profile, we learned that there was more to her situation than the profile was able to convey and that she was considered a case that required “special consideration. “To be frank, Fatima’s profile was pretty scary…
The day I first met my daughter was her 10th birthday. We played several games of Uno, and while she has no memory of this meeting, I’ll never forget it. We started visits in May and she moved into our home on July 18th. In the two years since she’s been ours, we have spent a great deal of time trying to find the right kind of therapy to help her deal with the trauma she has experienced. We have worked with her doctor to take her off of medications that she didn’t need. We have become friends with others in similar situations. It has been an uphill journey, but a journey we wouldn’t trade, as we have been making it together.
Today, Fatima is a wonderful young lady who does well in school, is great with small children and animals, loves to play basketball, dreams of being a teacher and begrudgingly plays the saxophone. She participates in a singing group that is affiliated with the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra and loves all seafood. As a family, we love to travel. We take an annual Thanksgiving trip to Bethany Beach, DE and are planning a large-scale road trip for this summer…
Child Welfare Capacity Building Collaborative – This guide focuses on challenges that state child welfare agencies face when working with youth. To address these challenges, the guide presents the Youth Welfare approach, which outlines how agencies can shift from a child-focused system to a youth-focused system by implementing practices that support youth and their needs. Agencies and others working with youth in care can access the complete guide or download the tools, which include a graphic and several exercises to build staff knowledge and skills in youth welfare.
1) Embracing a “Youth Welfare” System: A Guide to Capacity Building; 2) The Parameters of Youth Welfare; 3) Shifting Our Lens From Child Welfare to Youth Welfare Graphic; 4) Providing Health-Care Services for Youth in Care Along the Good-Better-Best Continuum; 5) A Youth Welfare Approach to Employment; 5) A Youth Welfare Approach to Financial Literacy; 6) Blank Worksheet: The Good-Better-Best Continuum of Service Provision
Fostering A Difference – The reality of day-to-day life for a foster child is difficult for most of us to grasp. This video by, “Together We Rise,” does a good job of portraying what it’s like for most foster kids.
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Take care and keep up the Permanency work – Our children, youth, young adults, families, and communities are depending on it!