Permanency Tip of the Week: Independence vs Inter-Dependence – What Should be the Goal?
Programs abound that focus on “Independent” living skills based on the premise that our Youth in out of home care need to be prepared to function as adults in the world. It is critically important that our youth learn how to function in the world as adults; however, how many of us function independently in the world? Success in the world is much more closely linked with being able to function inter-dependently whether that is at home, in the workplace, or in the community. Skills such as laundry, budgeting, job interviewing etc. are all important; however, let’s remember that being able to collaborate with others is the true ticket to success in the world as an adult.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Maci Finds Permanency Through DTFA and WWK
“Even if I wanted to be adopted, who would adopt a 17-year-old?” Maci was adopted at 17 through the work of @DTFA Wendy’s Wonderful Kids and she is an amazing spokesperson for older youth and their need for families.
Permanency Related Articles:
Sharon Rozia – 1) Nature and Nurture are Siamese twins. We cannot change who we are genetically, but our environment can either help us blossom to our fullest or limit us in the development of our true selves. 2) Adoption built families are like all other families but have additional specific tasks attached to it; I call them the “and alsos”! 3) Children will change us; expose us to new and interesting experiences and offer us a unique chance to grow and stretch. 4) Parents are the leaders of the dance in a family and must not give up that role but can occasionally share the role with other adults they trust and even with the child as they mature. 5) Everything that happens to us and for our children, except death, is “for now”. Don’t project too far into the future. 6) When you adopt trans-racially, you become a non-white family. (Usually, it is white parents adopting children of color.) Our children of a different race need role models of their own race to develop a strong racial identity. 7) All parents wait a long time for a “report card” and any thank yous. The gifts we get by being touched by adoption may not come for many years. 8) Adoption today has so many books, magazines, and conferences available to all members of the adoptive community and taking part is extremely helpful over the years. 9) This adoption journey is the hardest, the most joyful, the most growth producing, and constantly changing experience!
The Chronicle of Social Change, a national news site focused on children, youth and families, just released an ambitious data and reporting project looking at where kids go when they’re removed from home. “Who Cares: A National Count of Foster Homes and Families” yielded significant findings about states’ struggles to recruit and retain foster homes, and their increased reliance on relatives and group homes.
A few highlights: 1) The five-year trend upward in national foster care numbers may be declining. 2) At least 15 states lost foster homes between 2017 to 2018. 3) The Rise of Relatives: Systems are increasingly reliant on relatives to care for foster children, but often are not compensating them to do so. 4) Persistent Reliance on Group Homes: In the face of a new federal law calling for reduced use of so-called “congregate care” facilities, 31 states have placed a higher percent of foster youth in these types of placements in 2016 than they did in 2012…
Healio Psychiatric Annals – Youth with a history of institutional rearing assigned to early foster care intervention had less problematic trajectories of psychopathology from childhood to adolescence, study findings revealed. “Early foster care placement has been shown to partially mitigate the negative psychiatric outcomes of institutionally reared children,” Mark Wade, Ph.D., division of developmental medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and colleagues wrote. “Little is known about the mental health trajectories of institutionalized children, in part because there are so few longitudinal studies in this field…”
Although the care as usual and foster care groups showed increasing divergence in externalizing psychopathology factors over time, demonstrating that the foster care intervention lead to fewer problems than care as usual by age 16 years, the results showed no internalizing differences.
“This study provides strong evidence that the beneficial effects of foster care grow incrementally over time and may promote healthy adaptation during a formative period of neurophysiological reorganization,” the investigators wrote. “Elucidating how these neurophysiological systems map onto long-term trajectories of psychopathology is a crucial area for future research…”
ACES Connection – When we think of creating family legacies and preserving family traditions, we focus on positive connections and joyous occasions. But often joy is only part of the family story. Pain, while often ignored or even denied, can be passed down from generation to generation.
This legacy of pain, coined Intergenerational trauma (IGT) after World War II, results from a family member’s personal trauma, such as 1) Cultural attacks like the Holocaust or even 9-11; 2) Extreme poverty; 3) A natural disaster; 4) Violent crime; 5) A car accident or unexpected tragedy
Left unhealed, the wounds of traumatic events cause pain and produce ongoing, devastating generational family marks. Several studies show that the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors suffer anxiety, generalized fear, behavioral problems, and depression. These symptoms reveal that the trauma experiences of parents and grandparents have far-reaching and long-lasting effects on those who did not experience the original trauma firsthand. Read more at familytrauma.com.
At Foster Care Alumni of America, we believe in all people from foster care. That is why we launched a scholarship program for foster care alumni 25 and over, to help fill a gap in educational opportunities for older alumni.
There are an estimated 12 million foster care alumni in the U.S. However, very few–only 3 to 10 percent–graduate from college. The majority of scholarships for foster care alumni limit selection to students younger than 25 and do not fund graduate programs. Thus, once alumni turn 25, they find very few resources to help pay for the rising costs to continue their education…To help reduce some of the financial strain alumni experience, we intend to award scholarships worth $2,000 to two qualified foster care alumni this year.
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Take care and keep up the Permanency work – Our children, youth, young adults, families, and communities are depending on it!