Permanency Tip of the Week: Sources of Support #2 – I Am Fine, I Don’t Need Any Support from you Adults
When we pause to try and view the world through the lens of an individual who has experienced repeated loss, trauma, abuse, neglect, and abandonment at the hands of adults who you thought were supposed to love and support you, it should be easier to appreciate why Our Youth might embrace and display this attitude. It is NOT an attitude of rebellion; but rather, an attitude of protection and self-preservation. This critical shift in our vision will provide us with the opportunity to develop and communicate care, compassion, and empathy for and with Our Youth. From this experience, Our Youth will slowly be able to begin to be receptive to our support and eventually to sources of Permanency.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Every Child in Foster Care Deserves a Permanent Home and a Loving Family
Chronicle of Social Change – Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption – National Adoption Month, held every November, is a special time each year to celebrate families that have grown through adoption and raise awareness of the more than 125,000 children still waiting to be adopted from foster care in the United States.
Since 2012, the number of children waiting to be adopted from foster care nationwide has risen by more than 23 percent, according to the most recent report from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS). Additionally, every year approximately 20,000 teens turn 18 or 21 and age out of care without a permanent home, leaving them at a higher risk of homelessness, incarceration, early parenting, and other negative outcomes…
Family is the greatest gift. In this holiday season, I encourage everyone to learn more and get involved with this critically important, nonpartisan issue, one that reaches across states, races, and religions. The importance of ensuring that every child has a permanent home and a loving family can’t be ignored — during National Adoption Month and year-round.
Permanency Related Articles:
Foster Care Institute – Dr. John DeGarmo – You know the familiar phrase. ’Tis the season to be jolly. Not for the roughly half a million children in foster care in the United States. It is often a time of great sadness and despair., a time of loneliness and of rejection. For these children, it is a reminder of so much anxiety and trauma in their young lives. Many foster children are faced with the realization that they will not be “home for the holidays,” so to speak, with their biological family members. It is a reminder that they are separated from their parents and family…
So, how can you help this difficult time be more joyous? To begin with, foster parents can best help their foster child by spending some time and talking about the holiday. Let the foster child know how your family celebrates the holiday, what traditions your family celebrate, and include the child in it. Ask your foster child about some of the traditions that his family had, and try to include some of them into your own home during the holiday. This will help him not only feel more comfortable in your own home during this time, but also remind him that he is important and that his birth family is important, as well. It is important to keep in mind that many foster children may come from a home where they did not celebrate a particular season, nor have any traditions in their own home. What might be common in your own home may be completely new and even strange to your foster child. This often includes religious meanings for the holiday you celebrate. Again, take time to discuss the meaning about your beliefs to your foster child beforehand…
This IS the season of giving, and we are all called to give unto others. With a little preparation beforehand from you, this season of joy can be a wonderful time for your foster child, one that may last in his memory for a lifetime, as well as in your memory, too. After all, the gift of love is one that can be shared, not only during the holidays, but all year long, with the child, with the family, and with all we meet. May you experience this joy, and may you share it with others.
The Hill – There are more than 400,000 kids in our child welfare system today. Many of the young people in foster care that we have spoken to over the years have told us incredibly different and unique stories. However, with the rising toll of the nationwide opioid epidemic, many have told us increasingly similar stories – stories are of addiction. Removing a child from their home, no matter the situation, is a traumatic experience for a child. As co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, we have met foster youth from across the country who have shared their firsthand accounts about their time in care.
