Permanency Tip of the Week: Survival Mode for Our Youth – Why Does it Happen?
The thoughts, emotions, and behaviors exhibited by our Youth in out of home care may appear at times to us and others as confusing, bizarre and excessive until we apply the proper lens through which to view them. Too often, when we seek an explanation of why our Youth’s reactions, we limit ourselves to the present place and time. A fresh and potentially more accurate lens is to see them as a manifestation of our Youth’s continued functioning in Survival Mode. Our Youth have successfully survived every life experience, no matter how severe, and this 100% success rate serves to hard wire in the strategies employed by our Youth. As our Youth begins to experience Permanency, they must transition out of Survival Mode as their existence is no longer imminently at risk. Next week we will address the internal world of our Youth.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: CW39 Houston – National Adoption Month
Arms Wide Adoption Services’ – Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiter, Chelsey Castro, was featured on CW39 Houston on Thursday, November 1, 2018, as a way to kick off National Adoption Month. Chelsey is joined by Alex and his adoptive dad. They talk more about the joys of adoption, while Chelsey talks more about what it means to be a licensed foster or adoptive family.
Permanency Related Articles:
FosterClub offers a great online resource for families, Helping Foster Youth Through the Holidays. It includes essays from foster care alums and tip sheets about supporting youth during what can be a difficult time. Though the resources are written with foster families in mind, there are good nuggets for parents who adopt as well.
Holidays should be filled with happiness and joy. Unfortunately, for some kids in foster care, this is not the case. Happiness and joy are sometimes replaced by anxiety and frustration. This page provides information to prevent that from happening.
In this course, you can expect to learn: 1) Understand a foster youth’s complex perspective and emotions regarding the holidays Identify signs of grief a child may exhibit; 2) Build awareness about the incorporation of traditions and customs; 3) Name strategies to help support young people through the holidays.
The Post (Athens, GA) – Baylee DeMuth: When I was a child, a part of me didn’t believe I was actually adopted. It wasn’t because my parents kept it from me or that I thought I looked anything like either of them, but because ever since I can remember, they were my “real” parents, and nobody could tell me otherwise.
My parents, Dennis and Laura, adopted me when I was four months old from Chongqing, China on Feb. 1, 1999. I remember when I was a little girl getting ready for bed, I would always ask my dad to tell me The Baylee Story, the story of my adoption. I would get so excited, probably because I was a vain child, but also because it blew my tiny mind that my parents flew halfway across the world just for me…
Trevor Colgan: Often times, people will tell me I look like my mom. I’ll take the compliment, smile, and laugh. I laugh not because I wouldn’t want to look like my mom, but because of how ironic it is for me to look like my mom. Probably because she isn’t my birth mom. But, she’s my mom. And I’m damn lucky to have her, because as luck has it, she’s the one who found me; I’m adopted.
My mom, Buffy Fox, has been my rock for years. She’s been with me through thick and thin. She held me as I cried when my dad died some eight years ago. She’ll always be the shoulder I cry on whenever I’m missing him or my grandfather just a little too much…
The Guardian – What’s your poison, people sometimes ask, but Gabor Maté doesn’t want to ask what my poison is, he wants to ask how it makes me feel. Whatever it is I’m addicted to, or ever have been addicted to, it’s not what it is but what it does – to me, to you, to anyone. He believes that anything we’ve ever craved helped us escape emotional pain. It gave us peace of mind, a sense of control and a feeling of happiness.
And all of that, explains Maté, reveals a great deal about addiction, which he defines as any behaviour that gives a person temporary relief and pleasure, but also has negative consequences, and to which the individual will return time and again. At the heart of Maté’s philosophy is the belief that there’s no such thing as an “addictive personality”. And nor is addiction a “disease”. Instead, it originates in a person’s need to solve a problem: a deep-seated problem, often from our earliest years that was to do with trauma or loss…And when readers tell him – sometimes accusingly, sometimes gratefully – that his work humanizes addicts, he can only answer: addicts are human. The only question for him is, why has it taken us so long to realize that?
Dr. John DeGarmo – As a foster parent, you NEED to take care of yourself. Last month, we looked at three things that every foster parent needs to do. This month, we look at three MORE things that foster parents absolutely must do! If you do not, all that you do will suffer.
1) Patience is a Virtue – When we lose our control or lose our patience, with a child, we lose control over the situation itself. 2) Don’t Take it Personally – There have been those times when some of the children living with my family have been disrespectful to me, have called me every name in the book, and have been downright mean spirited towards my wife and me…Yet, as a foster parent, it is important for all of us to remember that the child is most likely not attacking you personally. 3) Your Own Support Group – I have said it over and over again; no one truly understands a foster parent like another foster parent. That’s why it is important to surround yourself with a support group of fellow foster parents, especially when you are feeling burned out.
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) – Minority youth are overrepresented at nearly every level of the juvenile justice system. Officials across the United States struggle to reduce what is often referred to as disproportionate minority contact, or DMC. Read all of the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange’s ongoing, in-depth coverage of DMC here, including the stories of the youth affected by it.
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Take care and keep up the Permanency work – Our children, youth, young adults, families, and communities are depending on it!