Permanency Tip of the Week: Reframing Mental Illness Diagnosis through a Trauma and Permanency Informed Lens – Oppositional Defiant Disorder
In Dr. Emily Burke Harris’s powerful TED-Talk on the ACEs Study, she talks about the power of the fight, flight, and freeze responses as survival strategies when you encounter a bear. When we experience the actions and interaction styles of our youth in out of home care, what if the angry/irritable moods, argumentative/defiant behaviors, and vindictiveness are actually ongoing manifestations of survival behavior in response to a loss of safety, stability, and predictability? Among the risk factors discussed in the DSM: “Harsh, inconsistent, or neglectful child-rearing practices are common in families of children and adolescents with ODD.” Once our youth have re-established permanency, let us see if the need for these survival strategies begins to diminish and with it the use of this diagnosis.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Who Knew a Game of Uno Could Change Your Life?
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption – Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program – Our daughter, Haylee, came home to us at age 13. After living a life of uncertainty, growing up in homes that were deemed unsafe and foster homes that were not permanent, our daughter is finally home.
We met Haylee in September 2016. We weren’t sure what we were getting into, but we knew the need for foster-to-adopt families in Kentucky was critical. We also knew that teenagers were being overlooked and that thousands of teens needed loving parents. We wanted to be that family for a teenager.
During our first meeting, Haylee was shy, and it was hard to get her to talk to us. Everything changed when we learned that she likes to watch professional wrestling. Kevin loves the WWE. That was our in. From there, we moved on to playing what can only be described as the most epic and memorable game of Uno ever played. It took 90 minutes, and we laughed the entire time. Haylee began opening up and started making jokes. In the end, she won the game, but we had broken the ice. Leaving that day, we knew we had met our daughter, and Haylee says she knew she had met her parents. “I thought they were so weird, but deep down, I knew they were my family…”
Permanency Related Articles:
KETV-7 ABC – Omaha, Neb. — For 10 years, PromiseShip has given children families through fostering, adopting and other services. They’ve helped nearly 28,000 kids in that time. When the bell at PromiseShip rings, it means a child has been placed with a family. Later this year, it will ring for Jamie and Jeff Bonge…The Bonge’s are one of the thousands of families PromiseShip has helped over the last decade.
“Our region of the state used to be the lowest-performing part of the state,” PromiseShip President and CEO Dave Newell said.” And now we are, in most of the performance measures that you would look at for what we do, we are towards the top.” The public-private partnership combines the efforts of five local non-profit organizations to help children stay with families.
“If we don’t help kids in families be successful, then the kids, they’re not going to make it in life,” Newell said. “And the trajectory of their life is going to be very poor.” More than 60% of the nearly 28,000 kids they’ve helped have been placed with other family members, or other adults with a relationship with the child…
Medium.com – Nicole Witt – The adoption process is full of emotional highs and lows with plenty of decisions to make throughout. These decisions leading up to and during the adoption process are often approached differently by men and women. Knowing some common differences to expect when discussing adoption with your spouse can help you to keep the channels of communication flowing.
As an Adoption Consultant, I often see biological instincts prevail in men and women early on. In initial consultation calls, I observe that frequently women are more open to the idea of adoption than men. They have a maternal drive to be a parent through any means. Men, on the other hand, can feel more of a biological drive to pass on their genetics…Women usually think more positively about adoption success whereas men tend to focus more on the ‘horror stories’ and negative adoption myths that they have heard. With adoption being such an unknown to them, they believe these myths to be facts. Sometimes, if they believe that the risk is too great, they will even try to dissuade their spouse from pursuing adoption.
In this case, understanding the truth about the adoption process is key. During our initial consultation, it’s more often the men asking me lots of questions and having lots of concerns about the falsehoods they have heard. I am quick to debunk these myths and get them started on the right foot to understanding the reality of today’s adoption process…
Rasmussen College – You’ve always loved children, and the feeling is mutual. Kids are drawn to you like magnets no matter where you go, from your family reunion to the kids in your neighborhood. Now that it’s time to make a career decision, working with kids is definitely on your radar…
Working with kids can be rewarding, but it’s true that not everyone is the best fit for these careers. We rounded up six things you should know about working with kids from experts who have been there so you can decide if you’re up to the task of this career path.
6 Things to remember about working with kids: 1) Expect the unexpected; 2) No two children are exactly the same; 3) Kids are active; 4) Be prepared for difficult situations; 5) Don’t expect instant gratification; 6) Working with kids can bring incredible joy
ACES Too High – Dr. Arnd Herz, a self-described champion for ACEs science, would like nothing more than to witness a greater appreciation of how widespread adverse childhood experiences are. Herz, a pediatrician and director of Medi-Cal Strategy for the Greater Southern Alameda Area for Kaiser Permanente Northern California, would also like to encourage more people in health care to engage in a trauma-informed care approach, a change in practice that he says not only benefits patients, but also health care providers and their staff.
“It makes so much sense,” say Herz. “This is why I went into medicine. I don’t want to just click off diagnoses, but create relationships and help people by understanding them better, and trauma-informed care is just a way to bring compassion back into the care that we do…”
Herz has made a case for doing so in an essay he wrote entitled Compassion-infused Care.
Why the use of the term “compassion-infused care”? Herz suggests that the term may have greater appeal to a wider swath of health care providers…Herz also suggests that the concept of compassion-infused care more clearly captures an important part of what makes practicing medicine fulfilling to clinicians and thus might better emphasize how a trauma-informed care approach serves as an antidote to physician burnout, a problem experienced by some 42 percent of 15,000 physicians surveyed, according to a 2018 Medscape report.
True Jersey – Carmen Allen was in Camden County’s juvenile court pleading with the judge, telling him she regretted her mistake, that the young person before him wanted better for her life. The 17-year-old girl had plans for college and law school, having been a good student throughout her academic career. She was embarrassed and sorry for what she had done, an unwise decision she won’t talk about. “I want to be somebody someday,” Allen told Superior Court Judge Charles Dortch. “Maybe I’ll be a lawyer in your courtroom.”
That was 12 years ago, but her words carry a pleasant echo today. Allen, whose last name became Day when she married, is a 29-year-old mother of two daughters, and proudly one semester away from graduating from Dortch’s alma mater — Rutgers Law School in Camden…
“He didn’t see me as a docket number, or some poor girl from Camden,” Day said. “He saw me as a girl who needed help, who needed a chance.” Dortch has met a lot people in his 14 years on the bench. Few stand out like Day. She was an articulate, serious and sincere teenager advocating for herself. “She really stuck out in my mind,” Dortch said. “I saw a lot of perseverance in her face.” It was still there in his chambers as Dortch congratulated Day for the strength she had to overcome adversity. “You made up your mind that you were going to control your environment and not let your environment control you,” Dortch said…
No matter your circumstances, no matter what you are going through, as long as you stay focused, you can make it,” Day said. “You are not what happened to you. You are what you choose to become.”
Please forward this blog, via email and/or social media, to other Permanency Champions and those that could use a healthy dose of Permanency.
If you are interested in my keynote speaking, professional training or consulting services, please contact me through my website, call me: 949-683-0753 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Take care and keep up the Permanency work – Our children, youth, young adults, families, and communities are depending on it!