Permanency Tip of the Week: Week 4 of 5 – Role of the Community in Permanency
Addressing the absence of Permanency is NOT a Child Welfare problem. The role of the Community in all phases of the Permanency process is to provide a sustainable and supportive presence for the youth and their Permanent connections. The community, those “without badges” provide the critical unconditional support for the youth and their Permanent connections long after those supports linked to the “System” fade away. As early as possible, aggressive and sustained outreach to the community ties that are meaningful to the Youth must happen. This is particularly important in the area of keeping the Youth connected to their Culture. Community connections can take the form of individuals from school, work, sports, extra-curricular activities, religious and ethnic groups.
Permanency Story of the Week: National Adoption Day Celebrations
The dreams of more than two dozen children will come true in the District of Columbia Saturday as they are adopted into forever families; Kansas: 22 Children Adopted in Wichita Falls for National Adoption Day; Montgomery County celebrates National Adoption Day; New Jersey: 13 Hudson County foster children find permanent homes at National Adoption Day celebration; Vermont: Finalizing Record-Breaking 36 Adoptions In 1 Day; Texas: National Adoption Day brings “forever homes” for Houston children; California: San Jose: National Adoption Day event makes things official for 16 families & Los Angeles: Nearly 170 foster children in Los Angeles were adopted during the National Adoption Day event at the Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Court in Monterey Park.
Current Permanency Related Articles:
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption – “My Dream”
This year, National Adoption Month focuses on the adoption of older youth currently in foster care—because “We Never Outgrow the Need for Family.” This theme calls attention to our nation’s population of older youth in foster care who need loving, permanent families. Youth ages 12 to 20 make up a large percentage of the foster care population—34 percent or 141,181 youth.1 Creating lifelong connections for these young people is critical in helping them prepare for successful adulthood.
Researchers at the Chapin Hall Policy Research Center at the University of Chicago find that, as adults, they’re more likely to be unemployed, rely on public assistance and become involved with the criminal justice system, and women are more likely to have a child out of wedlock. That’s why national project director Kathy Ledesma and colleagues at AdoptUSKids are using November, National Adoption Month, to urge families to adopt older youth from the foster care system. Report: Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth.
Mobile Apps and Foster Care Solutions
Last month, the Pritzker Foster Care Initiative, which funds a number of child welfare-related non-profits, including my organization, hosted a half-day convening on “Web and Mobile App Solutions for Transition Age Youth.” “I think there is enormous opportunity for this sector [foster care] to benefit from what’s going on in terms of leveraging the Internet to connect people, to provide education and to find resources,” said Winnie Wechsler, executive director of the Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation, which organized the gathering. “How can we apply some of what is happening in the commercial sector for advancement of solutions for social good?”
The job of caring for foster children officially falls to state and county child welfare agencies. But in a new policy statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics is asking physicians to take a more active role in ensuring the wellbeing of foster kids in their care. The majority of children who enter the foster care system are placed there after suffering abuse or neglect at home. A growing body of evidence points to the long-term health effects of that trauma – effects like PTSD, and a higher likelihood of developing substance-dependence and chronic illness. A statement, published in the journal Pediatrics this month calls on pediatricians to give extra time and attention to children and teens in foster care– and work with sensitivity to trauma. The authors write that health care for foster children is “often fragmented and crisis-oriented rather than planned, preventive, and palliative.”
Six-year-old Emma’s* blue eyes light up when Evy Ezpinoza, her therapist, walks through the door. The little girl and her adoptive mother sit side-by-side at a table in a playroom where their Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) session is coming to a close. But Emma’s expression quickly changes when Evy explains, in a calm, concerned tone, that they don’t have time to play today. Emma and Evy often get a few minutes of “special play time” at the end of Emma and her mom’s therapy sessions at a clinic called TIES (which stands for training, intervention, education and services) for Families South Bay in Torrance, Calif.
Research shows that families who adopt children from foster care are able to meet the needs of these children more confidently when they are provided with consistent and appropriate postadoption supports. In addition, foster, adoptive, and kinship families who feel supported by their agency can serve as resources in the recruitment of prospective parents and provide prospective families with a support network. A new publication from the National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment at AdoptUSKids, Support Matters: Lessons from the Field on Services for Adoptive, Foster, and Kinship Care Families, provides information and guidance to State and Tribal child welfare managers and administrators and staff of family support organizations about the effective use of support services.