Permanency Tip of the Week: Why Can’t She Just Focus on Becoming an Adult?
The experience of launching into adulthood is a developmental milestone that can be difficult for even a well-adapted, supported and attached individual. If seen through the lens of an individual who may be dealing with a personal history full of unresolved trauma, continued uncertainty, constant change and repeated losses – the idea of trying to get a grasp on the multitude of challenges of becoming an adult likely would seem overwhelming to any of us. When we experience frustration and even exasperation when serving a youth “resisting” and / or “refusing” to address their transitional living needs, let us consider some tapping into our reserves of compassion and empathy to better meet them where they are – struggling just to survive today.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: How to Love a Transracially Adopted Person
Medium.com – April Dinwoodie is the Chief Executive of The Donaldson Adoption Institute – I am going to do two things I rarely do: I am going to talk out loud about how my adoption experience has made an imprint on what romantic love means to me and how I experience it. I am going to articulate exactly what I need when it comes to romantic love. It’s February and as a transracially adopted person, the convergence of Black History Month and Valentine’s Day is powerful and punctuating all at once. As an adult, I have come to understand that any shot I have at truly deep, romantic love is wrapped up in my ability to understand my full identity and love my whole self. As an adopted person, my ability to understand my full identity and love my whole self was complicated from my very beginning. Based on the limited information from and about my birth mother Helen, I was very much unplanned. The exact circumstances surrounding my conception and birth sadly left the planet when she did and many of the intimate details I will never know…
So often in adoption, we hear that love will be enough and that all of the other tough stuff that comes with adoption will melt away if you simply love your adopted child. While love is indeed the most important ingredient for all of us in life, really loving a transracially adopted person means you need to really see and know all of them. To do this, you need to help give them the tools to know their full identity and this means you need to know yourself. Really loving a transracially adopted person means being fiercely dedicated to understanding all you can about what it feels like to lose your first family to gain a new one and understanding that loss of the family of origin can mean a loss of connection to his or her race and culture and that needs to be rebuilt. Really loving a transracially adopted person starts with knowing who you are and how you perceive adoption, family and differences of race, class and culture. Really loving a transracially adopted person means that you have the opportunity to be understood and loved in a way that you have never been before.
Permanency Related Articles:
Child Welfare Information Gateway – Building Community, Building Hope – Strong, nurturing communities that are supportive of families can get involved and play a role in preventing child abuse and neglect and promoting child and family well-being.
Developmental Science – “Attachment is a relationship in the service of a baby’s emotion regulation and exploration. It is the deep, abiding confidence a baby has in the availability and responsiveness of the caregiver.” Dr. Alan Sroufe. A secure attachment has at least three functions: 1) Provides a sense of safety and security; 2) Regulates emotions, by soothing distress, creating joy, and supporting calm; 3) Offers a secure base from which to explore. Research shows that children who have a secure attachment with at least one adult experience benefits. Babies can form attachments with older siblings, fathers, grandparents, other relatives, a special adult outside the family, and even babysitters and daycare providers. However, there will still be a hierarchy, and under normal circumstances, a parent is usually at the top.
Children’s Home Society of North Carolina – PR Newswire – Recently released figures show a huge jump of 10.4-percent in youth aging out of foster care in North Carolina in 2016 compared to 2015. These are the highest numbers since data compilation began 16-years ago in mid-2000. “I’m a firm believer that people should consider adopting older children,” said Joni Morris of Lexington, NC. “They want to be loved and accepted. That’s what everybody wants. They deserve a chance in life, an opportunity to have a future and a forever family. I believe that with my whole heart. It’s so sad they were thrown a curve ball.”…Youth aging out of foster care without the support structure of a safe, permanent, and loving family, face tremendous odds transitioning successfully into adulthood. Challenges frequently include an absence of mentorship, homelessness or inadequate housing, incomplete education, a cycle of low paying or no jobs, early parenthood, health issues, hopelessness, substance abuse, and sometimes, incarceration.
“Foster care and adoption are in a state of crisis,” said Brian Maness, President and CEO of Children’s Home Society of North Carolina, the state’s largest private provider of foster care and adoption services. “Foster care has been growing at an alarming rate with a shortage of permanent, safe, and loving homes for adoptable children.”
News-Medical.net – University of Vermont researchers revealed a link between adult opioid misuse and childhood emotional abuse, a new finding that suggests a rethinking of treatment approaches for opioid abusers…Emotional abuse was much more strongly correlated with survey participants’ problem opioid use than childhood sexual and physical abuse or other kinds of maltreatment such as neglect.
The study found that children who had been emotionally abused were more likely to engage in rash, risky behavior in adolescence and to suffer posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as adults. Opioid use offered a refuge from PTSD for this group – while causing a host of new problems. The severity of the PTSD was directly linked to the severity of their opioid-related problems…The findings suggest why some opioid abusers don’t respond to substance abuse counseling or PTSD treatment and point the way toward potentially more productive therapies…The study suggests “we should really start to explore more integrated treatment,” Price said. “If a patient has had severe emotional abuse and they have a tendency to act out when they’re feeling upset, and then they turn to opioids to deal with the resulting PTSD, it makes sense to address the emotional component and the drug problems at the same time.”
Senators Lankford and Gillibrand Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Improve Foster Care and Adoption Standards Nationwide
Public Now – Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) today introduced the National Adoption and Foster Care Home Study Act, a bill to improve matching children and families through foster care in the United States. This bill would also create a national standard and database to achieve greater uniformity and transparency to ensure quality foster care placements. Representatives Steve Russell (R-OK), Jared Huffman (D-CA), and Karen Bass (D-CA) today introduced the companion version of this bill in the House of Representatives.
Healio – The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other pediatric behavioral health organizations released a report that outlines guidance and recommendations for clinicians treating children with past maltreatment.
Children who have suffered early abuse or neglect may later present with significant health and behavior problems that may persist long after the abusive or neglectful environment has been re-mediated. Neuro-biological research suggests that early maltreatment may result in an altered psychological and physiologic response to stressful stimuli, a response that deleteriously affects the child’s subsequent development. Pediatricians can assist caregivers by helping them recognize the abused or neglected child’s emotional and behavioral responses associated with child maltreatment and guide them in the use of positive parenting strategies, referring the children and families to evidence-based therapeutic treatment and mobilizing available community resources.
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