Greetings Permanency Champions,
Permanency Tip of the Week: Permanency/Adoption Readiness – Last Minute Doubts/Crises
Once the Youth and family have worked out the challenges that often occur in the early and middle stages of the journey, it often is “full-steam ahead” for the finish line of Adoption/Permanency. It is important when we reach this stage, that we openly acknowledge that it is entirely normal for either/both parties to experience varying degrees of doubt about whether finalization should occur (aka “cold feet”). It is also entirely possible that emotional and/or behavioral crises may occur, and these also need to be labeled as normal. When we are able to normalize the potential for challenges, it is then possible to work with the youth and family to revisit their repertoire of coping and relationship skills and in doing so strengthen their relationship ahead of and through the finalization process.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: These Wonderful Kids Just Want to Know You Love Them
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption – My husband, Scott, and I knew we wanted to expand our family. We have so much fun together and love each other so much. But we had more love to give, and we wanted a child to share in the fun.
We met our son, Colton, through the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program. His adoption recruiter, Darcy, walked us through the process every step of the way. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Our son had been in foster care for 10 years. He was 10 years old when he came to live with us, and he had opinions, thoughts and ideas. He wanted and needed to be heard…
Foster care adoption is not an easy road. But to anyone thinking of taking this journey, I would say, be ready for some challenges at the start, but do not give up. These wonderful kids just want to know that you love them and will always be there for them. They just want stability and caring parents.
When you see them blossom and connect with the family and new friends, it is the greatest feeling in the world. It took three years from the time Colton moved into our home until the day we finalized his adoption, but he has been a member of our family since day one.
Permanency Related Articles:
Chronicle Of Social Change – Social Justice Solutions – A few days before Christmas, the federal government extended an invitation to state child welfare agencies that has the potential to completely transform the system. The invitation did not arrive with great publicity. Nor was it lengthy. Instead, it was announced in a few ordinary-looking sentences, in a very ordinary-looking email.
But looks can be deceiving. The change announced by the federal government could lead to far fewer children being placed in foster care. It could expedite the reunification of those children in care. It could increase visitation between children in care and their parents. And it could get children into permanent homes more quickly, even when they can’t return home.
So what is this change that could bring about these dramatic results? The federal government announced that it would permit uncapped, matching federal child welfare funds under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act to support the representation of parents and children in the child welfare system…
The Chronicle of Social Change – North Dakota has struggled to track and support youth who get in trouble and are the subject of abuse and neglect investigations. This week, it announced a new venture to improve on that measure. Youths involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems will now be supported through the Dual Status Youth Initiative, which will entail the participation of the courts, corrections and family services. As part of the initiative, a new memorandum of understanding has been put in place between the North Dakota Supreme Court and North Dakota Department of Human Services to allow for secure data sharing through a newly created technology infrastructure.
The Philly Inquirer (PA) – When someone asks Mary Kiker if she has children, there’s a fraught pause before she answers. “I don’t want to say, ‘No, I don’t have kids.’ But I’m not completely ready to say, ‘I have a daughter. She lives in Virginia. I placed her with an adoptive family.’ ”
The question carries a sharper sting this time of year, when malls, movies, and television ads rollick with images of intact families. “I feel the loss a lot more during this time,” says Kiker. “When [the adoptive parents] send me pictures, and there’s all these people and a beautiful Christmas tree, I’m so glad my daughter has all that. But I want it, too.”
For birth mothers, often invisible members of the adoption triad that includes children and adoptive parents, the holiday season brings a wrenching mix of gratitude and sorrow, delight, guilt, and regret. Their children may be thriving. Just not with them…
Foster Youth Museum – Unless you come from a long line of college graduates and have lots of support to swim through high school and apply for college, post-secondary educational adventures aren’t easy. Foster youth, in particular, have to grind hard to get into and finish college. The stats that surround them are rough. Too many enter the college marketplace with multiple school changes and lots of disruption during school years among other things. Group home foster youth may enter college under-educated because of inadequate non-public schools and their “ditto handout” busy work instead of classroom teaching. Finally, nearly all foster youth are contending with trauma to overcome while their brains are still developing…
See Me: Portraits of Foster Youth has collected 17 stories of foster youth who are planning to attend college, are in a post-secondary education program or have already graduated from a university. Alongside beautiful black and white 20×30-inch portraits shot by Ray Bussolari, there are narratives sharing their journeys…
Science Daily – Children who experience physical, sexual, and emotional abuse or neglect are at least two to three times more likely to attempt suicide in later life, according to the largest research review carried out of the topic.
The analysis of 68 studies by psychologists at the University of Manchester and University of South Wales revealed that suicide attempts were:
- Three times more likely for people who experienced sexual abuse as a child
- Two and a half times more likely for people who experienced physical abuse as a child
- Two and a half times more likely for people who experienced emotional abuse or neglect as a child
Also from the research published in Psychological Medicine today, children who experienced multiple abuse are as much as five times higher to attempt suicide. And as those people who experienced abuse as children get older, the risk of suicide attempts increases. People not in contact with mental health clinicians were found to be at the highest level of risk.
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- Take care and keep up the Permanency work – Our children, youth, young adults, families, and communities are depending on it!
Dr. Greg Manning