Permanency Tip of the Week: Reframing Mental Illness Diagnosis through a Trauma and Permanency Informed Lens – Bipolar Disorder
For many youth, particular older youth, adolescence can be a very challenging time social, emotionally, cognitively, and behaviorally. If you layer onto that a history of abuse/neglect/loss/trauma resulting in being placed in an out of home care setting, you can only imagine how much more challenging adolescence could be for our youth who are at the same time in need of Permanency. When viewing the social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral challenges (e.g., mood swings, impaired sleep patterns, behavioral changes, etc.) that our Youth may demonstrate, it is critically important that their history of abuse/neglect/loss/trauma be considered when assessing whether or not a Bipolar Disorder can be supported. Be sure to work closely and actively with the Youth’s mental health treatment team to help determine the proper working diagnosis and associated treatment plan.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: ‘Here’s Your Baby Boy’: Firefighters Surprise Maryland Couple with Their Adopted Son
NBC Washington – A Maryland couple recently got the surprise of their lives: The father’s fellow firefighters used a firetruck and ambulance to bring their newborn son home for the first time. Firefighters and medics from three squads helped introduce Michael Terrance Faherty III to his adoptive parents, Michael and Karen Faherty. The Fahertys, both 29-year-old Army veterans, were home in Baltimore on Saturday because they were told their home needed to be inspected. Instead, a firetruck came screaming down their street, along with dozens of men who graduated along with Michael Faherty from the Anne Arundel County Fire Training Academy.
Emotional video footage shows the off-duty firefighters chanting a song from the academy as they walk up to the Fahertys’ door. “We got something for you. A delivery!” someone can be heard calling out. Then, adoption agent Dean Kirschner walks to the front door with an infant in his arms. “Here’s your baby boy,” Kirschner tells the shocked new parents…
He said he knew from 25 years of experience that the brand-new parents were in too much shock to be handed their child right away. “Your brain is on such overload,” he said. The Flahertys got to hold their son for the first time once they were inside, sitting down. “I said, ‘I’m going to hand you your baby,'” Kirschner recalled. “It was just awesome. It was just beautiful.”
Permanency Related Articles:
Annie E Casey Foundation (AECF) – Drawing on lessons learned from the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s multiyear effort in child protection workforce development, this publication outlines five clear steps that child welfare agency leaders can take to build and maintain a strong, stable frontline workforce. Each step identifies an implementation timeline, practical tips and tools, plus real-world perspectives from agency partners. Step 1: Partner with HR Step 2: Get Strategic — Build Your Leadership Capacity and Use Your WIT Step 3: Create a Competency-Based Culture Step 4: Develop Data and Build a Dashboard Step 5: Build a Positive Work Environment.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) – This bulletin describes OJJDP-supported research findings on factors that promote effective implementation of risk and needs assessment instruments in the juvenile justice system. Quality implementation has been shown to reduce reliance on formal system involvement and decrease recidivism.
Using a framework based in implementation science, the authors analyzed qualitative and quantitative data to identify the following drivers of successful implementation: 1) Positive staff perceptions about the reliability, credibility, and applicability of the instrument to the needs of their local jurisdictions. 2) Engagement of staff and other stakeholders in the initial strategic planning, goal setting, and problem solving to ensure early buy-in. 3) A pilot period that focuses on training of staff and other stakeholders. 4) Ongoing supervisory support and training. 5) Standardized operating procedures and written policies in state and local agencies and the ability to share information among multiple stakeholders. 6) A strong data infrastructure, including both user-friendly technological systems to support data collection and staff data expertise.
DeGarmo – I must also be honest with you. My wife is much better at
working with the birth parents of my children in foster care than I am, at
times. You see, there are those times when I am not as welcoming as she
is. There are times when I am a little
frustrated with the birth parents, due to the abuse and neglect they may have
inflicted upon the children from foster care living in my house, and a part of
my family. When a child from foster care is placed into my home, that
child becomes a child of my own; a child that I love unconditionally, and one
that I will fight for with all my strength and resources in an attempt to
protect him from further harm and trauma. With this in mind, I sometimes
have a difficult time getting past my own judgmental nature, and that is so
very wrong of me. I know this, and I work hard at getting past this
weakness of mine. As I noted above, my wife is much better at this, and
is a very loving and caring person; more so than I am, and this is one of her
As foster parents, part of our job, so to speak is that of Co-Parenting. When a foster parent shares the nurturing of a foster child alongside the birth parents and caseworker, reunification tends to happen at a quicker and more successful rate. Co-Parenting sees you, as a foster parent, working alongside the biological parents of the child living under your roof, and with your family. This may be the more difficult part of your job. To begin with, these may be the people who abused or neglected your foster child. Helping them might just be the last thing you wish to do. Indeed, your first inclination may be that these are people who do not deserve to have their child back. That’s human nature, my friend. That’s normal. You became a foster parent because you have a heart for children, you care about kids in need, you want to help them and protect them, and you want to give them a home where they are loved.
Public Radio International (PRI) – When it comes to adoption, Americans might assume that each child is treated equally. But research shows that darker-skinned children are repeatedly discriminated against, both by potential adoptive parents and the social workers who are charged with protecting their well-being.
Social workers are often called upon to assess a newborn’s skin color, because skin color influences potential for placement. As a 2013 NPR investigation found, dark-skinned black children cost less to adopt than light-skinned white children, as they are often ranked by social workers and the public as less preferred. According to Washington University law school professor Kimberly Jade Norwood, “In the adoption market, race and color combine to create another preference hierarchy: white children are preferred over nonwhite. When African-American children are considered, the data suggest there is a preference for light skin and biracial children over dark-skinned children.”
As a social worker with an interest in the social effects of skin color, I believe that the social work profession must be held accountable for its discriminatory practices…Assessing children by skin color allows for a ranked ordering, where dark-skinned children may be singled out as less valued. While it is not always a matter of formal record, children assessed as dark-skinned clearly have a different experience than white children in the adoption process.
No doubt, the significance of skin color requires it be noted in files — but, in my view, it should not be monetized. I feel that skin color should be maintained as a confidential record, unless social workers can establish a clear reason why sharing it would lead to the best adoptive outcome for the potential adoptee. I believe that it’s important to expose the dark side of adoptions that children regardless of skin color be valued and safe from discrimination.
PsychCentral.com – A new population study finds that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are nearly 2.5 times more likely than their non-ASD peers to be reported to the Child Abuse Hotline by the age of 8. Children with disabilities face greater rates of maltreatment, but little is known about the interaction of ASD children with child protection systems. To investigate this issue, researchers from Vanderbilt Kennedy Center’s Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD) looked at the entire population (11 counties) of Middle Tennessee residents born in 2008 and compared their records through 2016…
Children with ASD may be especially vulnerable to maltreatment due to a variety of factors, including challenging behavior and complex cognitive and language impairments, more caregiver stress, lower levels of family social support and higher rates of caregiver isolation and dependence, researchers said. Children with autism are also more likely to regularly work with a team of providers who may be paying closer attention than they would to children without ASD, though data from this study can’t confirm or deny these hypotheses…
Though the number of kids with ASD being referred for maltreatment is high, Warren admits the rates found in the study could be conservative, as many cases of maltreatment are likely not reported. Some care providers may also mistakenly attribute signs of maltreatment to the child’s diagnosis or behavioral challenges.
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Dr. Greg Manning