Permanency Tip of the Week: What Makes a Difference to Our Youth?
Last week, we talked about some of the outcomes that we hope to achieve through our Permanency efforts. When we ask our Youth, what makes a difference to them, it almost always comes back to relationships. Ideally, our Youth will get the opportunity to secure true Permanency in their life. For this to be a realistic outcome, we must first demonstrate in our relationship with our Youth the following traits: consistency, clarify, authenticity, and honesty. Too often, we focus our efforts on trying to improve the relationships that we are helping to establish in our Youth’s life and fail to focus on the one relationship that we have the greatest influence over – the one between us and our Youth. In this time of crisis and social distancing, let us redouble our efforts to provide our Youth with the highest quality relationship possible as that is what they deserve and need, now more than ever.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Reflections on Openness
Adoption Link – When my husband and I decided to expand our family through open adoption, we knew openness would both rewarding and challenging. We thoroughly did the research regarding open adoption and understood why this choice would be best for each person involved. You see, we spent hours upon hours reading anything we could get our hands on concerning the subject, talking to anyone who would share their personal experience, both positive or negative, and we searched the internet with a fine-tooth comb, reading blog after blog authored by both adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoptees, offering strong opinions concerning their personal experience with adoption–open and closed. We viewed open adoption as not only extending our unconditional love to our future child, but also to a birth mom as well–or whoever would be included in the relationship in which we chose to enter. We weren’t naive of the possible challenges ahead, but we believed in the long-term rewards of being committed to and maintaining this relationship. We felt well prepared! What we weren’t prepared for was the lack of education others had regarding openness…
So to those few family members, friends, and strangers, please know there is no need to continue inquiring about birth mom. The answer will always remain the same: Our hearts are open to her, therefore she will always be a part of our lives. (Even if we are trusting in the Lord for a healthier tomorrow.)
Permanency Related Articles:
Chronicle of Social Change – The coronavirus crisis has put children in foster care – and those who need to be there – at serious risk in numerous, unnerving ways. To date, however, they and their families have barely been mentioned as potential victims of the pandemic, and the federal government has been done virtually nothing to help them. That has to change as quickly as possible, either with targeted resources in the next economic stimulus bill or in separate legislation explicitly designed to assist the millions of people in this particularly vulnerable population.
Mental health professionals agree the mistreatment of children increases during periods of high stress. And we all know that we’re not only living in such a period, but also that it will be more stressful for some time. Now add to this reality the fact that children’s emotional and physical injuries are very often detected and reported by teachers and other personnel in school; that families struggling to care for children with special needs aren’t receiving critical services and supports; and that recruitment and training of foster and adoptive families are at a standstill…
As a start, a broad coalition of local, state and national organizations that focus on child welfare – including the National Center on Adoption and Permanency, which I lead – has submitted a letter to congressional leaders in both houses calling for legislation that would provide more than $3 billion of additional federal dollars for preventing abuse and neglect, diminishing the need for out-of-home placements, helping courts and systems, and supporting older youth in care….
|Home is a Perilous Place for Some Californians During Coronavirus Pandemic|
|CalMatters – It’s become dangerous for some Californians to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Throughout California, families sheltering in place are cut off from school, work and friends – lifelines the most vulnerable rely upon. Domestic violence reports have surged and in places like Fresno County, grew 77 percent week over week in April. With fewer eyes on kids to report concerns about potential abuse, reports have plummeted; Los Angeles County saw half as many calls this month, and San Francisco and San Diego also reported a decline in calls to child welfare hotlines…|
US Department of Justice – Office of Justice Programs – Youth mentoring relies on the power of human connections. Maintaining those connections in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic may be challenging, but it is an important and worthwhile effort. As President Trump said, “Mentors serve not only as role models for young people but also as an inspiration to dream big and pursue any goal—regardless of circumstance.”
The Home | Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has funded mentoring programs for more than two decades, and continues to support them during this public health emergency. OJJDP’s partners have risen to the occasion and we have been inspired by their dedication, creativity, and adaptability. The following are a few examples of how our grantees are using innovative strategies and technology to help ensure that mentors across the nation can continue to assist youth with homework, listen to and advise their mentees, and guide and inspire youth safely and effectively.
MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership is developing a comprehensive set of resources and tips to help youth mentoring programs throughout the country implement new approaches and continue operations during this crisis.
|Coronavirus Changes: Heroes Protect Children in a Time of Instability|
|The Daytona Beach News-Journal – Families are also carrying the overwhelming stress, anxiety, and strain caused by unexpected job losses, unpaid bills and – now – multiple kids at home 24/7. They are seeking calm in the storm. For them, there is good in the unsung heroes. Hidden amongst all this good who fly a bit more under the radar … the child welfare case managers and child protective investigators who protect vulnerable children. The home visitors who support struggling families. The counselors who provide literal lifelines to children coping with mental illnesses. Children’s Home Society of Florida has more than 1,000 of these professionals who wake up each day to serve those in need. And there are thousands more throughout our state…
Catholic News Agency – Foster care is a difficult business in the best of times. Social workers must ensure that children in need are given loving and safe homes, while trying to help them maintain contact and a relationship with their biological family. Kids have to adjust to new families and new routines while keeping up with schoolwork. Families accepting foster children are routinely monitored and must make adjustments to accommodate the new member of their family, who will be with them for an often-unknown period of time.
Now, adding a pandemic – and all of its isolating and social distancing requirements – into the mix has made matters even more difficult. “It’s a trauma for our children who’ve had a life built and now it’s gone,” Martha Holben, who works as the child welfare assistant director for St. Vincent Catholic Charities (STVCC) in Lansing, Michigan, told CNA. Holben told CNA that for foster children, whose lives are already marked with so much disruption, the routine of school, and seeing friends and teachers they can count on, as well as regularly scheduled meetings with their families, are a big deal.
“And one day that was just all gone,” Holben said. “So we’re definitely seeing an increase in some outbursts with kiddos because their schedule is gone, and the people that they’ve built into their life that they could trust – their principal, their guidance counselor – all of that is gone, and some of them are too young to really understand why…”
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Take care and keep up the Permanency work – Our children, youth, young adults, families, and communities are depending on it!