Permanency Tip of the Week: Responding to: “Everyone Else Has Given Up on Me, Will You Do the Same?”
The personal reality for many of our Youth has been that people have explicitly and/or implicitly promised them that they will never give up on them or get rid of them. For some of our Youth, this painful experience began with their birth family. For others, the painful experience started once they entered foster care and was conveyed to them by people such as caseworkers, caregivers, providers, and teachers. Even if we personally did not create any of these painful experiences, we need to step up and own the fact that the “System,” that we are a part of, played a central role in the creation and replication of these experiences. We can help them grieve these losses and in doing so play a critical role in helping our Youth to experience a relationship based on honesty and integrity that will help prepare them for the Permanent relationships that we will help find with them.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Finding Home: A Foster Youth Story
PBS – Maryvale – We want to invite you to view Finding Home: A Foster Youth Story premiering tonight, 8 p.m., on PBS. The film features former Maryvale resident, Glorianna, a 20-year-old artist who struggles to live on her own after spending 12 years in residential care. She finds herself moving to a transitional living apartment following years of living in a residential care facility with hundreds of other girls. Watch as she reveals a heartbreaking, yet positively life-changing, series of events that eventually takes her to the High Desert.
The film also features Summer, a 17-year old transgender girl who grew up in foster homes. She is an eternal optimist and although she has been dealt multiple blows, she has not lost her inner-strength or determination. Her goal is to be adopted by a family who accepts her.
Jaloni and Kalonji, are 19-year-old twin brothers born into a large family living in extreme poverty. The boys were placed in foster care at age 12 and after numerous placements, found a loving and supportive foster family. Thank you to PBS SoCal and director Pamela Tom for shedding light on the struggles, and triumphs, of today’s foster youth
Permanency Related Articles:
A nice interview with Allison Maxon who served as a Senior Consultant on the upcoming major motion picture – Instant Family. The official movie trailer is also included.
Child Welfare Information Gateway – National Adoption Month is an initiative of the Children’s Bureau with a goal to increase national awareness and bring attention to the need for permanent families for children and youth in the U.S. foster care system.
Each year, we focus our outreach and awareness-raising efforts around a new adoption-related theme to help support professionals working each day to find permanency for children and youth in foster care in their community. This year’s National Adoption Month theme is “In Their Own Words: Lifting Up Youth Voices.” It is well known that teenagers are less likely to be adopted, often because of their age, and are much more likely to age out of foster care without strong or stable family support. Securing lifelong connections for teens in foster care, both legally and emotionally, is a critical component in determining their future achievement, health, and well-being…
NSW Government – Family and Community Services (FACS) – Shining a light on good practice tells the real stories of children, young people, families and their work with FACS child protection practitioners. These are stories of strength, partnership, and perseverance that rarely get shared with a wider audience.
Shining a light gives these stories a platform to be shared and celebrated. For families they are a source of pride and a testament to others that lives can change. For practitioners, they are a place to model and praise the best of their work – which is tenacious, skilled and compassionate.
Each video demonstrates one of the principles from the NSW Practice Framework. Culture is ever-present; Language impacts on practice; Critique leads to improved practice and Ethics and values are integral to good practice. At their heart, all of the videos demonstrate the principle of Relationships create change and restore dignity.
People Magazine – Amelia Franck Meyer knows the importance of family. Franck Meyer is the CEO of Alia, a national non-profit organization working to overhaul foster care with a different model that keeps kids with their families. “The longing to be with our families is in all of us,” Franck Meyer, who is one of PEOPLE’s 25 Women Changing the World, says in this week’s issue. “It’s a human truth.”
Working in child welfare for 30 years, “I became deeply committed to getting kids home,” she says. For much of her career in the foster care system, “We were discharging children on their 18th birthday to homeless shelters. So I became really laser-focused on how we get kids to permanency. The common folklore was, ‘These kids can’t live in a permanent place.’ I just didn’t believe it.”
Franck Meyer, 51, says the harm that happens when children are moved from one foster home to another can create lifelong damage. “A normal, healthy response to having multiple disconnections and caregivers is that the brain will diminish their capacity to trust others and to connect,” she explains. “We can’t just put kids with people and tell them, ‘You can trust this person.’ “…
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) – Juvenile probation professionals know better than most the multitude and complexity of issues our justice-involved youth are facing, and what puts these young men and women at risk for violence. Get IN Chicago, as a youth violence prevention funder working to support the most effective and promising interventions in Chicago, wanted to better understand the youth
Toward that end we commissioned Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago to conduct a study of youth entering probation in Chicago, which included identifying characteristics of youth involved in firearms violence while on probation. By examining aspects of their developmental history prior to entering probation, and reporting on their outcomes during adolescence and emerging adulthood, a clear set of commonalities emerged.
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Take care and keep up the Permanency work – Our children, youth, young adults, families, and communities are depending on it!