Almost every child who was removed from their family due to addiction has looked back on their time in foster care and asked a similar question: “Why didn’t you just help my parent instead of taking me away from my home?” Last month, legislation that dramatically overhauls how the federal government pays for foster care went into effect. The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) allows for the first-time funding for family services, including substance abuse treatment, to prevent the need for foster care – and provides a response to the question posed by so many we have met…
Just this month, we, along with colleagues in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, introduced the Family First Transition Act of 2019, which will help alleviate the burdens on families and child welfare systems by providing support to ensure successful implementation of the FFPSA…Earlier this year, we introduced the Supporting Kinship Connections Act to support a program where experienced kin caregivers can assist new caregivers as they navigate through the complex systems. Many kinship caregivers are retired with a fixed income and providing these relatives with support in the form of cash assistance and access to community services is far more cost-effective than foster care. Most times, solutions like these would, in fact, save the government money, better assist families, and ensure the well-being of youth. In order to provide better resources and solutions for youth and families, we need to have data for the issues we are setting out to address. We owe it to our children to get this transition right.
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) – The Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention reports that an average of 55% of youth released from incarceration are rearrested within one year of release while reincarceration and reconfinement rates during the same time frame averaged 24%. Juvenile reentry, which is also referred to as aftercare, is defined as the reintegrative services that prepare youth in out-of-home placements for their return home by establishing the necessary collaboration with the community and its resources to ensure the delivery of needed services and supervision.
For agencies that provide services to these youth, preparing them to be successful in the long term will prove to be more beneficial than simply preparing them to complete a stint on parole once they are released from incarceration. Given the amount of time and effort that clinicians/counselors invest in a juvenile offender, one would hope to have more positive outcomes regarding juvenile reentry. Based on interviews conducted with delinquent juveniles and service providers, the following key findings on why reentry was not successful were identified: 1) A reentry plan from incarceration to aftercare is not consistent among all entities involved. 2) No papers. 3) Aftercare focuses on the short term and lacks long-term support. 4) They want a job. 5) There are unrealistic expectations by juveniles and accountability issues.
When working with incarcerated youth, the ultimate goal should be to reduce recidivism and increase positive outcomes upon their return to the community. Focusing on these three key findings will help agencies fill in some of the gaps that juveniles encounter along the reintegration process. While service providers may view certain aspects as minor, it could be the difference between a juvenile being able to thrive in the community and a juvenile continuing to be a menace to society.
CBS-DFW – New state figures show more children are leaving foster care for safe, permanent homes than are entering the child welfare system, as adoptions surged past 6,000 for the first time, according to Child Protective Services. “Additional resources combined with a tenacious work ethic have led to unprecedented success for the DFPS this year,” said Governor Greg Abbott. “Texas is better because a record number of children have been adopted in 2019 and are experiencing the joy of a loving home this Christmas season. Equally impressive is the increase in the number of children who are reunited with family.
The marked improvements demonstrated by DFPS are the result of the passion and commitment by DFPS staff.” More than 20,000 children left Texas foster care, including more than 6,000 who were adopted, Fiscal Year 2019 data shows. More than half of the adoptions – 3,095 – were by relatives, also a new record for CPS, according to a Texas Department of Family and Protective Services news release Wednesday. The number of children leaving foster care outnumbered the number entering care by more than 1,700 children, a trend the state hopes will continue…
As National Adoption Month wrapped up Thanksgiving weekend, more than 400 children and youth in Texas found permanent homes during Texas’ busiest month for adoptions. But as Commissioner Blackstone said, the need for permanent homes is year-round, and with Christmas only a few weeks away she hopes more foster children will benefit from the season’s good will. “November is our busiest adoption month, by far, but there is nothing more joyful than an adoption at Christmastime,” she said.
Coalition for Juvenile Justice – In December 2018, lawmakers reauthorized the Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Act for the first time in 16 years, providing key updates to strengthen the Act’s core protections for justice-involved youth. This series takes an in-depth look at the changes H.R. 6964 made to the Act. The series will explore changes to data collection requirements, State Advisory Group composition, and the core protections. See below for upcoming webinars.
1) Rules of Engagement: Sustaining Youth Collaboration in Programs and State Advisory Groups – 12/12/19 @ 3:00 p.m. EST;
2) Family First Prevention Services Act and Juvenile Justice – 1/23/20 @ 3:00 p.m. EST;
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