Permanency Tip of the Week: Sources of Support #1 – We are Fine, We Have Already Been Parents
In serving prospective foster/resource parents and relative caregivers, it is crucial that we actively engage them as early in the process (ideally before they have the child in their home) as possible and focus on helping them develop a robust social support network that is sustainable during the roller-coaster ride that can be parenting within the foster care system. A balanced set of supports, those inside and outside of the foster care system, can be critical for our caregivers to receive support from a variety of perspectives. One of the best ways to lower the barriers to caregivers willingly accepting outside support is to connect them with a mentor who has legitimacy as they can truly walk the walk and talk the talk that our caregivers so desperately need to see and hear.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Love Them No Matter What
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption – Wendy’s Wonderful Kids – Robyn says when she learned of the need for teenagers to be adopted, she was moved to action. Winter was in foster care for nine years before she came home to me. The first time my daughter, Nasia, and I saw Winter, we knew that she was meant to be a part of our family. Nasia is also adopted and wanted a sister.
Winter lived with us for about a year before her adoption finalized on the day after her 13th birthday. I’m so thankful that Winter’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids adoption recruiter, Karen, was there to help us navigate the process. Winter had been given up so many times. It was a huge hurdle for her to trust that I was not going to leave her. It will take time for Winter to feel secure, but she knows that I love her more than anything…
To anyone considering foster care adoption, I hope you’ll consider adopting a teenager. It’s easy to adopt a baby and guide their life from the start, but teenagers need love, too. Love them harder. Love them no matter what. Don’t give up on them.
Permanency Related Articles:
Annie E Casey Foundation (AECF) – Engaging young people emerging from foster care to help shape practice and policy is a key approach of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative®. But does it work? A team of researchers from Washington State University set out to answer this question. Their review took them to four Jim Casey Initiative sites — in Georgia, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Tennessee — and spotlights the benefits of authentic youth engagement.
Across the sites, researchers examined documents, interviewed and surveyed youth as well as staff and community partners, and analyzed data from the Opportunity Passport® Participant Survey…“When adults work directly with young people to make changes, building trust and listening to their voices, the effect is powerful,” says Leslie Gross, director of the Jim Casey Initiative. “This research reinforces the importance of authentic youth engagement while identifying opportunities to strengthen relationships with more diverse groups of young people.”
Restorative Inquiry (Canada) – The Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children Restorative Inquiry was established following a 17-year journey for justice by former residents of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children (NSHCC, or the Home). It was established under the authority of the Public Inquiries Act following a collaborative design process involving former residents, Government, and community members. This public inquiry was the first of its kind in Canada (and, it appears, internationally) to take a restorative approach. The Inquiry was a part of the Government of Nova Scotia’s commitment to respond to the institutional abuse and other failures of care experienced by former residents of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children. In establishing the Restorative Inquiry, the Government of Nova Scotia recognized that the history, experience, and legacy of the Home reflects the systemic and institutionalized racism that has shaped Nova Scotia’s history and continues to impact the lives and experiences of African Nova Scotians to this day. The Restorative Inquiry was established following an official apology from the Government of Nova Scotia for the harms related to the Home and the systemic racism that lay at its roots.
Adoption Law Should Be Reformed to Give Children Legal Connections to Both of Their Families – Here’s Why
The Conversation – When children are unable to live safely at home with their parents, they may enter out-of-home care. Most of these children are in foster or kinship care and many are able safely to go home after a period of time. But for more than 23,000 children in out-of-home care in Australia, the courts have determined they cannot ever safely return home. Adoption is one way these children can be given permanency and avoid moving from placement to placement in foster care.
But the adoption of children from out-of-home care is extremely contentious. This is partly because adoption laws in all Australian states and territories require children to be legally severed from their birth family when they’re adopted. This is called “plenary adoption”.
Our new research, launched this week in parliament in Canberra, found Australians with personal or professional experience of out-of-home care or adoption want a new form of adoption legislated in Australia. One which would allow children to have legal ties to both their adoptive family and their birth family at the same time. This is called “simple adoption”…
Health Affairs – Successfully addressing the US opioid overdose epidemic will require a strategy for adolescents and young adults (AYAs). Two in three adults treated for opioid use disorder (OUD) first used opioids when they were younger than age 25. In the past 15 years, AYAs’ use of prescription opioids, heroin, and fentanyl has skyrocketed, paralleled by increasing rates of OUD diagnoses and opioid-related overdoses and deaths in AYAs, the latter of which reached almost 5,000 in 2017. Despite these staggering statistics, Generation Z is too rarely prioritized in policy discussions surrounding the opioid epidemic.
AYAs are a unique population, deserving of special consideration, with opportunities to improve short- and long-term outcomes multiplied over a lifetime. However, they are often caught between child- and adult-focused care as their bodies, minds, and roles change rapidly. Their development, particularly related to reward pathways in the brain, contribute to AYA’s high-risk and substance-seeking behaviors. This time of transition makes AYAs highly vulnerable to opioid use and abuse…
Phys.org – As the U.S. foster care system moves away from relying on residential programs for children with complex emotional and behavioral needs according to the 2018 Family First Prevention Services Act, more of these high-need children will be placed in home-based therapeutic foster care (TFC) settings. But, according to a study led by CUNY SPH doctoral students Erika Tullberg and Wendy Vaughon, many TFC foster parents do not receive the training and support they need in order to provide these children with stable, supportive, and therapeutic care. This results in high levels of placement disruptions, which are associated with both emotional and behavioral problems among children.
As part of a project focused on implementing trauma-informed practices in TFC settings, the researchers led focus groups with TFC foster parents that explored different aspects of their experiences, identified multiple ways in which they need support, and provided recommendations for foster care agencies looking to retain skilled foster parents and increase the quality and stability of children’s experience in TFC programs…”The more TFC programs can anticipate and proactively collaborate with TFC foster parents to address these concerns, the more likely these vulnerable children will receive the consistent and skilled caretaking associated with positive emotional, behavioral and child welfare outcomes,” said Tullberg.
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