Permanency Tip of the Week: National Foster Care Month is EVERY Month for Our Youth and Families
May is declared National Foster Care Month which represents an important opportunity for us as a nation to focus our minds, efforts and resources on the critical issues surrounding Foster Care. For our Youth and Families however, every month is a foster care month and every moment is a foster care moment. When we reflect on the totality of the impact on our Youth and Families of living in foster care, let us recommit ourselves to: 1) Doing everything in our power to prevent Youth and Families from ever entering Foster Care; 2) Reunify Youth with their Families as soon as it is safe; 3) Ensure to the greatest extent possible that when we reunify Youth with their Families, that they stay forever safe in those families; 4) Secure a permanent loving Family for every Youth for whom reunification with their Family is not possible.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Twins Separated in Foster Care Reunite After 60 Years
WRIC – 8 News (Richmond, VA) – Twins who were sent to separate foster homes at age 14 recently reunited in Springfield after losing touch for 60 years. Rose Marie Henson and Rosalie Turner found their way back to one another this month with the help of family and DNA testing, the Springfield News-Leader reported. The 73-year-old sisters said they never lost hope that they would reconnect after being split up and sent to different foster homes in California decades ago.
Both Henson and Turner said they felt a hole in their hearts ever since they were separated. “It was painful,” Henson said. “It was very painful because we always did things together and we talk alike and did everything.” Turner’s daughter, Tina Henderson, started looking for her mother’s twin after a family member completed a DNA test through Ancestry.com…Henson said she would pray every day to see her twin before she died. Turner said she prayed for the same thing. “We used to say before we turned 75, ‘Lord, let us see each other,’” Turner said. “We’re going to be 74 in June. The Lord blessed us.” The twins plan to celebrate their upcoming June birthday together in Texas.
Henson tells others who are searching for lost siblings to hold out hope. “Don’t give up,” Henson said. “No matter how old they are or young, don’t give up. One way or the other. Through the grace of God, it’ll work.”
Permanency Related Articles:
NBC 6 – Miami – Fabian Presswood and his four brothers have known nothing other than instability and neglect for most of their young lives. “I didn’t have a good childhood,” said Fabian, 15. “I actually wanted a father figure. I never had a father.” That all changed a few years ago when school teacher William Presswood welcomed the teen boys into his Homestead home to raise them as his own. “They really don’t have a sense of normalcy. So, when they get here and they feel at home,” said William.
He is not your typical adoptive parent. William cares for his five adopted sons all by himself. “I’m not replacing a mother figure. I’m not mommy. I’m something that some of them have never had before,” William explained. He wouldn’t have it any other way. Williams says he enjoys being a single dad. “I don’t have to ask anybody anything. I think it’s better for me in terms of that.” His sons say they don’t see anything wrong with being raised by a single father…William is part of a small but growing trend: single men who adopt children. Single dads make up only 3% of adoptive parents nationwide. That number is up from 2% in the last two decades…
Foster Youth Action (FYA) – FYA, California Youth Connection (CYC), and SOUL School of Unity and Liberation (SOUL) are honored to provide this unique curriculum to our partners, allies, and all who believe in the collective power of young people. This is a curriculum about organizing led by young people impacted by the child welfare system. While it is a new curriculum, it draws deeply from the experiences of a long line of youth organizers and trainers in and outside child welfare. The curriculum’s activities and approach are grounded in popular education methods, reﬂecting the wisdom and expertise of a legacy of organizers who train and prepare both young people and adults to take action and leadership to improve their conditions, and those of their peers. SOUL prepared this curriculum in close collaboration with a team of staﬀ and young adult leaders at FYA and CYC. More than 50 young people have been part of the piloting activities in this curriculum, both in New York City and Los Angeles, and we are grateful for their participation and feedback.
CBS 58 (Milwaukee, WI) – Sex trafficking is happening across the Milwaukee area every day and one of the most at-risk groups is teens living in group homes and foster care. On Milwaukee’s Southside, 22nd and Greenfield is known area for prostitution, but what community advocates say most don’t know is that many of those people are actually trafficking victims. “Milwaukee is known across the country for a place to come get your pimp training,” said Jarrett Luckett, the executive director of Exploit No More, a nonprofit working to combat trafficking. “It’s often referred to as a mecca for sex trafficking.”
One of the most vulnerable groups is those teens living in foster care, group homes or other out of home placement, referred to as unaccompanied homeless youth. “They’re out on their own and there’s no parent or guardian with them,” said Dr. Aimee Obergon, a researcher and former commander of the Milwaukee Police Department’s Sensitive Crimes Division. In a study, Dr. Obergon found from 2013 through 2016, 85 minors in out of home placement were victims of sex trafficking. And she says the real number is likely higher.
Cision PR Newswire – Children Needs Amazing Parents (CHAMPS) – May is National Foster Care Month, designated by Congress as a time to recognize the many people who support the well-being of children in foster care. Congress will also establish National Foster Family Appreciation Day on May 31 which provides an opportunity to publicly thank the many amazing foster families around the country who help children in foster care heal and thrive.
Chronicle of Social Change – Rise Magazine – The common theme across their stories was discouragement. Facing even small setbacks in their cases, like cancelling scheduled visits with their children, parents often felt intensely fearful and deflated, unsure that they could ever reunite with their children. Their stories documented the roots of these reactions: the losses and terrors they’d survived in childhood. Most had grown up in foster care themselves. They saw few reasons to believe in themselves or trust in others. The group envisioned a handbook to be an anchor of hope that would inform parents about their rights, service options, agency supports and how other parents have achieved success. Most importantly, it would communicate the agency’s commitment to reunification and include their stories to lift up families.
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