Greetings Permanency Champions!
Permanency Tip of the Week: Survival Mode for Our Youth: Relationship-Based Intervention Strategies
When we are considering how and when to intervene with our Youth, we need to focus first on helping to create with them a sense of emotional and physical safety. This may take a long time given the chronic survival state that many of our Youth have experienced. With these increased levels of safety, our Youth are able to begin to transition out of survival mode. As this happens, our Youth can begin to be more responsive to relationship-based interventions. Preparing our Youth for Permanency requires that our interventions focus on helping both our Youth and their permanent connections to individually and collectively learn how they can safely and successfully enter into and sustain these new healthy relationships.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: ‘I Didn’t Believe in Myself’: The Journey from Foster-Care Chaos to a Loving Family and UW’s Halls
Seattle Times – During that bleak period when she was bouncing from one shelter, group home or foster family to another, Marshelle Frelix did her best to keep up with school work. Surrounded by people she didn’t know, the 14-year-old would sit up reading until lights out. She’d wake before 5 to catch a bus for the long ride from Kirkland or Bothell or wherever the state had placed her, to the school she attended in Renton. But the constant disruption, uncertainty and loneliness wore her down. One month, she moved seven times.
“I thought, ‘I’m not going to make it to college,’ ” she recalled. “ ‘I’m not going to even finish high school.’ I didn’t believe in myself.” But Frelix didn’t give up — thanks in large part to a family that welcomed her into their hearts and a nonprofit called Treehouse that helped her get back on track academically and personally. “Treehouse is basically like another parent to me,” said Frelix, who is now 19 and was accepted at the University of Washington, Tacoma, after she graduated from Kentridge High School…
Permanency Related Articles:
CBS – Children’s Action Network – Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption – A Home For The Holiday – The 20TH Anniversary will be broadcast Friday, Dec. 21 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Host LL COOL J will introduce inspirational stories about children adopted from foster care, and Gwen Stefani, Train and Lukas Graham will each perform. Highlights from the Grove’s annual tree-lighting ceremony, including a performance by Andy Grammer, will be featured during the special.
For the last two decades, the award-winning special has raised awareness for the hundreds of thousands of children in foster care and changed the lives of a generation of foster children. The special features uplifting stories of adoption from foster care, enhanced with performances by today’s most popular artists…Many families that have adopted from foster care have been featured on A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS since it began. Over 90 percent of the adopted foster children featured on the show have graduated from high school and gone on to follow their dreams of college, advanced degrees and successful careers, including nursing, teaching, social work, legal counsel, business, construction, and the military. Many have started happy families of their own.
Currently, there are more than 438,000 children in foster care in the United States. The inspirational “Children Waiting” segment gives voice to these forgotten children by creating an intimate portrait of their hopes, their dreams and their wish for a “forever family.” The special is presented in association with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and the Children’s Action Network.
The Children’s Action Network was founded in 1990 by leaders in the entertainment industry in order to harness the power of the entertainment media on behalf of children. The special is a part of CAN’s National Adoption Campaign to raise awareness of the joys of adopting and to find homes for the children who are waiting.
#adoptionspecial #Home4Holidays #CBS
ACEs Connection – Mind Kind Mom – Healing from childhood abuse entails rewiring our brain from fear reactivity to one of feeling safe. This can happen through limbic revision. The rewiring of our limbic system, the part of the brain that controls our thoughts, memories, sensory inputs, and regulation of our hormones.
Chronic childhood trauma causes developmental damage to our limbic system which severely affects how we feel and behave even as adults. We are caught in a limbic loop. Our brain has been programmed to reactivity and our flight-fight-freeze response kicks in even when there is no danger. We perceive danger at any sight, smell or sound that reminds us of our past trauma…
Childhood trauma keeps us in a state of a high level of arousal and reactivity. We are easily triggered and are unable to calm down. In fact, life for us is one constant battle – hyper-alert and hyper-sensitive. We are unable to think clearly and rationally. We over-react or sometimes under-react, being numbed to the point of apathy…
Child Trends – November is National Adoption Month, a time to increase public awareness about children and youth in foster care and the need for adoptive parents. However, the public often hears two types of stories hyped in the media about foster care adoption: Either families adopt children and live happily ever after, or their lives end in tragedy. The reality for most families lies in between, but these extremes can discourage some parents from considering adoption, while others eagerly proceed, assuming love will be enough. Even for experienced parents, though, the trauma that children adopted from foster care may have experienced can present unique challenges. Further, some adoptive parents may also need support in addressing the effects of their own trauma histories—and the help that is needed might not be available or adequate.
Child Trends’ 2009 analyses of the National Survey of Adoptive Parents (NSAP) yielded the first nationally representative data on the population of adopted children. Although groundbreaking, the NSAP relied on the perspectives of adoptive parents and was limited to children in intact adoptive families. Almost a decade later, we still don’t know a lot about what happens to children after they are adopted, especially as they transition to adulthood…
Child Trends – Nationally, child welfare agencies remove more than 250,000 children from their homes each year as the result of abuse or neglect, and more than 400,000 children and youth are in out-of-home care at any time. Over the past two decades, child welfare agencies have strived to identify and engage relatives with whom children can be placed or maintain close family connections during their time in foster care. Many agencies have implemented relative search and engagement interventions, often referred to as family finding.
Prior to the Upfront Family Finding (UFF) pilot, Los Angeles County’s Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) focused its family finding efforts on children in care for long periods of time. With the UFF pilot, which started in October 2016, two local offices (Glendora and Santa Fe Springs) conducted family finding when children were first removed from their home, assigning cases to specialized workers who were part of the Permanency Partners Program (P3). P3 workers served children not initially placed with relatives, but the importance of family finding was emphasized to all staff in the pilot offices. The evaluation of the pilot sought to understand whether UFF resulted in more children placed with relatives, more stable relative placements, and more timely reunifications of children with their parents…
Prioritizing the identification and engagement of relatives at the initial stages of a case encouraged caseworkers to think creatively about how to engage relatives and what types of support relatives can provide to the child. The specialized workers were able to engage relatives and build rapport with families; this progress will serve to strengthen the relationship between local DCFS offices and the communities they serve, benefitting all children and families.
Child Welfare Adoption Triad – As no adoption experience is like any other, adoptees’ stories provide a unique perspective and insight into a lifelong journey with its blend of joys and challenges. Some of these narratives speak to the struggles and obstacles faced by many of our nation’s children and youth who are waiting to be placed in a safe and permanent home. The impact of past maltreatment and trauma, the effect of loss and grief, and thoughts and feelings of uncertainty and vulnerability are some of the recurring themes.
Successful adoption stories that tell us of children and youth who live meaningful, resilient lives—surrounded by their supportive adoptive families—can also offer a glimpse into the traits and characteristics of parents who are best equipped to ensure a positive outcome. The following articles and video highlight the diversity and complexity of the adoption experience from the eyes and voices of youth who were formerly in foster care, including Foster Club’s “Failed Adoption Was Not the End of My Story“.
3 Resources About Perspectives of Adoptees: 1) “Being Loved Has Taught Me How to Love” – By AdoptUSKids; 2) “Adoptive Family-Negotiating Normal” – By the Administration for Children and Families; 3) “Maci Kean PSA” – By the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
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