In keeping with the concept of walking the walk and not just talking the talk, I am taking this week off for a family vacation.
Permanency in the News will resume the Week of 07/24/17.
Dr. Greg Manning
Professional Trainer, Speaker and Consultant - Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice, Mental Health and Education
In keeping with the concept of walking the walk and not just talking the talk, I am taking this week off for a family vacation.
Permanency in the News will resume the Week of 07/24/17.
Dr. Greg Manning
We are all leaders in one form or another. Serving at-risk youth and families within child welfare and juvenile justice systems of care requires a delicate blending of leadership that is focused on being focused on permanency and being trauma informed. We often focus our attention and training on securing permanency and providing trauma informed care for our clients; however, without leadership that models these two principles, we run the risk of our outcomes, our workforce and ourselves breaking down. Take a step back and consider how can we create permanency for ourselves and our staff as well as how can we create a trauma informed workplace and home.
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is driven by a single goal: finding a loving family for every child waiting in foster care to get adopted. We are North America’s only national nonprofit charity dedicated solely to finding permanent homes for the more than 130,000 children in foster care.
ACEs Connection – Notes & Quotes from Dr. Ross Greene Educating the Traumatized Child Education Summit by the Attachment & Trauma Network. For a very long time, we’ve thought that children’s misbehavior was the result of poor motivation. With what the research (over 40-50 years) shows is that ”kids with chronic behavior problems are lacking skills not motivation and need interventions that are not oriented towards improving motivation (time outs, stickers, detentions, paddling). These don’t help, he said, because kids need help solving the problems causing their challenging behavior. He said behavior problems are the result of a kid facing expectations that outstrip abilities…
A kid with a trauma history needs “their voices to be heard more than any of the rest of us do,” he said, but “the reality is we all want our voices heard and we all want our concerns addressed.” For more on Dr. Ross Greene’s organization and approach, see Lives in the Balance.
US Department of State – “Human trafficking is one of the most tragic human rights issues of our time. It splinters families, distorts global markets, undermines the rule of law, and spurs other transnational criminal activity. It threatens public safety and national security. “But worst of all, the crime robs human beings of their freedom and their dignity. That’s why we must pursue an end to the scourge of human trafficking. “Today we take another key step towards that goal. The 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report highlights the successes achieved and the remaining challenges before us on this important global issue.” – Rex W. Tillerson, Secretary of State
Becker’s Hospital Review – The opioid epidemic has contributed to a dramatic increase in the number of children in foster care over last two years, according to The Washington Post. Here are five things to know: 1. Many of the children who end up in foster care are born with neonatal abstinence syndrome. 2. In 2012, the number of U.S. children in foster care hit a modern low of 397,000. By 2015, that number increased to 428,000. While there is no hard data available at the national level, foster care experts cited by the Post say this figure continued to surge over the last two years as the opioid epidemic intensified. 3. In Maine, there were more than 1,800 children in foster care in 2016, which marks a 45 percent increase since 2011. 4. The foster care population in Ohio has increased nearly 10 percent in recent years, with more than 60 percent of children placed in the system due to parental drug abuse. 5. “It’s pretty much every state — except maybe four or five — that have seen an increase in the number of children in foster care,” John Sciamanna, vice president of public policy at the Child Welfare League of America, told the Post. “What you are seeing now is just a straining of the system.”
Child Development – Child maltreatment may be best characterized as a pathogenic relational experience which primarily occurs in the mother–child relationship. As such, enhancing the mother–child relationship is the key process that should be targeted in intervention approaches for child maltreatment. Two salient and modifiable components of the mother–child relationship are highlighted: maternal sensitivity and attachment organization. It is argued, from a developmental psychopathology perspective, why focusing on these issues hold the most promise for interrupting negative developmental cascades and promoting resilience among maltreated children. Utilization of a tiered approach to delivering increasingly intensive relational interventions is recommended as are future directions for translational research and dissemination.
Creating A Family – Adoption is full of hope and promise, but the reality is often hard, sometimes very hard, especially at first, and especially if you are adopting older kids or more than one at a time. The initial hoopla and excitement shared by all your family and friends dies down mighty fast. Everyone else gets back to their own lives, but you can’t get back to your old life because everything has changed. Your old life is gone.
Post adoption behaviors can overwhelm even the most prepared parents. Many adoptive parents feel so alone because they are afraid that no one will understand because after all, they asked for this right?!? Well, I’m here to tell you that it is one thing to prepare, but a whole other thing to live it. Fortunately, most families find their footing, settle in, and begin to thrive in the new normal. It helps to remember this when you are in the thick of it…
When we say that we are committed to Permanency for ALL youth, it sounds like something that everyone can agree on. The challenge comes when securing Permanency for a Youth we are serving forces us to challenge our own thoughts, beliefs, biases and / or long-standing professional practices. When we find that internal tension / conflict, let’s be sure that we have the courage to pause, take a step back and reflect on the internal changes that we need to consider making to help facilitate that life changing opportunity of Permanency.
