Greetings Permanency Champions,
Story of the Week:
“Unadoptable.” – This ugly word is one I encountered in our journey to welcome Sweet Girl to our family. As we considered out best fit, we learned that there is a grouping of children who have been labeled unadoptable. This grieves me deeply, because I know that in the hearts and minds of these wee little souls, unadoptable translates into being unloveable. Unloved – And it’s heartbreakingly untrue. The perception-shaping label of unadoptable is unacceptable.
Current Permanency related articles:
Dr. John DeGarmo in his February Blog discusses one of the hardest parts for being a foster parent, is when a child is placed in my home for the first time. Try as I might to comfort the child during this time of deep grief, loss, and trauma, it is so very hard trying to comfort a child during this time of transition. Indeed, I have held many a child in my arms as he cried himself to sleep those first few nights, crying for his mother and family members.
Huffington Post – Behavioral genetics indicates that the more we know about the birth families, the better parents we can be.
About 15 percent of the roughly 400,000 children in U.S. foster care live in congregate care settings, according to federal data. Nationwide, about 34,000 live in residential treatment facilities, psychiatric institutions and emergency shelters, and another 24,000 reside in group homes. In some states, such as Colorado, Wyoming and Rhode Island, 30 percent or more of kids in care live in group homes or institutions, according to the Kids Count Data Center, an Annie E. Casey Foundation project that tracks statistics on children.
Although there are times when it is appropriate for children to be cared for in facilities, many kids with complex needs and histories of severe abuse and neglect can live in home-like environments. “The opportunity to grow up in a stable, loving family setting is everything to a child,” said Marcia Robinson Lowry, executive director of Children’s Rights. “One of the driving themes of our work is to give children the opportunity to be part of a family, and to limit the use of facilities and institutions to only those extraordinary situations when it is absolutely needed, and when services cannot be provided otherwise.”
Yesterday, the Children’s Advocacy Institute released a new report, “California’s Fostering Connections: Ensuring that the AB 12 Bridge Leads to Success for Transition Age Foster Youth.” Authored by attorney Melanie Delgado the report reviews the first 18 months of extended foster care implementation in California, interviewing officials from 10 counties, current and former foster youth and a wide range of child welfare stakeholders from around the state.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) has launched a new webpage devoted to secondary traumatic stress (STS) and the work of the STS Committee. This webpage provides users with an overview of STS, as well as information on identifying STS and strategies for prevention and intervention. It also includes a section listing additional resources related to STS that can be used by individuals and organizations to create STS-informed responses to indirect trauma exposure.
National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections (NRCPFC) – Thursday, February 13, 2014, 12:00 – 1:00 PM EST – This upcoming free expert Q&A webinar from Adoptive Families features Beth Hall, co-author of Inside Transracial Adoption. Learn about the intersection of adoption and race and how it affects children who grow up with adoptive parents of another race. Discussion will include helping children to embrace and feel confident in their racial identity, talking about race and racism, and finding role models who will be able to provide first-person perspectives on race and culture.
Foster Youth Education Summit – March 10-11, 2014
The California Foster Youth Education Task Force will hold its annual conference in Sacramento at the Sheraton Grand on March 10-11, 2014. This year’s conference will provide opportunities for face-to-face meetings with legislative representatives along with workshops designed for all audiences. Post-secondary education professionals, educators, social workers, probation officers, caregivers, youth, school districts and other stakeholders who support improving the educational outcomes of foster youth from early childhood through college and career are encouraged to attend. Topics for discussion this year will include implementation of the local control funding formula, innovative ideas to increase access and success in post-secondary education, strategies for youth engagement, developing trauma-informed systems of care and much more. Click here to register.
Celia Center, started in 2012 by adoptee and former foster youth – Jeanette Yoffe, addresses the critical needs of the Foster Care / Adoption community by providing affordable mental health, education, and support services to all members of the bio-foster-adoption constellation, including professional social workers, nurses, case managers and therapists. We utilize our innovative programs, unique therapeutic interventions and national network of allies to create a safe and supportive environment to nurture and preserve strong, healthy families in any orientation or socio-economic status. Jeanette’s mission today is to keep connections sacred within the child’s family of origin.