Permanency Tip of the Week: When Change is the Only Constant in Life
When we look at a normal week in our life, we can count a number of changes that happen in our schedules including at home, school, work, and in the community. What happens when the only constant in your life is constant change? For some of the Youth we serve, their experience of life has been nearly constant change from very early in life right through the present day. Imagine the number of significant changes for a single change in placement: primary caregivers, bed, bedroom, room/housemates (names, personalities, mannerisms, etc.), house rules, meal preparation, neighbors, teachers, classes, classmates, and providers (physicians, therapist, etc.) – to only name a few. The impact of these multiple changes for the child can be seen in their social, emotional, and behavioral functioning in all life domains. It is critically important for all of us to show compassion, support, and advocacy for our Youth as they try to navigate these changes. We need to ensure that we both minimize the disruptive changes in their life and ensure that when change does happen, that we maximize the coordination so that our Youth do not need to start all over every time they experience change.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Scarlet’s Happy Ending Needs to be Shared by Others
Damar Services – In July, the Indianapolis Star did a story about Scarlet as a way to highlight the challenges facing children in the Indiana Adoption Program. An active 15-year-old, Scarlet was one of about 150 kids in the program at that time. But she’s not in the program anymore. As of shortly before Christmas, she’s – finally – in her “forever home,” with a family that read the Star story and is beginning the adoption process.
Scarlet’s had a long, frustrating journey to get to this point. She entered the foster care system when she was a toddler, and she was in the Indiana Adoption Program longer than any other child. During that time, she had about 35 foster-care placements, and about 1,000 other children were adopted through the program. But, for a range of reasons, Scarlet was never adopted. Most recently, she’s been living in a Damar Services group home.
Scarlet’s story highlights a lot of the challenges facing Indiana’s foster and adoption system. The state is in a foster care crisis, one of five states that account for nearly a third of all children in foster systems across the country. This crisis has been building for years, but the recent spike in opioid addictions has added to it, as parents become addicted and can no longer care for their kids…
Permanency Related Articles:
Pediatrics – Advances in fields of inquiry as diverse as neuroscience, molecular biology, genomics, developmental psychology, epidemiology, sociology, and economics are catalyzing an important paradigm shift in our understanding of health and disease across the lifespan. This converging, multidisciplinary science of human development has profound implications for our ability to enhance the life prospects of children and to strengthen the social and economic fabric of society. Drawing on these multiple streams of investigation, this report presents an eco-bio-developmental framework that illustrates how early experiences and environmental influences can leave a lasting signature on the genetic predispositions that affect emerging brain architecture and long-term health…
A Fostered Life – One of the things I’ve noticed over the years is that, while I have a lot to learn from other, more experienced foster parents, mental health professionals, books, etc., the people who have taught me more than anything about how to be a good foster parent or foster caregiver if you prefer is children who are or were in foster care. The kids who have come and gone from our home, as well as adults who are former foster youth, have taught me more than anyone about what it’s like for kids in foster care and what they need most from those of us who step in to care for them when they are in trauma or transition. One of the things I love about this podcast is that it’s giving me a chance to connect with people like today’s guest—former foster youth who are willing to share from their experiences in order to help foster parents like me do a better job caring for our kids… It’s so important for us foster parents to hear from those who have lived through the system. So, with that, here’s my conversation with Brittney.
Pathways Between Early-Life Adversity and Adolescent Self-Harm: The Mediating Role of Inflammation in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry – Exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is a well-established risk factor for self-harm, however, the psychological and biological processes underlying these relationships are unclear. Inflammation has been postulated as a potential candidate mechanism, as a growing number of studies have found an association between inflammatory markers and both ACEs and self-harm or suicide.
Kids In The House – Dr. John Degarmo / Foster Care Institute – Sadly, the news is too familiar of late. Another suicide of a child in foster care…How prevalent is teen suicide? Shockingly, suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds in the United States. At least 90% of teens who kill themselves, according to a study by The American Academy of Pediatrics, have some type of mental health problem. This may include alcohol or drug abuse, anxiety, behavior problems, and depression. Indeed, these troubled youth also often have challenges and problems at school or with friends or family. For some, it is a combination of both. Furthermore, many of those teens that do commit suicide were victims of physical or sexual abuse.
To be sure, these are all issues that children in foster care face and struggle with on a daily basis. According to a study by Pilowsky and Wu (2006), Adolescents who had been in foster care were nearly two and a half times more likely to seriously consider suicide than other youth. The same study also found that adolescents who had been in foster care were nearly four times more likely to have attempted suicide than other youth…
Join Generations United on Tues., Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. ET, to hear directly from members of grandfamilies impacted by substance use who will share their challenges and strengths. The webinar will also explore the latest statistics, resources for grandfamilies and those who directly serve them, and policy and program solutions. Register today.
More than 2.6 million children are raised by grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, other extended family and close family friends who step forward to care for them when parents cannot. With the rise in heroin and other opioid use, more relatives are raising children because the parents have died, are incarcerated, are using drugs, are in treatment or are otherwise unable to take care of their children. The vast majority of children being raised by relatives live outside the formal foster care system.
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