Alejandro was not quite 14 when we met him, but, in many ways, he’d already lived a life well beyond those years. His small, somewhat delicate hands, with chewed nails and a firm grip, spoke volumes to me even before he said hello. His shyness was nearly debilitating—something you could see in his chocolate brown eyes if you simply took a moment to look into them instead of at him. He lacked any sort of self-esteem, especially outside the home or beyond his small circle of “support,” which included only his younger sister Rosanna, age seven, his social worker of seven years, a lawyer, and their judge, who knew them only by reports and folders…In seven short years we’ve seen Alejandro grow in confidence and communication, at home and at school. Watching him throw his cap into the air at his high school graduation is a proud memory that will be frozen in my mind and heart forever. And now, our much more determined and centered son who no longer lives in fear of looking toward the future, just took his entry exam to join the U.S. Air Force. But having to say goodbye is another story altogether.
Casey Family Programs – Nearly one in five children in foster care has been in care before. Each time a child comes in or out of care, families are fractured and re-fractured. Stable, nurturing families can bolster their resilience and lessen negative long-term effects — but these protective factors can’t be nurtured if children keep re-entering care.
This research brief provides a high-level review of re-entry data, a summary of post-permanency programs and services, and recommendations for how to improve services for youth and families as they exit care. Its purpose is to draw attention to the issue of post-permanency, which focuses on the family, and shift attention away from re-entry, which focuses on the system.
This webinar will present strategies to help healthcare professionals to identify and appropriately assist trafficked persons with victim-centered, trauma-informed care and services. Presenters will examine a 2017 survey report from the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) that found that more than half of labor and sex trafficking survivors surveyed had accessed healthcare at least once while being trafficked.
Chronicle of Social Change – While some will argue about whether racial disproportionality is a function of poverty or implicit racial bias, there should be a shared sense of urgency around the disparities that occur after youth are placed in the child welfare system’s custody. Children of color are less likely to return home to their families, more likely to age out of care, and are disproportionately placed in congregate care facilities.
Lancaster Online – The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill proposed by local lawmaker Lloyd Smucker that would make it easier to place foster children in the homes of relatives. Smucker introduced the Reducing Barriers for Relative Foster Parents Act with Rep. Terri Sewell, a four-term Democrat from Alabama. The law, if passed by the Senate, will help states identify ways to expedite foster placement of children with family members.
Child Focus and North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) – Every year, more and more children in foster care find permanent homes with relatives when they cannot return to live with their parents. Most children will find permanent homes through relative adoption, which continued to increased throughout the decade…In some states, the number of children receiving adoption assistance has surpassed the number of children receiving foster care maintenance payments. The increasing shift to permanency with relatives for children who cannot return home requires thoughtful responses by child welfare practitioners, policymakers, and researchers…Expanded availability of subsidized guardianship further reinforces the need for kinship families to understand that adoption is not only possible, but in some cases preferable and more legally secure than guardianship. This issue brief draws attention to the unique needs of children who are adopted by relatives.
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) – Juvenile justice reform cannot happen without child welfare as an engaged partner. Research has demonstrated that as many as two-thirds of youth involved in the juvenile justice system have a maltreatment background. If we know that children involved in the child welfare system are at greater risk of truancy, behavior disorders, mental health disorders and delinquency, shouldn’t we address those issues in their early years and work towards prevention and building resiliency rather than managing them later in life when the problems are compounded?
I ask my child welfare colleagues across the country to get inspired and involved in tackling the issue of delinquency prevention. Child welfare agencies are in a vital position to impact whether abused and neglected children will enter or progress through the juvenile justice system. Developing a partnership with juvenile justice is necessary and logical. Our systems already intersect in many ways. Working together can combat the effects of trauma and result in rewarding outcomes for the youth we serve…Child welfare leaders need to come to the table in juvenile justice reform work. If through these efforts one youth returns home or avoids the legal system, it was worth it! It takes one conversation with juvenile justice leadership and a decision that the work can’t wait. Children can’t wait.
When we help facilitate the development of Permanency for a Youth, that is a great achievement; however, our work does NOT stop there. Instead this represents only 1 step in the long and winding journey that our Youth and their connections will go on for the rest of their individual and collective lives. We must normalize both the experience of challenges, some very significant, as well as the need to reach out as early as possible for support. Creating regular check-ins with our Youth and their connections as well as ensuring that they know how to reach out to us are critically important to maximizing the chances that the new-found Permanency will not only sustain, but strengthen.
Decatur Daily (AL) – A slideshow of faces — of adopted infants and toddlers across north Alabama — flickers through Doug Bachuss’ memory. The Decatur attorney calls the children members of his hall of fame. “I would love to have an actual hall of fame with photos of the children. I can’t because of privacy reasons, but I do get to remember them in my mind,” Bachuss said. “Nothing is more rewarding than being a part of the creation of a family. As each adoption is complete and the family is formed, that makes an impact on you in your mind and in your heart.”
