Permanency Tip of the Week: What Motivates Our Youth in Foster Care? – Part 3
When we step back and assess the depth, breadth, and magnitude of the trauma, abuse, neglect, and loss that Our Youth experience before and sometimes during and after foster care, it becomes more possible to see that the driving motivational forced for our Youth is, in fact, their own SURVIVAL. This includes: 1) SURVIVAL from their History of Trauma, Abuse, Loss, and Neglect; 2) SURVIVAL from the Challenges of Today; and 3) SURVIVAL from the fear of more trauma, abuse, loss, and neglect today AND tomorrow; You can begin to see how large the gap is between what motivates our Youth and what we are working on helping them to seek education, careers, housing, and permanency.
Next week, we will discuss how we can work to bridge this gap that will allow our Youth to feel that their SURVIVAL is no longer at risk and thus can begin to be motivated by things that will help them to THRIVE in the present and future.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: A Father and Son Look Back at 20+ Years of Being a Family
You Gotta Believe – Brooklyn (NY) News 12 – Rey Santiago has a Superman tattoo on his arm. He explains that he relates to Superman because Rey, too, was separated from his parents at an early age and felt nobody understood who he REALLY was. Then, Rey met Paul Brown–the man who became his father. Everything changed when Rey was adopted by Paul at age thirteen.
When Paul decided to become a parent through adoption, he pictured a toddler. Then he learned about the urgent need for families for teenagers in foster care. Once Rey and Paul met, both their lives were transformed. Today, Paul has been Rey’s Dad for more than 20 years. Now, Rey is a dad himself, and Paul is grandpa to Rey’s son. Rey and Paul shared their stories in short, but powerful segments…
Permanency Related Articles:
Johnson – Foster Dads, Thank you for doing what you’re doing. You
are loving in some of the hardest and deepest and most complicated places.
Places most men go to great lengths to avoid. Yet you, with arms open and
hearts broken, have courageously stepped towards them for the sake of others.
That is so counterintuitive, remarkable and beautiful.
If you feel beaten it’s because you are a fighter. If you feel bruised it’s because you are a protector. If you feel empty it’s because you are a provider. If you feel lonely it’s because you are a trailblazer. If you feel tired it’s because you are exhausting yourself on things that ultimately matter – and in the end you know there’s really no better way to live. You may not see it now. You may not ever see it in this lifetime, but what are you doing is of eternal significance.
That is remarkable. You inspire me and challenge me. You keep me and many others going. For that…I say thank you
A Fostered Life – Many of us are tempted to withhold love and affection when we are mad at our kids. That is the exact opposite of what we need to do. We need to press in and love unconditionally. We need to be the grown-ups, set the example, set the tone, and model security. It’s really, really hard to do sometimes. But it’s worth doing the hard work to figure out a way to show love and affection even when we are angry…Love them to wholeness—don’t wait until they’re whole to love them. Show them what it looks like to be emotionally healthy and to handle conflict in a restorative way. They are not going to know how to do this unless we teach them…
ACES Connection – PEW Trusts – With rising numbers of children under state supervision and a worsening shortage of foster families, more states have made it easier for parents whose rights to their children were terminated to renew those relationships, sometimes years after a court terminated legal ties. This year, three states — Arkansas, Minnesota and Oklahoma — enacted laws easing the path to restoring parental rights. The laws range from allowing parents to petition courts directly for the re-connection to allowing younger children to make the request themselves. A handful more states have parental rights bills pending
ACF – Children’s Bureau – When Tribal families are involved in State- or county-based child welfare services or family courts, Tribal social services and judicial systems often have roles to play. Navigating the jurisdictions and services can lead to confusion and miscommunication between agencies, placing stress on their professional relationships. Actions to break barriers and strengthen communication can be difficult to implement but offer the potential to improve outcomes for Tribal families and create more positive working environments.
This episode, ‘Building Relationships With State Counterparts’, is part of a series featuring the work of Tribal Court Improvement Program grantees. The episode features successful examples from the Sitka Tribe of Alaska and Saint Regis Mohawk Tribes, told by Tribal social service and court leadership
Justice Law Center – For their 2018-2019 annual projects, Juveniles for Justice and Youth Fostering Change worked together to tackle the complex issues that disrupt education and delay high school graduation for youth in foster care and/or the juvenile justice system. Youth advocates used their personal experiences in these systems, specifically the numerous challenges they faced trying to get an education while in foster care or the justice system, to create a joint publication, Operation: Education – An Action Kit to Achieve Positive Educational Outcomes for Youth in the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems. The action kit includes recommendations from both Youth Fostering Change and Juveniles for Justice:
Youth Fostering Change Recommendations: 1) Create A Point of Contact for Students in Foster Care; 2) Involve Youth in Extracurricular Activities; 3) Expedite Records Transfer and Course Re-enrollment; 4) Standardize Graduation Requirements; 5) Invest in the Community;
Juveniles for Justice Recommendations: 1) Create A Point of Contact for Youth with Justice System Involvement; 2) Expedite Re-enrollment; 3) Standardize Graduation Requirements; 4) Invest in Communities; 5) Implement Accountability and Enforcement Procedures;
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