Permanency Tip of the Week: Missing the Human Connection ~ Stay at Home Social Isolation
One of the many unintended consequences of the widespread Stay at Home orders, is that the human contact with many of our Youth has been severely curtailed, if not eliminated. For out-going individuals who have strong and diverse sources of Permanency, this increased isolation can at times be uncomfortable and distressing. What might it be like for our Youth who have come to rely on interacting with us through our regular time spent with them? We need to make extra efforts to reach out to them as often as possible, especially via video and be transparent with them regarding why our relationship has changed so drastically. We also need to tell them that our commitment to them has not changed, even though we cannot tell them when the next time we will be able to see them in person. Hopefully, this social isolation will be over soon so that we can resume our normal relationships with our Youth.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Change the Life of a Child. To Brighten Your Day
Fostering Great Ideassalutes our 100 mentors who develop meaningful relationships with youth in foster care. We share 4 bright stories from April. 1) Mentoring is Positive. 2) Mentoring is Life-Changing. 3) Mentoring Opens Doors. 4) Mentoring Is Long-Term.
Permanency Related Articles:
White House – Families are the foundation of our communities and our country. All children deserve a stable, supportive, and loving home in which to grow, thrive, and realize their full potential. During National Foster Care Month, we honor the selfless men and women who open their homes to nurture at-risk children and promote healing, unification, and family-based empowerment.
Foster care plays a critical role in providing young people who have had to be removed from their homes a critical place of refuge. It is an invaluable resource for keeping children safe in temporary circumstances and providing stability, direction, and comfort to our Nation’s most vulnerable sons and daughters. The dedicated individuals, families, professionals, and faith‑based and community organizations who support children in foster care help maintain essential parent-child relationships and support parents working to regain custody of their children…
This month, we encourage all Americans to invest in the lives of children and to provide them with unconditional love, support, guidance, and every available resource to ensure their health and well-being. We acknowledge with gratitude the selfless citizens who open their hearts and homes to children in need and the organizations that tirelessly support foster and kinship caregivers. Together, they are giving hope and the promise of a better tomorrow to countless children and families…
Child Welfare Information Gateway – Foster Care as a Support to Families, Not a Substitute for Parents. It’s a time to recognize that we each can play a part in enhancing the lives of our children and youth in foster care. Find resources and information to help ensure that their future is bright.
Children’s Home Society of North Carolina – In this Facebook Live conversation, we hear from Matt Anderson of CHS and Allison Maxon, Consultant of Instant Family. Allison and Matt are joined by special guest Sean Anders, director of Instant Family and adoptive parent, to discuss how and why this movie was made, and why the message is so important.
Chronicle of Social Change – When James McIntyre left the foster care system at age 21, he said good riddance to therapy. It had never helped him much, and it felt like a chore. “Therapy was thrown at me. If you’re not in therapy, you are not in compliance and you get points taken away from you,” said the 28-year-old Chicagoan, who says he lived in every type of foster care placement, from group homes to adoptive family homes. “It was never an option, and I never got to choose the type of therapist I wanted.”
McIntyre needed services for his post-traumatic stress disorder but practically drowned in one-size-fits-all programs. “The basic run of the mill sit-down for an hour with a therapist, then leave, that is stressful to me. I had a therapist tell me ‘I don’t care if you talk, I still get paid.’ Even though I didn’t say a word after that, he still got paid.”
That’s why he dropped his meds and his therapists and hasn’t gone back since — partly out of fear, despite his continuing need. That’s also why he wasn’t surprised to hear the dismal results of a new study that surveyed hundreds of 17-year-olds in foster care about their experiences with mental health services.
The paper, published this week by the peer-reviewed Journal of Adolescent Health, found a high percentage of foster teens do not feel fully prepared to manage their own mental health upon entering adulthood, despite high rates of medication and mental health service use. “As far as we know, this is the first study to ask 17-year-olds in foster care how prepared they feel to manage their mental health,” said New York University social work professor Michelle Munson, the study’s lead author, in a statement…
The Acorn (CA) – Even in the best of times, child welfare systems in California are beleaguered, underfunded, and stressed. There are too few social workers for foster children and their troubled birth families, and these caseworkers are often overworked within a huge bureaucratic system. Last year, California had 83,000 children living in foster care—the largest number of any state in the nation. Times are tough enough for a child who has been removed from their family because of parental abuse or neglect. And foster care is nothing we would wish on any child. But the invisible, stealthy, silent enemy that is COVID-19 has thrown all of this dysfunction into even more chaos.
Child welfare departments are starting to limit in-person emergency visits to only the most severe cases, so welfare check-ups are going down just when the potential for child abuse is rising. For social workers, the potential toll is physical as well as emotional. The national shortage of gloves, masks, and safety gear is impacting foster care, as caseworkers worry about visiting homes without any protection.
The court’s mandated visits between biological families and children have stopped because of the pandemic. And shutdowns at family courts are burdening all parties—children and families, judges, court professionals, foster families—and the result will be even longer stays in foster care for children who have already experienced unthinkable adverse life experiences.
The closing of schools has been a disaster for abused children. Teachers are the primary reporters of suspicious bruises or behavior suggesting child abuse. But now those eyes and ears are not on children who may be getting seriously hurt at home…
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Take care and keep up the Permanency work – Our children, youth, young adults, families, and communities are depending on it!