Permanency Tip of the Week: Find One Permanency Thing YOU Can Do Today and Every Day
When we look at the child welfare, mental health, and juvenile justice challenges we face, it is easy to lose hope and maybe even give up altogether. None of us are tasked with changing the world; rather, we are tasked with doing something each day to make the world a better place. When it comes to Permanency, there is something that each of us can do each and every day to make our world and our community a better place. Could it be signing up to mentor a youth, reaching out to support a family in need, advocating for improved service and funding for at-risk youth, saying thank you to a professional serving at-risk youth, or maybe learning more about becoming an adoptive parent? No matter what you choose, just be sure to choose something each day and encourage others to do the same.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Dreaming Big (Video)
Children’s Home Society of North Carolina (CHSNC) – Watch two children’s journey to finding family through CHS’ innovative family finding, child specific adoption recruitment, and training services.
Permanency Related Articles:
Institute for Family Studies (IFS) – The racial and ethnic composition of the adopted child population in the U.S. has changed dramatically in less than a generation. This IFS research brief compares adopted children in two large national studies of kindergarten students conducted a decade apart by the federal Department of Education. The proportion of adopted kindergartners being raised by a mother of a different race or ethnic group rose by 50% between 1999 and 2011. The proportion of adoptees with Asian backgrounds nearly tripled over the same time period. Paradoxically, the fraction of adopted students who are African-American seems to have fallen. What has not changed is that a large majority of adoptive parents are white, older, well-educated, and relatively affluent.
Underlying these demographic shifts are a number of other trends affecting the supply of adoptable infants and the demand for those babies by childless couples in this country. Due primarily to dramatic reductions in pregnancy and birth rates among teenagers, the domestic supply of adoptable infants has declined. When unmarried young women do give birth, more of them are attempting to raise their offspring on their own, or with assistance from grandparents or other relatives, rather than putting the child up for adoption. Child welfare agencies often favor the placement of foster children with relatives, rather than with unrelated adoptive parents. In addition, activist pushback against upper middle-class whites adopting black or American Indian babies from poor families may be influencing couples toward adoption choices that are less controversial…
In its current state, adoption helps many childless couples fulfill their parental ambitions and gives many abandoned children the opportunity to be reared in stable, supportive, and financially secure homes. As the data in this research brief shows, adoption is also helping to make the U.S. a more global society, increasing ethnic diversity, and broadening the definition of what it means to be a family. But there are still many children right here in the U.S., such as those in the foster-care system, who might benefit from adoption and are currently being left out of the process. And there are certainly ways in which adoption practices could be improved to better inform and prepare prospective parents to make a lifelong commitment to a child in need of a loving and stable family.
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) – I want to share with you a personal story about the true practice of restorative justice and how it plays a part in my life. In 2014, I participated in a restorative justice roundtable here in San Quentin State Prison and it was one of the first self-improvement programs I was involved in. During the course of the program, a video was shown about a police officer being shot at by an assailant. As a result of the shooting, the police officer lost one of his eyes. I was both shocked and surprised by the video because I also shot at a police officer…
Even if they don’t want to hear from you, then find some healing for yourself in the process. Restorative justice brings dignity, community and humanity to all of us if we allow ourselves to have an open heart and mind to receive it. Looking back, the restorative justice video shown in 2014 was a sign from God. I recognized that God granted my prayers by me being able to restore hope, inner peace and freedom with two very special people. Tom and Christy Morgan gave me a once in a lifetime opportunity to truly practice restorative justice in its finest form. They are my angels and I will always appreciate their support, forgiveness and compassion.
The Chronicle of Social Change – At a recent meeting I attended, a foster parent described her role as being a “co-parent” with the birth parent to raise a child in foster care. That is, she envisioned that her job was to temporarily help care for the child – with the birth parent – while doing everything in her power to support efforts to reunify the family.
This philosophy accords with the work of the Quality Parenting Initiative – organized by the Youth Law Center – which has “caregivers, agency staff and birth parents work as a team to support children and youth.” Consistent with this, across the country, foster parents are leading a revolution to encourage birth parents – by supervising visits, bringing them to doctor’s appointments and school meetings, and helping them with their treatment plan.
The foster care system needs an overhaul. But to do this, we must rethink our unproductive ways of conceptualizing relationships, particularly those that we have construed as necessarily adversarial…
Here is my challenge to people working to protect children and preserve families. Think about your work and identify what new – and better yet unorthodox – relationships you can help create. Get foster parents to support birth parents. Support pre-removal programs that allow family defense attorneys and CPS investigators to work together to keep kids at home. Champion the importance of children’s attorneys getting to know birth parents and encourage them to speak loudly in support of parents. Together, this is how we will start to revamp our foster care system.
Child Welfare Information Gateway – Although many cases may share similar circumstances and practice issues, child welfare professionals should be aware of the unique issues they may encounter when working with specific populations. Understanding the cultures, life events, and issues that may affect these populations will assist professionals in better serving them and their families.
- Permanency for youth
- Permanency for children and youth from minority groups
- Permanency for children with disabilities
- Permanency for immigrant children and youth
Rudd Adoption Research Program – Pre and post adoption services consist of case management, including referrals to community resources that are in the best interest of the child. (Kids First of Florida, 2018). When discussing this programmatic concept with adoptees, one responded “How will we know what’s in the best interest of the child, without consulting said ‘child’?” Many adoptees around the world have begun sharing their experiences of adoption. One strong and resounding message has been that there are lifelong consequences when one is removed from their original attachment to their biological mother in utero. Programs that enhance the well-being of adoptees continue to evolve with our growing understanding of the adoptee experience. Antiquated models of birth culture primacy and “Love conquers all” have given way to community building and open dialogue about the challenges of adoption…
Implications for the Future of Adoption: Research • The necessity for prominent adoptee voice in research methods and topics will be critical for greater understanding of post adoption needs. • As more adoptees find their voice through attentive and relevant post adoption services, the need for understanding this population will continue to require further study. Implications for the Future of Adoption: Practice • The adoption industry will need to allocate more resources to serve the post adoption needs of the adoptee and adoptive family populations. • The adoption industry needs a stronger emphasis on community building, identity development, and effective communication amongst the adoption triad in pre-adopt and post-adopt education and support. Implications for the Future of Adoption: Policy • As adoptees continue to age and become a more prominent voice in adoption industry advocacy, policies will evolve to better reflect adoptee se
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