Permanency Tip of the Week: Permanency/Adoption Readiness – Dealing with the Eeyore Syndrome
One of the most interesting characters within Winne the Pooh is that of Eeyore. If we are looking at him from a psychological perspective, he likely could be viewed somewhere on the depression spectrum. Some of the Youth we serve, may feel like the experience of being matched with another family, going on a preplacement visit, or maybe even going home on another trial visit as being one more time they get their hopes up only to have them dashed because of some factor that likely is totally out of their control. It is important that we first validate these feelings and acknowledge that based on life experiences, especially those filled with trauma, loss, neglect, and abuse, seeing life through the eyes of Eeyore can unfortunately be realistic. Even with it being realistic, we do not need to accept the finality of it. With the continued development and growth of healthy interpersonal relationships, our Youth, caregivers, and ourselves can begin to see and experience the world more positively – kind of like Eeyore’s good friend – Winnie the Pooh!
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Mom Learns Foster Baby is Her Adopted Son’s Sister, So She Adopts Her as Well
ABC News – A single mother received the surprise of her life after discovering that the baby girl she was about to adopt shared the same biological mother as her newly adopted son.
“[Hannah] is the opposite of Grayson,” Katie Page of Parker, Colorado, told “Good Morning America” of her kids. “He loves to chill and she’s a wild thing. As soon as I started figuring it out that she was his sibling, I said, ‘Absolutely, [I’ll adopt her].’ Once I took in Grayson and I accepted being his mom, I accepted his family.”
Page divorced in her early 30s before becoming a foster parent in 2016. During her marriage, she experienced issues with infertility but had dreams of being a mom, she said. “It was on my bucket list and I also always wanted to adopt,” Page added. Page cared for four foster children before meeting Grayson — a baby boy who was abandoned at the hospital. On May 25, 2017, Page officially adopted Grayson, who is now 2 years old.
“The minute I saw him in the hospital, I fell in love,” Page said. “He’s so calm and sweet. He has the biggest challenges of all the kids.” A month after Page adopted Grayson, she received a call about a newborn girl, named Hannah, who needed a home. Page said as soon as she met Hannah, now a year old, that she knew she wanted to give her a forever home as well.
But when Page brought Hannah home and saw the name of the biological mother on the hospital bracelet, she noticed a similarity…
Permanency Related Articles:
Jason Johnson – I’m convinced for every one couple we see pursuing becoming foster parents, there’s a whole host of others that are privately considering it but aren’t quite ready to publicly confess it. And sometimes the question holding them back the most is – “What questions should we be asking?”
I recognize single people can foster too – and many should – but that’s not primarily what this post is about, although some of the questions couples need to be asking themselves are relevant and applicable to singles as well. The purpose of this post, however, is to provide some context and structure to those private and personal conversations I know many of you are having out there. Hopefully it gives you some handlebars to hold onto and guardrails to navigate within. While this list is certainly not exhaustive, let it be a clarifying guide for you as you continue to consider and pursue taking your next best steps together.
1) What’s our motivation?; 2) Are we on the same page?; 3) Do we have a support system; 4) Have we counted the costs? 5) How do we know if we’re ready?; 6) How will it effect our biological kids?; 7) How will we prioritize our marriage?; 8) When is the right time?; 9) What are we expecting?; 10) So, now what?
John Burton Advocates for Youth – Chapin Hall released a brief in September 2018, which found that the sustained decrease over time in
the rate of reunification and overall permanency for older youth in care is not
associated with the implementation of extended foster care, but rather a
reflection of a long-term decline in permanency rates for youth that began long
before the implementation of extended foster care.
This brief built on findings released in 2015, which examined changes in permanency rates during the years immediately before and after the implementation of the California Fostering Connections to Success Act which extended foster care to age 21. The current brief examined a broader time frame, and also allowed the researchers to examine permanency among youth age 18 and older.
Findings suggest that the decline in permanency could be a manifestation of several different factors. One example presented in the brief is that the needs of foster youth may have become more complex over time, as a result of changes in the characteristics and experiences of foster youth between 2008 and 2014 (e.g. higher rates of placement change, larger percentages placed in group homes, an increase in the average age at which children enter care), which could make permanency more difficult to achieve. Read the current brief or explore the complete California Youth Transitions to Adulthood (CalYOUTH) Study.
People – On average, 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Beth and Don Murray are another kind of casualty of the epidemic: Family members who are stepping up to raise the children—their grandchildren— left behind because their parents are in active addiction, in treatment, incarcerated, or deceased. More than 258,000 children are in today’s foster care system due to alcohol or drug use by parents and of those, 1 in 3 children are living with relatives, often grandparents.
The Murrays didn’t expect to be raising a new batch of children — four boys and two girls — in their fifties, when retirement should be a glimmer on the horizon. But once drugs ambushed their family, taking it easy no longer would be in the forecast for this Ohio couple. Their two adult daughters, whom Beth says used to be good mothers who took care of their children, “lost their motherly instinct” to opiates and now, Beth says, “I can’t with a clear conscience let the kids go back. And every night when they’re all in bed I think, ‘I made it through another day.’”
Psych Central – The Here and There of Foster Care – Every foster child comes into the system with a set of baggage. There’s a reason they’re in care—whether that be neglect, death, homelessness, abuse, or drug use by the parents—and that baggage effects nearly every aspect of their lives. It changes their mental health, their academic progress, their behavior, their physical health, their coping skills… everything. Everything is different, but, ideally, it’s for the good. We, foster parents, are not these kids’ saviors. We are not better than their biological parents. The only thing we ARE is better equipped, which allows us to help their children heal while they get their own lives together. Sometimes, biological parents don’t care and don’t want their kids back, but most often, they love them and want to be better for them…
But, man, do I fear for what her fate will be if reunification happens before healthiness is reached by the parents. Is healthiness even attainable? Are the habits too ingrained? Is the damage already done? Will she flip back into survival mode as soon as she’s gone? Will they all go back to yelling as their main form of communication?
I look into my girl’s sweet face, and I wonder what her life will be like when she’s sixteen years old. I’m afraid she’ll be angry and hardened. I’m afraid she’ll seek validation in boyfriends instead of family and truth. I’m terrified she’ll try drugs because the family who went before her used them. I’m so, so scared that she will lose every ounce of progress she’s made since she’s been here.
Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) has released a new video, “What is Trauma-Informed Care?” This video was created through Advancing Trauma-Informed Care, a national initiative led by CHCS through support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In this new animated video, meet “Dr. Cruz,” who shares what she has learned about caring for patients with exposure to trauma, including abuse, neglect, and violence. View the video to learn about the lifelong impact of trauma on health, and how trauma-informed care can create a more welcoming environment for patients, providers and staff. It also offers practical steps for integrating trauma-informed care principles into every day clinical practices.
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