Permanency Tip of the Week: Connections, Relationships, Permanency, and THEN Permanent Placement (hopefully) – Part 3 – Relationships
As our Youth begins to build up the number and diversity of connections across their various life domains, it is now time to collaboratively start sifting through them to see which ones could transition into Relationships. We will continue the collaborative two-way process of assessing these individuals for the ability and desire to establish a Relationship with our Youth. The expectations and demands on a Relationship are greater than that of a Connection as this person begins to interact with and provide for the needs of our Youth at a much deeper and profound level. Be sure that this process does NOT include whether or not the Youth can / wants to come live with them now. Depending on the life experience of our Youth, as well as the Connections we find, this phase could require a fair amount of psychoeducation, role-playing, and overall trial/error. Similar to the Connections phase, the creation and sustainment of Relationships will continue throughout our entire time that we are serving our Youth.
Next week, we will discuss the development and sustainment of Permanency from some/all of the Relationships.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: How One Call Became A Calling
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption – Wendy’s Wonderful Kids – It was a sad time. My wife and I had tried to add to our family without success. It wasn’t an immediate decision, but we eventually decided to pursue adoption. From that moment, everything in our life changed…
The “call” came five months later in January 2013, letting us know that we had been selected. Even more surprising, our daughter was going to be born the next day! We raced to the airport and flew to Los Angeles. We met our daughter’s birth mother and spent the night in the hospital. The next morning, Leah was born. The universe shined upon us that day.
We are forever grateful to Leah’s birth parents and recently met her birth mother for an amazing afternoon together. Being a father is the most rewarding experience of my life, and my family and I are truly blessed through the miracle of adoption.
But, I know we were lucky. This all happened before NVIDIA offered employee adoption benefits, and we could afford it. I wanted to make sure all our employees could share in the joy of parenthood regardless of how they choose to build their family. I wanted to be that advocate for NVIDIA employees…
Permanency Related Articles:
Turning Points for Children (PA) – Summertime is the perfect opportunity to reflect on families. From our given families to those we have chosen, families are the people most important to our journey and growth. As you enjoy these warm months with vacations and beaches with those you love, take a moment to appreciate your family.
For children involved with the foster care system, “family” can be a difficult concept. The definition of family is shaped by experience as much as it is shaped by biology. The important thing is that youth know they are part of a family regardless of the specific labels attached.
While all forms of family are extremely valuable, children currently in foster care may have biological family who have the ability and desire to house and support them. Often, there is the possibility that situations have changed for the youth’s relations and there could be a support system to be found within this family.
It is these connections that Turning Points’ Family Finding program, the only of its kind in Philadelphia, seeks to discover and establish…
Confessions of An Adoptive Parent – As parents of children with a trauma history, we often find ourselves engaged in futile battles with them for control. But when we understand the why behind their fight, the way we parent them can change. We understand. Let’s begin there. We understand the battles you’ve gone through (and are going through) with your child. We’ve been there. Every single day your child fights you for control and it’s exhausting. Sometimes, the battle makes sense. But most of the time, it doesn’t at all. Every day is a merry-go-round and you just want to get off of it for a while.
Breakfast is a battle. Getting ready for school is a battle. Brushing teeth is a battle. Where they sit in the car is a battle. Snack time is a battle. Even when it seems you’ve given them everything they’ve asked for, they still battle you for something they don’t have (or perceive they don’t have). If you’re anything like us, it leaves you confused, lost, and defeated. But what if we told you there was something deeper going on? What if we gave you a different perspective on their constant battling? What if we told you that even though your child has been in your care for years, there’s still something embedded deep inside of them propelling them to fight, and it has very little to do with you?
Here’s a couple of perspective shifts to help you change the way you view the daily battles with them…PERSPECTIVE SHIFT #1: Trauma changes the way your child sees the world around them. PERSPECTIVE SHIFT #2: Consider their loss
To Foster Change – As a former foster child and trained social worker, Bobby Cagle understands the challenges facing foster youth. In his role as Director of Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, he works tirelessly to build a responsive institution and workforce that can best meet the needs of the 30,000+ children and families under DCFS’ care.
Alia – Our UnSystem Innovation Cohort is building a proof of concept for child welfare as primary prevention. Since March 2018 the Alia UnSystem Innovation Cohort has been meeting near-monthly in person. The Cohort consists of Directors and Deputy Directors representing 5 agencies, 4 states, and 14 counties, plus the wisdom of professional and lived experience (formerly system-engaged parents and youth).
Early in our process, we converged on a collective aspiration, that “family connections are always preserved and strengthened here” would ring true in the halls of our offices and on the streets of our communities. Last week we heard from one of the agencies that from FY18 to FY19 they decreased the number of child removals to out-of-home placement by 61%. With support from the Sauer Foundation, we are writing the story of what each of these agencies has been up to, what they’ve learned, what worked and what didn’t, the outcomes they are seeing, and the phases of change that have emerged. We are often asked, “How do we move from current system to UnSystem?” This begins to tell the story and we can’t wait to share and hear what you think. Stay tuned for a Fall 2019 publication release!
NCBI – Pediatricians are encouraged to screen for adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). The current study developed and implemented a tool to screen for Child-ACEs at a pediatric resident clinic in San Bernardino, California. Development of the tool, named the Whole Child Assessment (WCA), was based on an iterative process that incorporated triangulation of references, patient data, and physician feedback. Implementation of the WCA occurred over the course of 6 improvement cycles that involved obtaining and responding to stakeholder feedback, streamlining paperwork and workflow, and providing physician education. Over the course of our study, we reviewed 1100 charts from well-child visits. We demonstrated that use of the WCA increased identification of multiple Child-ACEs compared with no screening and that reports of multiple Child-ACEs increased with age. These results suggest that use of the WCA provides an acceptable and feasible way to screen for Child-ACEs during routine pediatric practice.
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Take care and keep up the Permanency work – Our children, youth, young adults, families, and communities are depending on it!