Greetings Permanency Champions,
Story of the Week:
Bethany’s Dramatic Improvement – “Bethany” came to Maryvale in 2013 as she was in desperate need of hope, love and healing. She had been moved from facility to facility and was even placed in juvenile hall after other agencies had given up on Bethany, leaving the county with few alternatives. When Maryvale was contacted about Bethany, one of the most traumatized young ladies we have ever encountered, our team told the county we would give Bethany a home — and if she ran away, we would welcome her back. Nothing she could do would keep us from accepting her, showing her love and instilling in her hope for a brighter future.
Update: As you can imagine, it hasn’t been easy. Bethany has deep scars that have required twenty-four hour intensive care. Until recently, Bethany required one-to-one care, which is extremely unusual. But our staff has even deeper compassion, and we’re totally committed to bring God’s healing love to Bethany. The county is surprised at and grateful for the new levels of healing Bethany has realized since arriving. Today, Bethany no longer requires one-to-one support and has received a 4.0 for each of her last two semesters in school. While she is several grade levels below her peers, her success is remarkable considering her most challenging circumstances. She will be graduating soon, will move to a transitional housing program that can provide her the level of support she needs, and she plans to attend Community College.
Current Permanency related articles:
2nd Annual Child Welfare Solutions Symposium – Fostering Media Connections – When foster care hits the front page it is usually because something has gone terribly wrong. Please join us on the evening of Wednesday April 30th at 5:45 PM for a different look at the child welfare system: one that weighs the problems with possible solutions. Students of Media for Social Change, a novel course offered at USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy, will lead guests through an examination of wide ranging topics including: child sexual exploitation, school-based interventions and child maltreatment prevention. The students will also provide guests with a “Menu of Solutions” intended for policymakers, child welfare administrators, advocates and journalists to use as Los Angeles moves to improve the lives of vulnerable children.
New Report – African American Males as Faring Poorly in the Child Welfare System – The Center for the Study of Social Policy has released a new report, focusing on the plight of African American males in the child welfare system and urging the creation of new, improved approaches to address disparate outcomes. According to the report, African American males fare worse that other groups on a range of indicators.
Camp To Belong – Spring Newsletter – “I want to say thanks from the bottom of my heart for providing the opportunity for me and my brother Bryce to be able to spend valuable time together. For providing the opportunity for our sibling bond to seal, never to be broken again. I can say this: I am proud to be a part of the Camp To Belong Family. You saved one more sibling bond.
You are a hero.” *Griffin, Camper.
National Perspectives and Federal Resources: Trauma Informed Care in Child Serving Systems – Date/Time: Thursday, April 17, 2014, 1:00-2:30 PM ET This free webinar, sponsored by The National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health, at Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development, will feature representatives from federal agencies involved in the development of the July 2013 Tri-Director guidance letter intended to encourage the integrated use of trauma-focused screening, functional assessments and evidence-based practices (EBPs) in child-serving settings for the purpose of improving child well-being.
Faculty and Staff Foster Youth Curriculum and Trainer’s Guide Now Available
The John Burton Foundation has published a new training curriculum designed for use by campus professionals wishing to enhance their college or university’s capacity to serve foster youth. The recently released Faculty and Staff Curriculum and accompanying Trainer’s Guide are now available to those working with foster youth to use to educate their campus community about what it means to be a student who is or was involved in the child welfare system. The materials provide suggestions for what faculty, counselors and staff can do to support these youth during their educational journey. Those interested in accessing the materials can visit the California College Pathways website to listen to a recording of a web seminar that provides tips for delivering the training and to download both the guide and curriculum. For additional information on these materials contact Devon Werble at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Videos from the Attachment and Bonding Center – The Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio emphasizes fostering connections between adopted children and their parents. The center provides a variety of resources to support families, including the following video talks:
- No Anger Zone: Maintaining a Peaceful Emotional Climate in Adoptive Families
This video explores how past trauma can cause adopted children to become angry and how the anger can spread to the rest of the family.
- The Impact of Trauma on Child Development
This video includes a discussion of how adoptees with a history of residence in orphanages or foster homes, or who have experienced neglect or abuse may display an inability to learn from their mistakes.
Little Girl Lost: My Failed Foster Adoption – Helen Ramaglia / Chronicle of Social Change – Her brothers came into our lives two weeks earlier. As we sat in a local McDonald’s, we were excited and anxious to finally meet this little girl we had heard so much about: our new daughter. The minutes flew by, and then in walked the most adorable little 5-year-old ballerina. She was dressed all in pink and wearing a matching pink tutu.
I looked at my husband, two weeks into fatherhood, and saw the tears flooding his eyes as he met his new daughter for the very first time. I watched as he leaned over to explain to the boys that she was their sister. They were two and three years old … Because family and children services was desperate to find an adoptive home to reunite the three siblings, and because of my eagerness to please my husband, we had bypassed all of the usual protocols and fast-tracked the adoption. We agreed and signed the paperwork before ever seeing or meeting this wonderful little family of three. It is something that never should have been allowed, or encouraged…
May 7 Web Seminar – From Their Lips to Your Ears: Using Focus Groups to Inform Campus Support Program Design – When designing programs for foster youth, we often look to the “experts” for guidance, but often those with the most expertise are foster youth themselves. Soliciting feedback through focus groups can be a valuable exercise both to inform new program planning and to refine existing services. But the value of the information that comes out of a focus group is dependent on the thought and planning that goes into it. Recruiting a diverse group of participants, formulating the right questions, creating an open and supportive space and choosing the best facilitator are all essential for an effective focus group.
The John Burton Foundation will be hosting a web seminar on Wednesday, May 7th at 10:00, featuring representatives from RTI International who will provide tips and tools for conducting effective focus groups with foster youth. The materials presented will focus specifically on how to design and facilitate focus groups with foster youth students on college campuses that can be used to refine service delivery models to be most responsive to student needs.