Today, more than 100 men across north Alabama will celebrate Father’s Day thanks in part to Bachuss. The 48-year-old father of three, who participated in the finalization of close to 200 adoptions and serves on the board of CASA of North Alabama, a nonprofit organization focused on meeting the needs of foster care children, sees adoption as a ministry, a calling. “If you are called to adopt, you are focusing on the child. Adoption is all about the best interest of the child. It’s not about the adoptive parents, it’s not about the natural parents, it’s all about the child, no matter what,” Bachuss said…
Through his work, volunteerism and outreach, Bachuss hopes his children learn the importance of family and community. “I hope to teach them to always have a good attitude and effort because those are the only two things you can control and that will help them be successful in whatever they do. I hope to teach them to work hard. And I hope they will enjoy and treasure their community,” Bachuss said.
Orange County (CA) Bar Association – There was a time in the not-so-distant past when conventional wisdom held that juvenile offenders should be treated in much the same way as adult offenders. In fact, on March 7, 2000, by way of CA Proposition 21, prosecutors around the state were given the ability to directly file criminal charges against minors as young as fourteen in adult court, completely bypassing the juvenile justice system…On November 8, 2016, the electorate voted to repeal the ability of prosecutors to directly file charges against minors in adult court by passing Proposition 57, which reinstituted—with some changes—the pre-Proposition 21 requirement that only a juvenile court judge could order a minor transferred to adult court…The journey from Proposition 21 in 2000 to Proposition 57 has been one informed by scientific developments in our understanding of adolescent brain development…
The impact of developmental science on the juvenile justice system has been dramatic. Science now informs the public debate on youth crime policy and the legal standards applied in the courtroom. As a result, juvenile practice has become far more complex than in years past. The focus on developmental maturity and the individual circumstances that bring youth into the system has forced practitioners to expand their knowledge base beyond statutes and case law. Taken together, these developments have increased the standard of practice and will undoubtedly result in better outcomes for system-involved youth.
The Irish Times – Ireland could have the “best child protection services in the developed world” within five years, according to an international expert. Dr Andrew Turnell, who in the 1990s pioneered a radical approach to child protection known as “Signs of Safety” in western Australia, is training all of Tusla’s 1,466 social workers in the model. Over the next two years almost all of the 3,640 staff at the child and family agency will be trained in the approach.
Central is a change in attitude to vulnerable families and their children, away from a paternalism where social workers see only the dangers and impose solutions – often moving swiftly to the “nuclear” option of removing children – to one where they see also the families’ strengths, build on these and work with the family to keep children safe.
Demanding elimination of risk endangers children, he says, creating “risk- averse” social workers “terrified of getting anything ‘wrong’, hiding behind procedures and not trusting families”. “If you want to grow, you take risks. Risk can lead to things being better. Positive risk empowers families. No family will be made perfect and of course; there will be failures.”
Stressing the maxim “it takes a village to raise a child”, he says social workers are too often expected to put right the consequences of poverty and society’s failure to support poorer families and their children. Internationally, poverty is a factor in more than 90 per cent of child neglect/protection cases…
Chronicle of Social Change – Monique Marrow first started working on creating a trauma-responsive system in a juvenile justice setting when she worked as deputy director of treatment and rehabilitation services for the Ohio Department of Youth Services in 2005. Back then, her approach to talking about trauma in the justice system was met with some push-back. “Here comes Dr. Marrow, with her hug-a-thug speech,” she remembers some skeptical staff members saying.
But Marrow earned respect and trust after she found a way to improve conditions at youth detention facilities in Ohio, decreasing the number of critical incidents there as a result of staff training and trauma-responsive interventions aimed at children in the justice system…Training of staff needs to be significant enough to make very clear that it can be expressed differently across cultures.
Child Welfare Information Gateway – This factsheet is designed to help adoptive parents understand their adopted teenager’s experiences and needs so parents can respond with practical strategies that foster healthy development. These strategies include approaches that acknowledge trauma and loss, support effective communication, promote a teen’s independence, and address behavioral and mental health concerns.
AdoptUSKids – Thousands of teens in foster care are looking for the love, support, and encouragement that families provide throughout their lives—not just until they turn 18. Older youth who are adopted from foster care are more likely to finish high school, go to college, and be more emotionally secure than their peers who remain in or age out of foster care without a permanent family. Yet many people question older youth’s need to have permanent, loving families.
In this article, the following issues are addressed: 1) Why should we adopt a teen? They’re almost adults!; 2) If I adopt a teen, will I have to pay their college tuition?; 3) What about medical and mental health benefits?
Read more about available adoption assistance at the Child Welfare Information Gateway website.
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) – Yesterday evening, the U.S. House of Representatives passed five pieces of bipartisan legislation focused on child welfare reform. The following organizations join the statement below: the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, March of Dimes and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners.
“Representing health professionals and public health advocates across the country, our organizations stand together in applauding the U.S. House of Representatives for taking action that helps lay the groundwork for comprehensive child welfare reform. The five bipartisan bills passed by the House would improve the child welfare system to better meet the needs of the children and families it serves; we now urge the U.S. Senate to follow suit by building on this critical progress and advancing its own comprehensive child welfare reform legislation without delay.