Permanency Tip of the Week: Give Out Some At-A-Girls and At-A-Boys to Everyone
One of the biggest rewards of facilitating a Youth achieving Permanency is the unbridled joy that you see in their faces, hear in their speech and observe in the way they interact with their Permanent connections. The work of securing and sustaining Permanency for our Youth can be / is both incredibly challenging, exhausting and frustrating and also be exciting, invigorating and fun. Just as we focus on providing lots of positive feedback to our Youth, we need to be sure to share that same gift with our colleagues and most importantly with ourselves. The next time you do something good or see someone else doing something good – please be sure to be generous with your At-A-Girls and At-A-Boys!
Permanency Story of the Week: Couple Adopts Four Babies in Just 24 Hours after Heartbreaking Loss
US Magazine – Jeremy Carling isn’t a crier. But the 30-year-old from Farmington, Utah, broke down after adopting four daughters in 24 hours on October 20. “We were sitting at the table being sworn in and just talking about how much we love these girls and he just couldn’t help himself,” Jeremy’s wife, Kaley Carling, tells Us Weekly of the emotional moment. “It has been a really long road.” Finally, on October 19 and 20, the Carlings adopted all four children, and they say it was meant to be. “I always felt like we would end up with the children that we were supposed to wind up with,” the mom of Haven, 2, Indie, 15 months, and 9-month-old twins Sunny and Weslie, tellsUs. “Now that they’re here, I believe that more than ever.”
Current Permanency Related Articles:
CSR Wire – The number of children waiting to be adopted from U.S. foster care has consistently exceeded the number of finalized adoptions. Strategies for recruiting and matching adoptive families for these children have a history of anecdotal rather than evidence-based development. Cataloging children online or through the media is common practice and supported by Federal funding, but there is scant evidence to suggest it is an effective method for effectively recruiting appropriate families, particularly for those most at risk of aging out of care-older youth, sibling groups and children with mental and physical challenges.
San Antonio Express – Fueling the need for such a program is new data that shows the incidence of child abuse and neglect among military families is rising. Historically, the rate of child maltreatment in military families has been about half that of the civilian population – around 7 confirmed cases versus 14 per 1,000 children. Since 2003, however, it has begun to outpace the nonmilitary statistics, a trend that coincides with the post-9/11 rise in overseas military operations, according to a study by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.
Psychology Today – How you bond with caregivers during early childhood affects how you behave in relationships and friendships, how in touch you are with your emotions and how much you will allow yourself to love others on a conscious level…When adequate attachment between child and caregiver is lacking, the child grows up with an impaired ability to trust that the world is a safe place, and that others will take good care of her. Childhood abandonment, unpredictable parental behavior, unrealistic parental expectations, and physical, verbal or emotional abuse teach the child that her environment is not a safe place and that the people she encounters cannot be trusted.
What matters most to you? This is a question we are all asking, a question that can be hard to answer when there aren’t black or white outcomes. What matters most is what ten-year-old adoptee Jazzy Armstrong needs to figure out when faced with some tough decisions in her own life. Is what matters most being invited to the coolest birthday party in town? Is it competing in an amazing Star Wars contest? Or is it helping a friend in need?
Jazzy’s Quest: What Matters Most is the second book in the groundbreaking Jazzy’s Quest series, written by authors Juliet C. bond, LCSW and Carrie Goldman. This new book explores friendship issues that are common in tween social circles, with the rich additional layer of being processed through the lens of an adoptee. Kids will relate to Jazzy’s search for belonging both at school and at home. Written with emotional intelligence and a page-turning story line, adults will be hanging on to every word as well.
ACEs Too High – Three years ago, Judge Lynn Tepper of Florida’s Sixth Judicial Circuit Court in Dade City, FL, learned about the CDC-Kaiser Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study The ground-breaking research links childhood abuse and neglect with adult onset of chronic disease, mental illness, violence and being a victim of violence. It was like flipping a switch…Most judges in the United States are unfamiliar with the ACE Study and the research on the neurobiology of toxic stress that has emerged over the last 15 years. But that’s beginning to change in courtrooms across the U.S., due to a number of educational programs aimed at producing trauma-informed judges—and courts.
Child Welfare Information Gateway – Domestic violence is a devastating social problem that affects every segment of the population. It is critical for child welfare professionals and other providers who work with children who have experienced abuse to understand the relationship between domestic violence and child maltreatment, as many families experiencing domestic violence also come to the attention of the child welfare system. This bulletin discusses the extent of the overlap between domestic violence and child welfare, some of the effects of domestic violence on child witnesses, and the trend toward a more collaborative, community-wide response to the issue. It also features promising practices from States and local communities.
I attended the North American Council on Adoptable Children Conference in Los Angles in July 2015 … There is amazing energy when more than 900 dedicated people meet and exchange ideas. The conference was full of inspiring sessions.
