Permanency Tip of the Week: What Motivates Our Youth in Foster Care? – Part 1
Most parents struggle with finding out what motivates their children, besides electronics, social media, and other material-based objects/concepts. In caring for Youth who have languished for year in out-of-home care, it can be particularly challenging for foster parents, service providers, and social workers to kindle sustained levels of motivation for Permanency. After a life history filled with abuse, neglect, trauma, and loss, many Youth understandably are motivated merely to survive one day at a time. This can make caring for them and serving them very challenging as they may verbally and behaviorally communicate that they “don’t care about a family.” What they are saying in part is that “I am focused on surviving today and cannot focus on a possible family in the future.” We need to honor their struggle, validate their desire to focus on near-term goals (surviving today), and gradually guide them to stretch this goal. More on this next week…
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Raise a Child: Meet Adoptive and Foster Mother Patsy Collins
KTLA 5 (Los Angeles, CA) – Foster and adoptive mother Erika Collins dream became a reality with the help of her mother Patsy Collins, Allies for Every Child’s Marianne Guilfoyle, and Raise a Child. For more information on Raise a Child visit. This segment aired on the KTLA 5 News at 3pm on May 13, 2019.
Permanency Related Articles:
Good Morning America – “Sesame Street” has introduced a new character named Karli — a young Muppet in foster care, and her “for-now” parents, Dalia and Clem. Karli’s debut is part of initiative from the “Sesame Street in Communities” program, which provides free resources for community providers and caregivers on various topics, including tough issues like homelessness and traumatic experiences, according to Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind the popular children’s show. The free, bilingual resources, including digital interactives and printables, were released online today and help caregivers and providers support children as they navigate the world of foster care. YouTube videos featuring Karli are also being promoted through the program including one called, “On Your Team,” in which Elmo’s dad Louie chats with Karli’s foster parents, Dalia and Clem.
Alabama Pre/Post Adoption Connections (APAC) – Thursday, June 13, 2019; 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm EST; Online Webinar
Sexual abuse has been considered a taboo subject for years. It was once thought as a dirty little secret. Well, no more secrets! We need to empower ourselves and children with knowledge and safety plans of action. This webinar is intended to assist caregivers and professionals with key learning objectives and strategies to make teachable moments and conversations easier and more productive. Deb Schneider’s passion has long been prevention awareness and prevention education. Her interactive, light-hearted approach to this difficult subject makes the educational and conversational components for adults and children to feel more powerful.
The Archibald Project – My name is Tristan and I am 19 years old. When I was 14 I was placed into state custody for getting involved in things I shouldn’t have and after being in custody for 4 years, I was placed into a group foster home. In a lot of ways, I am a normal teenager who likes normal teenager type things. I like to listen to music from different countries and make playlists. I like to read and watch movies. I like performing arts and going to see plays or stand-up comedy. I also like to experience new things and travel. In February, I took my first plane ride and I’m getting ready to go to Australia to attend a conference on medical technology and research.
My past has shaped a lot of who I am but I will not let it define my future. I grew up in a very unhealthy home environment which lead to me acting out. It wasn’t until I was placed in a group foster home that I felt any freedom. The group home allowed me to come and go as I wanted…
Sometimes it feels like you don’t have a lot of control in your life and that might be true in some things, but no one can ever take away your ability to make personal choices to improve yourself. If you take personal responsibility to work on the things you can control and prepare for things that aren’t in your control, you can make a huge difference in where you end up in your life. Where you are right now is only temporary, but the decisions you make can have a permanent effect on your life.
I find my hope in my personal faith and in the actions of myself and others. Not everyone shares my faith, but many of my beliefs are universal: compassion, personal responsibility, helping those less fortunate… This has made me realize that each of us can make a difference in the world.
Scotsman (Scotland) – Last month, Eilidh, a 15-year old girl who was an in-patient in a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service hospital was referred to our children’s home in Johnstone. She was well enough to leave hospital but not well enough to go home. Eilidh wrote to Seona Weir, who runs the service, to ask if she and her team gave hugs. She said that the nurses in the hospital were very nice but they didn’t give hugs and she didn’t want to move to another place where this was also true. Eilidh had been a patient in hospital for six months and no staff member had hugged her.
The case for touch and physical comfort in child development is well understood and its importance to physical and mental health is uncontested. In early infancy, a baby needs and demands constant touch and caregiving from its mother and father. The continual process of hearing and absorbing the infant’s cries of hunger, anger, fear and confusion leads to parents responding accordingly— ‘giving back’ the emotions in a more manageable form. This process enables the development of thinking in order to make sense of experience and feelings.
Children in residential care may have missed out on some or all of this. Touch can be an integral component in providing reassurance, comfort and containment for many young people in the day-to-day life space of residential care. Expressing warmth and affection to children is important for many reasons. It’s crucial for children of all ages to be appropriately touched and hugged by adults.
There is however much confusion within organizations who provide residential care for children whether their staff should touch the children. The key issue seems to be a concern that physical touch between staff members and children will be inappropriate, either by the child or those who look after their welfare…
Blavity (Florida) – A Black woman created a hair school for white parents of Black children. Tamekia Swint started Styles 4 Kidz after she noticed more white parents were choosing to adopt Black children. “They’re not familiar with the [black] hair,” she told 60 Second Docs. “I saw that this might be something where I can empower them.” The documentary has been viewed more than 3.5 million times since its May 15 premiere, according to Popsugar.
She started the company in 2010 with three clients. Since then, she’s served more than 500 families. Swint offers several styles ranging from $40 to $150. She also hosts workshops for parents who want to learn how to do their children’s hair. The mother-of-one claims the parents are eager to learn about Black hair.
“I saw the need for this kind of service as more whites and other non-black families adopted black children,” Swint told Oak Park in March. “A big misconception a lot of blacks have about whites adopting black children is that they don’t care about these kids and that’s just not true…”
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