Permanency Tip of the Week: Permanency, Loss, Attachment and Trauma in the Workplace
In looking at the issues of Permanency, Loss, Attachment and Trauma – the focus is often on how its impacts can be seen and felt in the home and at school. What if use that same Trauma Informed Lens is used to view the challenges and struggles that our Youth and Young Adults face in the workplace. Situations involving verbally confronting supervisors or customers during a disagreement (fight response), not showing up or disappearing from work (flight response) and not responding or seemingly ignoring instructions (freeze response) can be much more effectively dealt with both in a proactive and reactive manner if we use a Trauma Informed Lens.
Permanency Story of the Week: Kendra’s Story
Through Kendra’s story we learn how her family has sustained birth family connections and created a support network for her family. Kendra’s story is like a letter to her children. She shares a heart-warming message describing how their family was so specially formed both through birth and adoption. Kendra also describes the uniqueness of their ongoing and supportive relationship with the biological parents of their adopted children.
Current Permanency Related Articles:
A Georgia sales executive knows the elation of American athletes who recently returned from the 2016 Rio Olympics with a record 121 medals. Darold Williamson, now a 33-year-old father of three young daughters, anchored Team USA’s 4 x 400-meter relay team to the medal podium in the 2004 Athens Olympics, following a successful high school and college running career.
His journey to Olympic gold didn’t start out with a clear track. Darold and his two brothers were placed in foster care in San Antonio, Texas, as young boys. Then, working with the Casey Family Programs’ field office there, the boys’ grandmother became their licensed foster parent when Darold was 6 or 7.
To other foster youth, Darold would offer this advice: “Know your value and know your worth in spite of your circumstances. Be appreciative of the people that you do have in your life that do love you and do help you out.” He adds: “Don’t be ashamed, but be proud. Be proud that even though you may have gone through something or are going through something, you have the opportunity to make more out of that situation than a lot of people expect.”
The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV), funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, published a special collection of resources titled “Fostering Resilience, Respect and Healthy Growth in Child Welfare and Beyond.” The tools and resources included in this collection are intended to help create positive environments where children can thrive and increase their resilience throughout their lifetimes.
With resources available for use by young people, parents and caregivers, teachers and school-based professionals, gender-based violence intervention and prevention advocates, other related professionals, and communities and organizations, the collection’s resources touch on a wide range of topics.
It was 2006, and in California Beth Fraker watched a recent episode of Dr. Phil recommended to her by a coworker. The show featured Judy Cockerton, founder of the Treehouse Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the child welfare system and promoting public investment in the nation’s most vulnerable children. Fraker watched closely as Cockerton spoke about the Treehouse Community she had created in western Massachusetts, a mini-town where elders and foster youth and families live together.
Both Fraker and Cockerton had been inspired by the Hope Meadows community in Illinois, a model intergenerational community that supports the well-being of both children “aging out” of foster care and senior citizens. Depending on individual state laws, foster youth age out of care at 18, 20 or 21 and are then left without a support system. In 2003, she formed Generations Together, a nonprofit dedicated to building multi-generational communities like Hope Meadows and Treehouse…Largely because of Fraker’s efforts, Treehouse has partnered with MidPen Housing to bring the model to the San Francisco Bay Area. Beyond Treehouse California, the Treehouse Community model is also expanding to include Treehouse MetroWest in Boston and Treehouse Albany in New York. “We are so excited to be replicating all of its goodness in California, Massachusetts and New York,” Cockerton said.
Providers at the Center for Child and Family Health in Durham, North Carolina have found a unique way to make the RPC more inclusive for adopted children who have experienced trauma. In this 10-minute podcast, Felicia Gibson, PhD, who works in Post Adoption Support Services at CCFH, tells how her group created this nine-week psychoeducational parent/child program. Each three-hour session of FACT (Families and Adopted Children Together) includes a shared meal, fun activities for the kids, and Family Together Time to reinforce messages that map onto the RPC learning modules. The program grew from parents’ reports that their adopted kids who had experienced trauma felt isolated and carried shame associated with their traumatic experiences. Since parents and children attend sessions together, FACT also addresses child care issues that sometimes hamper parent participation in the RPC training.
Casey Family Programs published a research brief that calls for more targeted services for children and youth in therapeutic residential care (TRC), better data to inform appropriate interventions, and more focused consideration of alternative treatment options. The brief summarizes research data on the use of TRC facilities for children and youth and suggests how various interventions and overall systems reform can help ensure more appropriate and targeted services and work toward improved permanency outcomes for children and youth.
An adoptive mother, who had been a foster parent to her daughter for five years, adopted her after an adoption disruption in another state. This child constantly curses at her mom, steals from her, lies, and destroys her possessions. This child experienced enormous trauma in her early life. She is now almost impossible to parent. One evening this mom was at her wits’ end, the child was out of control, and she called the police. Unfortunately, the child lied, there were misunderstandings, and the mother was arrested. The child moved to a foster home. Ultimately, this was resolved; however, it was traumatizing for this mother, and for this family.