Adam Pertman, president and founder of the National Center for Adoption and Permanency presented a session on “Reshaping Adoption for the 21st Century: Progressing from Child Placement to Family Success.” I was so intrigued with his ideas that I whipped back to my hotel room and ordered a Kindle copy of his book Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution Is Transforming Our Families—and America. Pertman is a captivating writer. He was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for his writing on adoption and we are privileged to have him as “one of us.”
… The new vision for prioritizing success and permanence would include openness, which has, for the most part, been accepted. It would include working harder to keep the family of origin intact. It would fund research so we don’t use a generation of adoptees as experiments, and we could formulate our services and supports around what research defines as best practices. We need to support programs such as the Wraparound program, which provides a respite for youth and their families with the services and support of professionals. The change in focus of this new vision of adoption would make such programs a logical part of family success. Services for children and families must be an integral part of the adoption process.
Permanency Tip of the Week: Safety and Danger in Permanency
A loving, unconditional and life-long relationship is understandably linked for a child with both emotional and physical safety. When you have experienced abuse, neglect and / or trauma (especially early in life), your thoughts and feelings about Permanency may be more closely linked with danger instead of safety. This reality needs to be validated and through a steady and repetitive series of reparative relational experiences, our Youth can begin to shift their thoughts and feelings about Permanency from ones of danger to ones of safety.
Permanency Story of the Week: Mom, 92, adopts 76-year-old daughter
At age 92, Muriel Clayton is a mother again, having adopted the woman who’s been her “daughter” for more than six decades. Just not officially. Mary Smith, who’s now 76, knew Clayton as her fun older cousin as she was growing up. “She was so much fun,” said Smith. “We kind of got along real well. I loved her then.”
Current Permanency related articles:
Follow-up to the powerful 2013 “short film about the emotional journey of a nine-year old girl who is taken from her abusive birth home and placed in the tumultuous foster care system.”
But I adopted my child at birth. What do you mean trauma?
Alex Stavros – Calo – It is not uncommon for adoptive parents to come to us feeling out of options for their difficult child and overwhelmed about what could have created all of these DSM diagnoses and intense feelings and behaviors. Especially if the child was adopted at or near birth… (see attachment).
Presenting Portrait of an Adoption’s most amazing list of chapter books for kids! Each bullet point in the following list is a comment that came from one of my avid readers. The list includes a wide variety of titles that span a range of reading abilities. I tried to remove any duplicate recommendations, such as the many repeat suggestions to read Percy Jackson or books by Tamora Pierce. Enjoy!
Dr. John DeGarmo – …The arrival of a new foster child in your house can indeed be a time of excitement, as well as anxiety. The phone call from a caseworker asking if you would like a foster child placed in your home can leave you in a state of apprehension. It is often a time of questions, from you and your family, as well as from the foster child. For the child coming into your home, it is especially an intimidating period. It is important to remember that this new foster child is being moved from his own family and his own home, against his wishes, to a strange home, and to an unknown family. It is a time of fear and uncertainty for him, and often a time of deep trauma. While each child is unique, it is difficult to predict how each new foster child will react to this sudden and extreme change. Yet, with a little preparation and planning beforehand, you can ease the stress that is sure to occur in this transition a little…
Last fall, President Obama signed House Resolution 4980 into law, which included a wide range of provisions; including new state requirements to better serve commercially sexually exploited children, a change in the structure of adoption incentives and much more.
Tucked into the extensive legislation is a new requirement for states to report the number of children in foster care who are pregnant or parenting. According to the legislation, this information must be reported through the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), effective Fiscal Year 2016.
The Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) has published an updated compendium of programs, initiatives, interventions and curricula that focus on serving the needs of expectant and parenting foster youth and their children. The original resource guide, created in 2011, was updated following a two-year collaboration between CSSP and child welfare agencies in Tennessee, New York, Washington, DC and Washington State to put many of these strategies into practice.
Organized into the categories of parenting supports, developmental supports for children and parents and preparation for adulthood, the resource guide offers an extensive menu of 73 different programs that aim to improve the long term safety and permanency outcomes for foster youth parents. Special care is given to ensuring that these practice strategies are trauma-informed and include resources that pertain to co-parenting and helping young men navigate fatherhood.
Bay Area residents and all Californians should take the opportunity to focus our attention on the needs of some of the most vulnerable among us — our foster youth. Our responsibility to the over 60,000 youth in the California foster care system and 6,000 foster youth in the Bay Area, cannot be overstated. Not only do they face the day-to-day challenges of children living in more traditional circumstances, foster youth also confront a myriad of stressors that impact their ability to thrive in the very setting we rely on to support their safety, stability and development—our schools.
Written by Ken Berrick – Chief Executive Officer of Seneca Family of Agencies based in Oakland. He is co-author of the book, Unconditional Care: Relationship-Based, Behavioral Intervention with Vulnerable Children and Families.