Permanency Tip of the Week: Sources of Support #3 – I Am A Trained Professional, I Can Handle This Situation
If we look back at our last time on an airplane, I wonder how many of us remember that they told us in the safety briefing to put our oxygen mask on FIRST before placing the mask on the face of someone who is dependent on us. If we do the opposite, which likely is our instinct, we risk leaving the individual to fend for themselves alone in the world. This has direct implications for our Permanency work. We may become so focused on creating and sustaining Permanency for our Youth, that we neglect our own critical need for personal and professional Permanency. In order to become the best versions of ourselves as Permanency Champions, we must first secure and sustain our own sources of Permanency. Let’s truly be Champions and focus on our Permanency needs as well as those of our Youth!
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Ariana’s Story
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program – When Ariana was five years old, she had to be removed from her birth mother’s house after enduring years of abuse. “I had nightmares every single day,” she shared. “I thought, ‘Where am I going to live? Who is going to take care of me? How am I going to make friends?’” For more than five years, Ariana bounced between foster homes, longing for a permanent family. In 2014, she was adopted by Chris and Joanna McIntyre, of Colorado.
Permanency Related Articles:
Utah Policy – The Utah Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Family First Prevention Services Act plan, approved by the Federal Children’s Bureau will allow more children at risk of entering foster care or juvenile justice to remain safely at home. Utah is the first state and second child welfare agency (Washington D.C.) to have an approved prevention plan. Utah’s prevention plan outlines how the state will provide more evidence-based substance use treatment, mental health care, and in-home parenting skills services to families.
“Last year, substance use was a contributing factor in 80 percent of our foster care cases. We now have increased options to address a whole family’s needs without the condition of unnecessary parent-child separation,” said Ann Silverberg Willamson, executive director of Utah’s Department of Human Services, which served 4,570 children in foster care. “We believe families, children, and youth should be served together in their homes, schools, workplaces, and communities when safely possible.”…
Prevention of foster care services will also be available to youth at risk of entering the juvenile justice system. “Utah is leading the nation in a true partnership between child welfare and juvenile justice in our prevention plan to consider the needs of all youth and families,” said Brett Peterson, director of Juvenile Justice Services.
Florida Politics – Nearly half of state child protective investigators tasked with going out all hours of the day and night to respond to child protection emergencies quit their jobs last year as the Florida Department of Children and Families continued to struggle with challenge of burnout, a Florida House committee was told Thursday…Last year’s turnover rate was 48 percent among the more than 1,000 front-line workers who respond to complaints and reports, go into children’s homes, and investigate whether children are safe.
Recruitment also has fallen below standards, sliding the department away from its statutory goal of having at least half of its core child protective investigation staff, including supervisors, holding social work degrees. That credentialed group currently comprises just 13 percent of the staff, which is down from last year…“We are not where we want to be with being able to retain our staff and create an environment that makes this a career that works for them, and in which they can stay,” she added…“We have a big problem right now with work/life balance. It’s a tough job, but when you have the right pieces in place they can make it. But you see they are looking for jobs, they are looking for jobs very early on; that this is not going to be for them, because they have no life,” Medlock. “It’s not OK right now. We need to provide our folks with the way to go home and turn the work off. We are not there.”
Among initiatives, the department is looking for better, statewide, coordinated recruiting efforts, seeking to develop more professional development opportunities, and has just implemented merit pay, which she said is a huge bump for the staff.
California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC-CW) – Secondary Traumatic Stress/Compassion Fatigue [STS/CF] is the emotional, physical, and personal response to frequent exposure to and empathic engagement with individuals and families struggling with significant challenges in their lives. It is often referred to as the “emotional cost of caring.” This webinar will explore STS/CF and other human services workplace stressors and how we can ultimately experience “compassion satisfaction,” which is the key to thriving in the midst of this difficult work that we do. Real-time, on-the-job strategies will be examined, including self-awareness, self-regulation, emotional reflection, and the elicitation and amplification of good work. Participants will also be given references to an array of supervisory and organizational strategies that are foundational to mediating STS/CF.
This webinar is presented by Alan O’Malley-Laursen, MSW, LICSW. Wednesday, January 15, 2020, from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm PT
Religion News Service – When children are removed from their homes in the U.S., foster care workers try to keep them as close to their biological home as possible to minimize change, trauma, and loss. The same should be encouraged and supported in our child welfare work overseas. The future of adoption is working with local governments, churches and social services professionals around the world to recruit and support local families for children and to develop and improve effective and safe in-country child welfare systems.
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) – Inevitable. That’s how winding up in prison felt for a group of former foster youth — now adults who are imprisoned at Monroe Correctional Complex in Washington state. The men, who are part of the prison’s “state-raised working group,” convened a half-day conference last week to explore how to sever the pipeline they say delivers too many from foster care to prison. The state, as the de facto parent of foster children, must do a better job protecting, nurturing and educating their children, the men told the nearly 80 attendees, who included leadership from the state’s child welfare and juvenile justice agencies.
“What are these young people’s lives worth to society?” asked Ray, one of the 22 state-raised men who shared their stories and facilitated group discussions in the prison’s cavernous chapel. “And what’s the cost to society if we neglect to invest [in these youth]?” For Ray and the others, their trajectories began with childhood abuse or neglect that brought Child Protective Services to the door. At least one was born in prison. Most cycled between foster homes, group homes, homelessness and juvenile detention — where several said they experienced further abuse. Few got an education beyond the eighth grade. Many aged out of foster care at 18 with no job skills or support system, though often with a lengthy rap sheet…
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Take care and keep up the Permanency work – Our children, youth, young adults, families, and communities are depending on it!