Permanency Tip of the Week: When Will They Start Caring About ANYTHING?
Before any of us can begin to allow ourselves to care for something, we have to be able to allow ourselves to be vulnerable. Here in lies the crucial challenge for many of our Youth. After you have been hurt, often repeatedly, by people who were supposed to unconditionally care for you – the thought of going down that road again is counter-intuitive if not terrifying. We need to first start with compassion and validation for the Youth being where they are at in life. We can start slowly building up to the point where they can hopefully trust us (or someone else) enough to be vulnerable and start caring about something, then hopefully start caring for someone and then ultimately start forming new attachments.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Child Protective Services Reintegration Project
Casey Family Programs – The 14-minute video helps raise awareness about the importance of permanency for all youth who have experienced the foster care system – especially those with complex mental and behavioral needs. It features the stories of three families who were successfully reunited through the Child Protective Services Reintegration Pilot Project.
Permanency Related Articles:
Child Welfare Information Gateway reports that research has consistently shown certain racial and ethnic groups, including African Americans and Native Americans, are overrepresented in the US child welfare system. The child welfare field has moved from acknowledging the issue to formulating and implementing solutions. Gateway recently updated the issue brief Racial Disproportionality and Disparity in Child Welfare that addresses the prevalence of racial and ethnic disproportionality and disparity in child welfare, reviews the latest literature on the topic, and highlights current state and local initiatives to address disproportionality
Chronicle of Social Change – It is much easier for Congress to impose an unfunded mandate than to address the roots of the educational stability problem: a lack of foster homes in or near the communities from which children are removed. And it’s easier for the media to expose a jurisdiction’s failure to implement a policy than to report on the complex reality that makes it so hard to implement.
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption – Katie Friend is a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter in Chicago and has been working in social services for 22 years. It may sound cliché but I like helping people…Sometimes though, one story really sticks with you. SC had had eight previous failed placements; most of them were with his older brother who has very challenging behaviors. SC was caught in the middle. After promises from his foster family to adopt him fell through, I was racing against the clock to find an option that would work for SC because not only did the foster family not want to adopt, they decided SC had to leave the house immediately. I had spoken to a couple a few months back who I thought would be a good match and this was my time to introduce them to SC. It was an instant attachment, which doesn’t always happen, but in this case it did! SC has been living with his moms since 2014 and his adoption should be final by the end of this year. They stuck through the entire process; all the therapy, educational needs, medical needs and red tape. The family keeps me in the loop and even invited me to his confirmation. These children aren’t just any kids, they are my kids. It’s my job to make sure they have a loving family to support them.
Austin Community Newspapers – In the gymnasium at Lakeway Church on March 4, Robert and Sandra Coy are among dozens of prospective parents interacting with foster children, hoping for a certain spark. The Hutto couple sit in folding chairs, watching a group of children throwing colored balls at a large inflatable game board. The whole gym is a din of noise and play, wrapped in the pressure of expectation. Robert stands for a few minutes and plays with the children, handing them balls to throw. It’s a seemingly small interaction, but this is how the couple met their son and daughter last year, at the same event hosted by the Lakeway/Lake Travis Rotary Club.
Robert Coy said the process of meeting a child to adopt is always awkward, but at least the Lake Travis Rotary event is more fun and less “stale” than an event he and Sandra attended in Houston. But last year, he said, the Lake Travis Rotary event took advantage of the ideal weather to set up several games outside, and the atmosphere was even more like a carnival. There, they met their son Noah, 10, and Lily, 8. Now, Robert said, they’re looking for a sibling or two.
“If they did this more, more of these children would have forever homes,” Robert Coy said. “It’s a very scary thing for both the kids and us,” his wife Sandra Coy said. “It’s uncomfortable and awkward. But it can also be a beautiful moment when you see a child and know. It’s happened to us twice before.”
National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment – For years, the child welfare field has talked about “retention” of foster and adoptive families, but the idea of retention has focused mainly on the needs of agencies rather than the needs of families. We recognize that many child welfare systems such as yours are concerned about retaining families in order to have a large enough pool to pull from for children and youth in foster care, but there is a better approach.
We encourage you to focus on actively developing and supporting both prospective and current foster and adoptive families, rather than focusing on retaining them. By meeting a family’s needs, you increase their ability to address each child’s unique needs, while also strengthening their relationship with your child welfare system. The traditional view of retention suggests passively holding onto families, whereas development and support involves building and nurturing a relationship with families so that they continue to feel equipped to meet the needs of children and youth.
The idea of developing and supporting families is a significant departure from the old approach of retaining families. The information below highlights ways to shift from a “retention” approach to a “development” approach…
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP’s) Model Programs Guide (MPG) contains information about evidence-based juvenile justice and youth prevention, intervention, and reentry programs. It is a resource for practitioners and communities about what works, what is promising, and what does not work in juvenile justice, delinquency prevention, and child protection and safety. MPG uses expert study reviewers andCrimeSolutions.gov’s program review process, scoring instrument, and evidence ratings. The two sites also share a common database of juvenile-related programs.