Permanency Tip of the Week: Everything Looks Safe, Why Does He say He Feels Unsafe?
Perspective is everything – especially when trying to figure out why our Youth often will act, think and say that they do not feel safe. This can be especially confusing to those of us who are serving our Youth and it can even be confusing to the Youth themselves as they are not always able to identify what is leading them to think, feel and act like they are in danger. When we experience this with our Youth, it is important to put on our “Trauma Informed Lens” and try to imagine what it would be like if we were in emotional survival mode. When we put on this lens, it can help us to engage our Youth with more care, compassion and support which is exactly what they need to begin to feel safe.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: “It’s Been A Journey”
Adopt US Kids – “Wherever we go, I take a lot of pictures of Logan and me so that he’ll have something later in life to remember.” I registered with an adoption agency in 2012, shortly after my wife died from cancer. I knew what kind of child I wanted and was very selective. I wanted a child just like Opie Taylor from the Andy Griffith television show that aired in the 1960s. (I described him just that way to my case manager. But she was too young to know who Opie Taylor was. She had to Google it!) For the next three years I looked tirelessly for a child I thought would be a good fit. I originally wanted a boy who was between 8 and 12, but as time moved on, I opened up to the idea of an older child.
Wherever we go, I take a lot of pictures of Logan and me so that he’ll have something later in life to remember. He only has five or six photos from his life before I adopted him. Finding Logan was a long journey. At times, I wondered if adopting a child was a good idea. But it was all worth it. Logan has a good life—the life he deserves. And I have a son to love.
Permanency Related Articles:
Creating A Family – Dr. Karyn Purvis, author of The Connected Child, is nothing if she’s not practical. Her practicality is one of the things I like best about her—she gets that parents are busy and often don’t have time for “pie in the sky” theoretical questions. When I interviewed her for the Creating a Family Radio show on Raising and Healing Abused & Neglected Kids, we received a question asking for practical advice for a busy mom to use in helping to deepen her attachment with her adopted child. Dr. Purvis was ready with her tips: 1) Meet Needs; 2) Say Yes; 3) Make Eye Contact; 4) Touch; 5) Mirror behavior; 6) Follow.
The National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice is pleased to announce the release of Building a School Responder Model: Guidance From Existing Diversion Initiatives for Youth With Behavioral Health Needs.This interactive web product provides guidance and tools to support localities in building a school-based diversion initiative for youth with behavioral health needs…Traditional methods for responding to school disciplinary infractions have resulted in high rates of exclusionary discipline, a single instance of which increases the likelihood of contact with the juvenile justice system threefold, and school-based arrest. These common practices have been correlated with escalating justice system involvement for students as they age (rather than improved behavior) and diminishing school safety and climate. Such disciplinary methods also disproportionately affect students with disabilities and students of color, increasing pre-existing educational disparities.
US Dept. of Health and Human Services – Office of Adolescent Health – This video reviews adolescent brain development and how it affects learning, health, and behavior. It features Dr. Frances Jensen of the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. Drawing on clinical experience and research, and inspired by her personal experience parenting two teenage boys, Dr. Jensen shares what is known about adolescent brain development, functioning and capacity.
My Self-Care Magazine – Mindfulness and Meditation – Based on Buddhist teachings, mindfulness is the practice of intentionally being in the here and now. Working with people as they experience traumatic medical, emotional, financial, and mental health conditions takes a toll on helping professionals. They are at high risk of chronic stress, burnout, depression and compassion fatigue. While organizational practices greatly influence provider well-being, self-care is an essential part of preventing symptoms on an individual level. One technique that has long been known to be effective and that is now bolstered by research, is mindfulness…
Where to Start – Starting your own mindfulness practice is simple. Here are some easy exercises: Body Scan Meditation , Mindful Breathing Exercise , 16 Simple Mindfulness Exercises
Other Helpful Resources: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Mindfulness , Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (Workbook) , Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (Training) , Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn , The Mind and Life Institute