Permanency Tip of the Week: Mixed Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors by the Child
When we are working to secure Permanency for our Youth, one of the challenges that we and/or the parents may experience is that the Youth may demonstrate a wide range of thoughts, words, and actions in response to the family. One minute they are excited and celebrating the new family and the next minute they state that they are indifferent about ever seeing them again. We learned in the tip last week, that our Youth may not always respond with happiness as they may be trying to protect themselves from future rejection. At the same time, our Youth may celebrate and praise the experience of love and affection that they so desperately need and want. When we observe this pattern, let us view it through the lens of compassion and support for a Youth who is going through a confusing, overwhelming, and potentially life-altering experience, as opposed to a teenager who does not know what they really want.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Recognizing Angels in Adoption
Brookings (SD) Register – Nearly seven million Americans in the United States are adopted. In 2015, more than 670,000 children spent time in our foster care system. One out of every 25 families with children has an adoptive child. Families adopt for a number of reasons, but whatever the reason, it is a beautiful and selfless decision.
Joining the U.S. House of Representatives has its rewards – one of them being the people I come across that I normally wouldn’t outside of this job. This year, I had the privilege of nominating Kevin and Megan Kinney for the Angels in Adoption Award. Kevin serves as a Highway Patrolman and Megan is an accomplished author and stay at home mother.
After they had their oldest daughter Emma, they felt called by God to participate in South Dakota’s foster care program. Soon after joining the foster care system, they brought three sisters – Angel, Alicia, and Kylee – into their home. All of the girls were under the age of three when Kevin and Megan became their foster parents. The Kinneys instantly fell in love with their new additions and decided to take the big step and adopt them, making Angel, Alicia, and Kylee permanent members of the Kinney clan. Even though the Kinneys knew it would be an adventure to adopt all three young children, they understood the importance of not separating the bond of sisterhood…
Permanency Related Articles:
Certain to be one of the most talked-about films of the year, LUCE is a smart psychological thriller that will leave audiences breathless. An all-star high school athlete and accomplished debater, Luce (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) is a poster boy for the new American Dream. As are his parents (Naomi Watts and Tim Roth), who adopted him from a war-torn country a decade earlier. When Luce’s teacher (Octavia Spencer) makes a shocking discovery in his locker, Luce’s stellar reputation is called into question. But is he really at fault, or is Ms. Wilson preying on dangerous stereotypes?
Stacked with amazing performances and adapted from JC Lee’s acclaimed play, director Julius Onah has created an intense, multi-layered and deeply entertaining look at identity in today’s America.
Santa Fe New Mexican – In her youth, Micaela Baca ran away from foster care again and again. Now, the 23-year-old advocates for better treatment for vulnerable youth, and she shares her story with foster kids to tell them just how dangerous it was for her. “I feel like foster youth are more in danger because we feel like no one is going to believe us or protect us from anything,” she said. “We get ourselves into some pretty sticky situations, but it’s because we feel like we have no way out…”
Brian Blalock, secretary of New Mexico’s Children, Youth and Families Department, sees this as a consequence of a child welfare system built for infants and younger children. He said while younger kids need more direct care, teens are vulnerable in different ways…He said an emphasis on keeping kids with kin in the places they grew up would help fix the problem. He also said there has to be an overhaul of the system, and youth need to direct how to fix the system. “If a youth leaves a placement because it isn’t working for them, then our job is to continue to engage on a personal level,” he said…
Mobituaries (Podcast) – From 1854 to 1929, 250,000 abandoned or orphaned children in East Coast cities found themselves on journeys across the country. Shepherded by private organizations like the New York Foundling or the Children’s Aid Society, these orphans were resettled with families who promised to give them shelter, an education, and a place to grow up. It was an ambitious, unprecedented undertaking. It was the predecessor to our country’s modern foster care system. The experiment became known as The Orphan Train movement.
New York in the 1850s was a difficult place to live. There was an influx of immigration, high rates of infectious diseases, and poor working conditions that led to children being abandoned at tragic rates. Some estimate the number of children on the street at the time ran as high as 30,000–in a city of only 600,000 people. A missionary named Charles Loring Brace witnessed the struggles of these children first hand and decided that something had to be done. So, in 1853, he founded an organization called “The Children’s Aid Society,” and began forming a plan to send abandoned children from New York to communities outside the city that could take them in and give them homes.
In 1854, Brace sent 45 children from New York to the tiny town Dowagiac, Michigan. The journey required multiple trains and boats to make the journey. Upon their arrival, all of the children found families and the Orphan Train movement was officially underway…
The Good Men Project – Dr. John DeGarmo – Being placed in a foster home is bad enough for a foster child. Sadly, for far too many foster children, leaving the foster care system is even more traumatic. As a foster child reaches the age of 18, in most states, the child “ages out” of the foster system, and begins the transition into “the real world.” Each year, between 20,000 to 25,000 foster children age out of the system and attempt to begin life on their own. Of the roughly 450,000 children in care in the United States each year, this is a large number and disturbing percentage…
Too often, these children have already faced such hardships as neglect, abuse, learning disabilities, and abandonment. Along with this, the majority of foster children have difficulties with school, with over fifty percent of those who age out dropping out of school. Indeed, only two percent of all foster children who age out graduate from college. Lack of financial skills, work experiences, social skills, and various forms of training, along with the lack of support from family and caring adults makes it even more problematic.
In reality, so few are willing to help, and the future is a very bleak and tragic one for these youth, indeed. Yet, the truth is, you can help. You can help a teen leaving foster care…
American Bar Association (ABA) – Bias harms families of color and low socioeconomic status involved in the child welfare system. While other biases must be addressed, such as those related to religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and more, this article selectively discusses race and poverty bias.
- National studies by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported “minority children, and in particular African American children, are more likely to be in foster care placement than receive in-home services, even when they have the same problems and characteristics as white children.”
- According to January 2017 reports from the state of Washington, “African American children were 2.2 times and Native American children were 2.9 times more likely to be placed in out-of-home care compared to white children”
These statistics and similar reports from around the country indicate race and poverty-related disparities and disproportionality in the child welfare system. Race and socioeconomic status often impact decisions in every stage of the child welfare system from reporting, to foster care placements, to termination of parental rights decisions…
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