Permanency Tip of the Week: I Am Done with Seeking Permanency
In working with people who have repeatedly experienced disappointment, one of the possible reactions we see is them giving up trying entirely. Learned helplessness can be a powerful and debilitating reaction. When we see this response in our Youth, it is important that we empathize with our Youth and help normalize their experience. This also might lead us to need to slow down or reduce their involvement in the Permanency process until they feel stronger and more secure emotionally; however, our Permanency efforts can continue “behind the scenes.”
Permanency Success Story of the Week: What Does Family Finding Success Look Like, Carly?
A Family for Every Child – When children enter their teens, their drive to know who they are and where they come from increases dramatically. Carly is a prime example of a young woman determined to connect with her parents no matter what the consequences. The teenage Carly was a bit rebellious and was having difficulty in her placements. She had been in and out of the local Safe Center several times during her adolescent years and seemed restless…The Family Finding volunteer first spoke with Carly’s paternal grandmother who filled in the family tree and shared phone numbers and contact information for two sisters and Dad. When the family was contacted, they expressed excitement that Carly had finally been ‘found’. However, there was nobody more surprising (or surprised) than Dad…Although the caseworker was reluctant to proceed with the connection after the profound incident Carly had experienced with her mother, eventually a meeting occurred and Carly was re-connected with her father and the other safe family members who so much wanted her in their lives.
Permanency Related Articles:
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption – On July 31, 1992, Dave Thomas, himself adopted, established the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to raise awareness about the need for foster care adoption and employee adoption benefits. Since then, the Foundation has continued that work while aggressively expanding its impact into new areas. In 2004, the Foundation launched its signature program, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, which provides grants to public and private agencies to hire recruiters specifically trained in the evidence-based child-focused recruitment model. These recruiters find loving homes for children who have been in foster care the longest, and since inception, more than 6,000 children have gone home to their forever families. In addition to Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, the Foundation is a founding partner of National Adoption Day, a day courts across the country set aside to celebrate and finalize adoptions. The Foundation is also the driving force behind Adoption-Friendly Workplace, a program that encourages employers to offer adoption benefits including financial reimbursement and paid time off. Each year the Foundation recognizes the Top 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces for their role in supporting employees as they grow their families through adoption.
Child Welfare League of America – On Thursday, January 19, HHS released the 2015 Child Maltreatment Report. In Fiscal Year 2015, approximately 683,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect. Comparing the national estimate of victims from 2011 (658,000) to the rounded number of reported victims in 2015 (683,000) shows an increase of 3.8 percent…A nationally estimated 1,670 children died from abuse and neglect at a rate of 2.25 per 100,000 children in the population. This represents a 5.7 percent increase from the 2011 national estimate of 1,580. Fatality rates by state ranged from 0.00 to 5.67 per 100,000 children in the population.
Blue Ribbon Project – For individuals who become victims of abuse, the negative effects don’t end when they grow up and leave their abuser behind them. They may have spent years in an abusive situation that included physical, sexual, or emotional trauma. Childhood is when you essentially learn what the world is like, learn about things like trust and rules and respect. When trauma to that degree is caused by a caregiver, it can affect the victim for the rest of their lives.
1) Victims of abuse can experience social difficulties. 2) Adults may also experience difficulty in sustaining intimate relationships. 3) The mental health consequences of abuse can be far-reaching as well. 4) Suicidal ideation often continues into adulthood. 5) Adult survivors of abuse frequently exhibit high risk behavior. 6) There is also some truth to the stereotype of cycle of abuse.
While it is possible to get help and attempt to overcome the lingering damage from their abusers, it does present an additional obstacle that survivors of abuse have to overcome.
Children’s Bureau – Social media has emerged as a new tool for caseworkers and other child-serving professionals to engage youth. A recent podcast from Child Welfare Information Gateway, “Engaging Youth in Foster Care,” features an interview with Sixto Cancel, youth consultant to the Children’s Bureau’s Child Welfare Capacity Building Center for States, founder and CEO of Think of Us, and foster care alumnus…As the founder and CEO of Think of Us, Cancel discusses how his organization is leading the way in using multimedia and technology to help youth in foster care thrive as they enter adulthood. With the goal of creating an online web and mobile platform that connects young people to education and employment opportunities based on their abilities, Think of Us aspires to give youth in foster care the chance for a prosperous future.
Creating A Family – Most of us don’t go into parenting expecting undying gratitude, but we also don’t go in expecting to hear that you aren’t her real mother and that she would rather live with someone else. No parent wants to hear that, but it is especially hard for adoptive parents because the child is talking about another real live family rather than a hypothetical nicer, better family. Hearing “you’re not my real mom” and “I’d rather live with my birth family” hurts…Adoptive parents, adult adoptees, and even a few birth moms poured out their advice, but I especially want to share the wisdom of the real experts in adoption–the adult adoptees that have lived that experience. With their permission, I include it here.
Children’s Bureau – The lack of stability that many youth in foster care experience, either from changing schools or foster homes, can have significant implications for their transitions to adulthood and for pursuing higher education. While many youth anticipate college as an opportunity to establish community, several stressors unique to college environments may exacerbate their feelings of instability and isolation. Helping Young Adults From Foster Care Succeed in College, a new resource produced by the Research and Training Center for Pathways to Positive Futures, provides tips for educators to effectively help youth in foster care transition to college.
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