Permanency Tip of the Week: Why Permanency Work is so Hard and so Important
With Labor Day being celebrated this week, it is a good time to step back and reflect on the incredible challenges and critical importance associated with our Permanency work. No matter if a person’s life is full of successes, setbacks, or a combination of the two, a sense of Permanency is among the most important factors in influencing both how the person responses to them as well as what are the ultimate outcomes. When we face challenges in our Permanency work related to staffing, funding, and caseloads, let us never lose sight that there is nothing more important in our work serving at-risk children, youth and families than to provide a safe, permanent, and loving home for all. Thank you for all the work that you do!
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Cory’s Journey to Finding His Forever Family
Casey Family Programs – Cory Kercher was 17, just days away from aging out of the foster care system. Watch this video to follow Cory’s journey to finding his forever family. Runtime: 14:13
Permanency Related Articles:
Annie E Casey Foundation – Children’s interactions with caregivers shape their understanding of themselves and the world around them. Kids who experience abuse, neglect and loss in their early relationships often approach subsequent relationships assuming others will hurt them. And when children experience loving, supportive and nurturing relationships, they are able to process their trauma and thrive, according to research.
Unfortunately, interactions with the child welfare system can compound trauma and loss in young people — and at a time when they are most in need of positive, supportive relationships and environments. “When you interact with children and teens who have experienced repeated harm,” writes clinicians Margaret Blaustein and Kristine Kinniburgh of the Justice Resource Institute, “it’s important to remind yourself that at any given moment the child or teen may be interacting not just with you, but with every person who has ever hurt, rejected or abandoned him or her in the past…” Developed with support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, ARC Reflections teaches caregivers about trauma’s effects on kids and helps them better support young people in their care who have experienced trauma and loss…
“I have never seen a child who does not desire some level of connection,” Kinniburgh says. “These moments of connection are usually grounded in things that all kids want to experience. They want caregivers to respond positively and recognize the parts of them that are competent.”
News Center Maine – A camp in Belgrade for siblings who don’t get to see each other every day just wrapped up this month. Along the shores of Salmon Lake, Emilienne and Madeline Bouchard get to spend an entire week with not just each other, but also with their younger brother and sister. An important bonding experience at Camp To Belong because the four siblings were separated when they went into foster care six years ago. Today they are lucky if they get to see each other once a month.
“Get to see them everyday and then suddenly we just weren’t allowed to and camp, being here has allowed us to see each other all day, every day for a whole week, which is way more than I ever thought we’d ever get when we were taken away from each other,” said Emilienne Bouchard…Camp To Belong has locations all over the world, where more than 10,000 brothers and sisters have had the chance to spend a week together. Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services pre-approves all of the siblings that come to the Maine camp that is in its 14th summer…”When I’m nineteen I definitely hope to be a counselor because camp to belong is my life,” said Madeline. “I can’t imagine life without it.”
Sharon Roszia – Rituals and ceremonies are symbolic forms of communication that incorporate participant’s histories and traditions. Some like Christmas, anniversaries, weddings and funerals are shared across families and cultures; others are more individual and private. Some are celebrated yearly and some only once.
Rituals and ceremonies function as benchmarks, guideposts, and bridges for events in people’s lives. For foster and adoptive families, rituals and ceremonies help clarify and maintain relationships in open adoptions. Ceremonies have also helped children and their families make sense of difficult life transitions and can assist with creating stability for families who are confronting heavy emotional turmoil. They can assist in expressing and releasing such emotions as grief, anger and confusion toward a situation or person; create containers for memories so they do not obstruct efforts to create a new family; change the environment in which a family functions; and allows for acceptance of new rules, roles and relationships. Rituals and ceremonies are particularly relevant to children in transition and in building new family attachments…
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange — At Crossroads Juvenile Detention Center in Brooklyn, barbed wire and tall unclimbable fences enclose the housing building, basketball courts and outdoor areas, like in every jail or prison. Detention hardware and security cameras are all over the place, like in every jail or prison. Yet, says the facility director, Louis L. Watts, Crossroads is anything but a jail or a prison…
As part of a campaign to highlight the role of the city Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) in the implementation of raise the age, legislation raising the age of criminal responsibility to 18, city officials gave news media a rare tour of the facility, offering an insight into what New York’s juvenile corrections will look like in the future. The state will now divert young offenders away from prisons and jails where they’ve been sent for decades and to alternative-to-detention facilities like Crossroads. Youth under 18 will now be processed through Family Court rather than the criminal courts, offering them a better chance to turn their life around.
“Juveniles should be treated as juveniles. Young people should be treated as young people,” said David Hansell, ACS commissioner, during the tour of the center. “We in New York are on the cusp of one of the most far-reaching and progressive reforms in juvenile justice in decades and that’s raise the age.”
Thinking Across Generations: Unique Contributions of Maternal Early Life and Prenatal Stress to Infant Physiology
National Center for Biotechnology Information – Respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) is a parasympathetic-mediated biomarker of self-regulation linked to lifespan mental and physical health outcomes. Intergenerational impacts of mothers’ exposure to prenatal stress have been demonstrated, but evidence for biological embedding of maternal preconception stress, including adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), on infant RSA is lacking. We examine the independent effects of maternal ACEs and prenatal stress on infant RSA, seeking to broaden the understanding of the earliest origins of mental and physical health risk…
Infants’ RSA is affected by mothers’ life course experiences of stress, with ACEs predicting a lower set point and prenatal stress dampening recovery from stress. For prenatal stress but not ACEs, patterns vary across sex. Findings underscore that stress-reducing interventions for pregnant women or those considering pregnancy may lead to decreased physical and mental health risk across generations
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Take care and keep up the Permanency work – Our children, youth, young adults, families, and communities are depending on it!