Permanency Tip of the Week: Never Say Never, Except in These Situations
In serving at-risk children, youth, and families, it is good to try to and keep all your options available so that you can be spontaneous and think outside of the proverbial box. However, we need to take in to account the impact of a life history involving abuse, neglect, trauma, and loss can have on an individual’s perception. Three key situations that I strive to avoid at all costs, when serving this population, include: 1) Telling them that I understand what they are going through (because I do not); 2) Surprising them (unless it is for safety reasons); and 3) Trying to bluff / fake them out in conversations; These can all trigger painful reactions for many, if not all, of those that we serve. For that reason, I choose not to engage in these actions.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Discovering Joy
RainbowKids – When I first learned that there were many children with Down Syndrome waiting to be adopted, I felt uncertain and thought, “there’s no way we could do that.” We didn’t even know anyone with a child with DS. But I couldn’t stay off of the advocacy pages, my heart was drawn. I read, “The Lucky Few,” by Heather Avis and could not put it down. We live in the midwest and had four children, ages 12, 11, 8, and 6.
After adopting from foster care in the US, we began to consider adopting again and wondered what options were available to us. We looked over the big list of potential special needs and I was looking at hundreds of profiles on RainbowKids. We decided to focus on children with Down Syndrome because there’s so many waiting for families.
Then a few months later, my youngest daughter started preschool and there was a little girl with DS in her class. We became friends with their family and quickly realized that their daughter was just a kid, a sweet adorable gentle kind and loving little kid… No special parenting skills required. We realized that DS wasn’t as scary as we imagined.
We found our daughter, Joy, through an advocacy site and learned that she was with Agape Adoptions agency. When we saw Joy’s picture update, we knew that she was our daughter…Down Syndrome is not scary. Having a child with Down Syndrome can change your perspective on life, to allow you to truly appreciate the little things and possibly change the world’s perspective on their life’s worth.
Permanency Related Articles:
Children’s Bureau – The 2019 National Adoption Month webinar, a collaboration of AdoptUSKids and Child Welfare Information Gateway, on behalf of the Children’s Bureau, focusing on the 2019 National Adoption Month theme “Youth Voices: Why Family Matters.” The webinar provides insights from youth and young adults about the importance of engaging with youth, listening to youth voices, and exploring why family matters to them, shares information from Children’s Bureau grantees that can help professionals engage effectively with youth on planning for adoption, and provides information about resources and materials that can support your efforts in achieving adoption for older youth.
Jeanette Yoffe, Founder and Director of the Celia Center wrote this book is based on her work as a foster care social worker working in the Los Angeles County Foster Care System. She found many children and families did not have the tools available to address their overwhelmed feelings, traumatic histories and build coping skills in order to maintain their resiliency. Inspired also by her own experience moving through the foster care system, she also found there was no support in addressing these challenges. To purchase the book please visit Jeanette’s Amazon Author Page.
Marie Claire (AU) – The 28th of October marks the tenth anniversary of Blue Knot Day, established by the Blue Knot Foundation to raise awareness of the more than five million adult survivors of complex trauma. This year’s theme was: untangle the knot of complex trauma.
Blue Knot Foundation President Dr. Cathy Kezelman AM said Blue Knot Day was about uniting Australians to help untangle the knot and complexities of trauma and abuse to support the recovery, resilience, and empowerment of survivors.
“Over 5 million adults in this country have experiences of complex trauma, which is repeated ongoing interpersonal trauma and abuse, often from childhood, as an adult, or both,” Dr. Kezelman said. “This Blue Knot Day marks the 10th anniversary of the Blue Knot Foundation delivering awareness, support and practitioner guidelines to help address the impacts of complex trauma on survivors.
Chronicle of Social Change – The number of youth in foster care declined for the first time since 2011, according to an annual report on youth in care released by the Department of Health and Human Services. But the length of time children stay has risen, with fewer of them returning to their parents.
The number of youth in care during fiscal 2018 was 437,283, according to the annual report from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), which was released today. The 2017 count was 442,995 and had been adjusted down to 441,000, according to the statement released today by the U.S. Children’s Bureau (CB).
“It is encouraging to see the first decrease since 2011 in the number of children in foster care,” said Lynn Johnson, HHS’ assistant secretary for children and families, in the statement. “This administration has focused on primary prevention and adoption, and we are starting to see some better results.”
AdoptUSKids – The need for adoptive families is real. So are the rewards. Today, there are 123,000 children and teens waiting to be adopted. Of the 5,000 children in actively listed on adoptuskids.org, 42 percent are 15–18 years old.
Which is why this year, our national adoption campaign highlights the rewards of adopting teens from foster care. In our videos and public service advertisements, families share the small moments that cement a family together—from sharing family meals to the first time a child calls you Mom or Dad.
It’s going to take a lot of people with open hearts to help ensure that every teen has the loving family they deserve. If that’s you, learn more about adopting a teen. You can’t imagine the reward.
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