Permanency Tip of the Week: Responding to: “I Don’t Need Permanency, I Can Do This Alone”
Sometimes as professionals and/or parents, we feel that we know what is best for children. Often, the children do not feel the same way. This can be especially true when providing Permanency services for our Youth in out of home care. After repeated and/or traumatic losses, one of the common survival/coping strategies employed by our Youth is to avoid entering new Permanency-based relationships. This strategy can be the source of great sadness, frustration, and confusion for the adults, which represents a powerful window into the exact feelings that our Youth may be experiencing. Use this parallel experience to reach out and validate the Youth. Through this validation, you can help the Youth to feel supported and cared for which in turn can help them begin to be open to the possibility of Permanency.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: An Adoption Story – The Countz Family
Walden Family Services – In the 10 years Walden has been a full-service adoption agency we have learned that all adoptions, like all children, are unique. To ensure that they thrive, each prospective family is paired with a social worker to assist with individualized matching and training, guaranteeing that each child (including 53 placed in 2017) is living in a healthy, happy home ready to help them heal.
Melissa and Eric Countz joined the Walden family six years ago while searching for children in whom to pour their medical background, experience, and passion for children with special medical needs. Since joining Walden, the Countzes have made a strong impression on staff for their remarkable level of commitment and competency in parenting children with high medical needs. The Countzes have adopted two medically fragile children, giving them the specialized care, they need as well as a loving forever home. When sharing her Walden experience, Melissa expresses deep gratitude for Walden’s staff, social workers, and the invaluable registered nurse from Walden that helps her navigate and manage the medical needs of her children.
Permanency Related Articles:
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption – NVIDIA – It was a sad time. My wife and I had tried to add to our family without success. It wasn’t an immediate decision, but we eventually decided to pursue adoption. From that moment, everything in our life changed. At last, we could see the light at the end of a tunnel. We went through background checks, home study, filled out a million forms, created an adoption profile and waited to be selected. Every day, we’d jump at unexpected calls, and we’d be upset when the agency we were working with told us that we hadn’t yet been selected.
The “call” came five months later in January 2013, letting us know that we had been selected. Even more surprising, our daughter was going to be born the next day! We raced to the airport and flew to Los Angeles. We met our daughter’s birth mother and spent the night in the hospital. The next morning, Leah was born. The universe shined upon us that day. We are forever grateful to Leah’s birth parents and recently met her birth mother for an amazing afternoon together. Being a father is the most rewarding experience of my life, and my family and I are truly blessed through the miracle of adoption.
But, I know we were lucky. This all happened before NVIDIA offered employee adoption benefits, and we could afford it. I wanted to make sure all our employees could share in the joy of parenthood regardless of how they choose to build their family. I wanted to be that advocate for NVIDIA employees…I’m incredibly proud that my company supports all families and that we strive to do so in an equitable manner. Learn how the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption can help your organization become an adoption-friendly workplace.
Healio – Psychiatric Annals – “Children placed in foster care endure a number of disadvantages, both because of the maltreatment they have endured and other risk factors associated with their placement, including poverty, parental drug, and alcohol abuse, neighborhood disadvantage, and epigenetics. Therefore, it is perhaps unsurprising that children in foster care experience more depression/anxiety, ADHD, and behavioral/conduct problems than children living with two biological parents and children living with never-married biological single mothers…”
Analysis adjusting for various child and household characteristics indicated children placed in foster care had a higher risk for mental health problems, including ADD/ADHD, depression, anxiety and behavioral or conduct problems, compared with children living in all other types of households, such as households with married biological parents or single mothers or fathers.
Mindful – In the frantic pace of life, it can be difficult to keep up—and sometimes when we make mistakes or we feel we don’t work hard enough, we leave ourselves in the dust by thinking things like “you’re not good enough.” If we’re not careful, a few harsh words here and there can evolve into excessive self-criticism.
This short animation from the London School of Life suggests another way to approach those negative storylines we jog through our minds, as well as the real setbacks we face—like adopting a kinder mindset toward ourselves when we fail, accepting our personal histories that we cannot change, and understanding that our worth is not only contingent on our achievements. Mindfulness allows us to see how we respond to ourselves, and work toward a bond that’s healthier and happier. Take a few minutes and try this practice: “5 Steps to a Better Relationships with Yourself” from Mindful magazine.
National Child Welfare Workforce Institute – This list of resources supports child welfare staff and leaders as they confront implicit bias, implement system changes, and work to achieve racial equity within their organizations and across systems. The nine categories contain tools, guides, assessments, and curricula which are used to increase understanding, facilitate dialogue, deliver training, analyze current policies, and implement sustainable strategies. If there are any resources we can help you find or you have resources to add to this collection, please contact Eden Abraham.
Chronicle of Social Change – The House and Senate wrapped up a deal on a sprawling bill meant to assist states in fighting the opioid epidemic, which claimed 50,000 lives last year and has contributed to a five-year surge in the number of youth in foster care.
The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, which was finalized while all political eyes were on the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh, projects to cost around $8 billion, an amount some skeptics of the bill say will not have enough impact. But it does include some provisions specifically of interest to the child welfare and juvenile justice communities: 1) Medicaid Loophole Closed for Foster Youth; 2) Medicaid Management for Incarcerated Youth; 3) Family-Focused Residential Treatment; 4) Family Reunification; 5) Safe Care Plans
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Take care and keep up the Permanency work – Our children, youth, young adults, families, and communities are depending on it!