Permanency Tip of the Week: Addressing Permanency for Youth with History of Homelessness
When a youth has experienced a period of homelessness, the mere concept of being in a permanent family home may be so difficult to comprehend, that they may directly or indirectly reject it. Before we approach placing a youth with recent or current experience of homelessness, it is important to: 1) Validate their life experience; 2) Acknowledge their incredible ability to survive against daunting odds; 3) Slowly begin to provide them with opportunities to rebuilt their ability to form inter-dependent relationships Without these important steps, we could cause doors to be slammed shut that otherwise could lead to true Permanency.
Permanency Story of the Week: “Now I Know What Family Means”
Lorraine Hayward was 22 years old when she was adopted by Nicole and Mark Hayward. She had met the couple through You Gotta Believe, an organization that focuses on finding permanent families for older youth. Growing up I never had a family. I lived in group homes or foster homes. I was adopted for a short period of time before the mother decided that she didn’t want me and sent me away. During that time I developed a picture of the perfect family in my mind. A family that could never exist. Now that I have parents, I finally know what family really means. It means that when you need help, they help you. When you just can’t do something, they do it for you. It means that no matter what you do or say, they are still here, because they love you.
Current Permanency Related Articles:
Chronicle of Social Change – Advocates, professionals, legislators, families, caregivers and all those who interact with the child welfare system grapple with the question of when and how resources should be invested at local, state, and national levels, to most effectively help children and families who may be touched by the foster care system. If we are serious about helping children, we must ask ourselves with greater urgency: At what point should we begin to pay attention to families who are at risk? The vital importance of the early years of children’s lives in setting the stage for their futures cannot be overstated.
Archived Webinar with PowerPoint Slides – Waupaca County (WI) Department of Health and Human Services shared the events and conditions that created the context and need to move an entire human services agency to a trauma-informed approach to human service practice and administration. Presenters will share the nine principles of trauma- informed care that Waupaca County DHHS developed, strategies and lessons learned will be shared to demonstrate the importance of leadership and support from administration on incorporating a culture shift towards trauma-informed organizational health.
The Foster Care Work Group of the Youth Transitions Funders Group (YTFG) recently released a new video titled The Well-Being Journey for Young Adults. The video features foster youth speaking frankly about their experiences in care and strategies that they have used to support their own well-being. The video is a compliment to the YTFG well-being investment framework, which highlights the various domains of well-being and the role of families, communities, and public systems in supporting well-being.
1) Review Creating a Family’s “Top Ten Tips for Blending Children by Birth and Adoption”. The article provides tips and resources for families with children by birth and adoption; 2) Explore why it’s important for families to recognize similarities and differences when “Making Blended Families Work” on the Adoptive Families website; 3) Learn four ways parents can ease the transition of becoming a family when blending siblings from birth and adoption “When One Child is Adopted and the Other Isn’t” at Parents.com.
Reaching Higher: A Curriculum for Foster/Adoptive Parents and Kinship Caregivers Caring for LGBTQ Youth
This National Center for Child Welfare Excellence (NCCWE) curriculum was developed to help foster, kinship, adoptive, and guardianship parents enhance their skills in providing direct care for LGBTQ youth.
Chronicle of Social Change – Trying to get a child to adapt to a new home setting that is away from his or her original family can be one of the most difficult parts of adoption or moving the child around in foster care. Having a sense of home is pivotal to a child’s development and how they will conduct themselves into adulthood. According to a Princeton Journal, “from a child’s perspective, the foster care experience can be emotionally traumatic, and it is associated with detrimental developmental outcomes and lower educational achievement.”