Permanency Tip of the Week: 268. 2/24/20 – Do We Stop Seeking Permanency to Protect the Child from Future Loss? Part 2 of 2
I often think that the move to LTFC may have more to do with an underlying desire on behalf of the professionals to protect them from having to walk with the child through some potentially challenging and difficult situations. What it ends up doing; however, is preventing the child from having the opportunity to heal and thrive. Here is a great video from Bruce Perry on the critical importance and power of relationships (among other great topics). It sometimes can be hard for us to try and convince someone of a different belief to align with our beliefs; however, I sometimes challenge them by making it personal instead of professional. I will ask them how they would want the situation handled if they or someone they loved was in this situation. Would they want them to be alone for the rest of their childhood and potentially beyond? Would they want to be comforted in their time of loss by people who they love or only by people who are paid to care for them? These can be difficult questions to ask and to answer; however, they need to be asked because if the plan we select would not be good enough for us or someone we love, why is it good enough for a Youth whom we are legally obligated to serve?
Let’s go out there and secure and sustain Permanency for ALL of our Youth!
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Teenage Adoption: The Family that Took in a 17-Year-Old Girl
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) – “I didn’t think anyone would ever come for a teenager.” Ashley Lacasse spent her life without a permanent home, attending 19 different schools as she moved between parents, family members, and foster care. Now at 17 (and a half) years old, she has walked out of a courtroom in Ottawa, Ontario, officially part of a new family. “I just can’t believe it,” she told the BBC. “I felt like I was going to cry.”
Ashley’s new mother Amanda Jette Knox said the adoption was technically a “permanent custody”, which allowed Ashley to keep her last name. “She has a relationship with her parents,” Amanda explained, “it’s just she’s not able to live with them. So we worked with her to create a situation she’s really happy with. “We found out she was going to become a crown ward, which means CPS would be her caregiver until she aged out of the system.
“We didn’t like that, it was so unfair. She’s such a wonderful person, she deserved more.” Ashley became known to Amanda through her other daughter Alexis, whom she met at school. “They got each other on a really deep level,” Amanda said. “Alexis is trans, and she had come out only a couple of years before they met. “This was Alexis’ first year back at school, and she didn’t really know anybody. Ashley became one of her first very close friends.”
Permanency Related Articles:
National Institutes of Health (NIH) – Children exposed to institutional care often suffer from “structural neglect” which may include minimum physical resources, unfavorable and unstable staffing patterns, and social-emotionally inadequate caregiver-child interactions. This chapter is devoted to the analysis of the ill effects of early institutional experiences on resident children’s development. Delays in the important areas of physical, hormonal, cognitive, and emotional development are discussed. The evidence for and against the existence of a distinctive set of co-occurring developmental problems in institutionalized children is weighed and found to not yet convincingly demonstrate a “post-institutional syndrome”. Finally, shared and non-shared features of the institutional environment and specific genetic, temperamental, and physical characteristics of the individual child are examined that might make a crucial difference in whether early institutional rearing leaves irreversible scars. Children exposed to institutional care often suffer from “structural neglect” which may include minimum physical resources, unfavorable and unstable staffing patterns, and social-emotionally inadequate caregiver-child interactions. This chapter is devoted to the analysis of the ill effects of early institutional experiences on resident children’s development. Delays in the important areas of physical, hormonal, cognitive, and emotional development are discussed. The evidence for and against the existence of a distinctive set of co-occurring developmental problems in institutionalized children is weighed and found to not yet convincingly demonstrate a “post-institutional syndrome”. Finally, shared and non-shared features of the institutional environment and specific genetic, temperamental, and physical characteristics of the individual child are examined that might make a crucial difference in whether early institutional rearing leaves irreversible scars.
Deseret News – In the first season of NBC’s new hit drama, “This Is Us,” patriarch Jack Pearson and his son Randall finally talk about the elephant in the room: How Randall, as an African-American child, feels about being a different race from his adoptive family.
“We don’t talk about that enough,” Jack says of the adoption. “Because to me, you are every part my son.” Lonnie Chavis, left, as 9-year-old Randall and Milo Ventimiglia as Jack Pearson in NBC’s “This Is Us.” | NBC, Ron Batzdorff
With this storyline, adoption professionals say “This Is Us,” “The Fosters” and the Oscar-nominated film “Lion” explore uncharted territory in the entertainment world — the complicated, sometimes messy world of adoption far removed from the oversimplified and outdated stereotypes of “Annie,” “Oliver Twist” or a gamut of orphaned Disney princesses.
“Now that adoption is portrayed much more positively, it can become something people are more comfortable talking about,” said Gloria Hochman of the National Adoption Center.
Chronicle of Social Change – California foster youth placed with relatives are less likely to spend time in group homes or institutional placements, and black children are more likely than their white counterparts to do so, according to new research.
According to the study, which looked at six years’ worth of data on 12- to 14-year-olds in California foster care, about one in five children in foster care (17 percent) moved from a family-based foster placement into congregate care.
But an initial foster care placement with a non-related caregiver “was a significant predictor of movement into congregate care,” according to the study, which was led by Lindsey Palmer of University of Southern California’s Children’s Data Network. Children placed in these foster homes at the start of a foster care episode were 1.7 times more likely to end up in congregate care than those who began their time in care with a relative or extended family member.
The study’s population mirrored California’s foster care system: more than 50 percent of youth were Latino, nearly 25 percent were white and about 20 percent were black. But black and white children in foster care saw much different trajectories over the course of the study.
American Psychological Association (APA) Services – New studies look at strategies for helping children and families cope after traumatic events. In this installment of “Research Roundup,” we look at three new studies that explore different facets of childhood trauma: childhood adversities and co-occurring trauma, the implementation of evidence-based psychotherapies (EBPs) with traumatized youth and the experiences of parents whose children receive psychological treatment for post-traumatic stress.
SALEM. Ore. (KTVZ) — Legislation to ensure Native American children within Oregon’s foster care system are protected and cared for in culturally appropriate settings passed the Oregon House on Thursday. House Bill 4148 modifies Oregon’s dependency code to align with the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and requires the Oregon Department of Human Services to provide biennial reports about American Indian and Alaska Native children in the child welfare system.
Rep. Tawna Sanchez (D-Portland) led the workgroup process that crafted the legislation and carried the bill on the floor. “This legislation is the product of years of hard work by a wide variety of stakeholders,” Sanchez said. “For too many Native children in Oregon, the care that they are receiving while in state custody is not culturally appropriate and out of compliance with federal law. Following decades of destructive assimilation policies forced upon Native children and families, the protections and commitments in House Bill 4148 are long overdue…”
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