Permanency Tip of the Week: She is the One that Needs to do All the Work to get Ready, Right?
When youth are preparing to enter a new family home, there often is a lot of focus on ensuring that she is working on all her emotional / behavioral issues in therapy so that she can enter the family home successfully. Significant work also needs to be done with everyone who will surround and support her as she enters the family: parent(s), relatives, sibling(s), community supports, educational staff as well as the physical home itself. Ensuring that the youth is actively involved in the preparation process: helping to get her bedroom ready, taking a tour of her new school / meeting the teachers and meeting with the family to go over house rules are just a few examples.
Permanency Success Story: 6 Siblings Adopted by Same Family to Keep Them Together
Christopher and Christina Sanders more than doubled the size of their family on Thursday when they adopted their six foster children. The four boys and two girls, who are siblings, join the Sanders’ five biological children. Probate Judge Ralph Winkler welcomed a courtroom full of well-wishers, family and media for the formal adoption ceremony Thursday morning. “This is why I’m here,” Winkler said. “This is why I’m the adoption judge. Days like this.”…Winkler said the Sanders family is a great example of how caring people can impact lives. “That’s my hope that other people will foster or adopt or foster to adopt because there are so many kids out there who are beautiful and need our help.”
Permanency Related Articles:
Columbus (OH) Alive – Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas established the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption in 1992 to raise awareness of foster children waiting on adoptive families. Now the foundation is fully realizing its mission with a goal to expand its Wendy’s Wonderful Kids adoption program across the nation by 2028. Since beginning in 2004, the program has helped place more than 6,100 foster children with their adoptive families.
“It feels right that it’s our 25th anniversary and it’s the launch of this 12-year scaling plan,” said Rita Soronen, president and CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption since 2001. Relying on its rigorous research into the child-services system, the foundation provides grants to public and private adoption agencies to hire recruiters and implement the child-focused methods of the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program.
“Wendy’s Wonderful Kids is an example of the kind of opportunity our country has to move the needle on pressing social problems, like the 100,000-plus children in foster care waiting to be adopted each year,” said Nancy Roob, president and CEO of Blue Meridian Partners and the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, which has given $35 million to scale the program.
Clinical Advisor – Mental health experts in trauma continue to investigate and apply a condition known as Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD), which is characterized by permanent changes in the neuro-biologic system of children and adolescents who have been chronically exposed to various types of maltreatment during sensitive periods of childhood development. It is believed that a specific criterion is urgently needed to improve recognition of the unique profile DTD victims encompass and to avoid misdiagnosis or confusion with other psychological syndromes, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
SocialWork.Career – In honor of March being National Social Work Month, SocialWork.Career asked many social workers what they love most about their work. Below is part one, and part 2 appears in Social Worker Month: 10 Reasons for Social Workers to Stand Up.
As per the 25 responses provided, social workers are inclined to love their profession for the following reasons: it’s the best job with social justice values underlying all work; it offers flexibility and portability; they are able to help heal and/or problem solve; they help make the world a better place; they are able to train others to become social workers and they love their colleagues. This post will provide you with about half of the 25 wonderful statements made by social workers in two different graphics. The other half of inspiring comments will appear in a subsequent post.
New York Times – Being an extrovert is a double-edged sword. I can speak confidently in my college classes and in front of large groups. But everyone seems to think I’ve got it all under control, and I rarely feel that way. There’s a ticking clock always in the back of my mind. I need to graduate and become financially independent before the support I get from the foster care system disappears.
By the time I earned my high school diploma, I felt done with it all. I was lucky to have a caring social worker and a foster mom who pushed me to sign up for community college courses, which I did, at the last possible minute. I was also lucky to live in California, where foster kids aren’t forced out of the system when they turn 18.
Thanks to the cushion of support, I’m doing well, making friends and gaining confidence. I’m on track to transfer to a four-year university next fall, where I will start as a sophomore because many classes I’ve already taken didn’t count toward my media and communications major. I am still worried: A study by University of Chicago found that fewer than 4 percent of former foster kids earn their bachelor’s degree by the time they turn 24. I try to surround myself with people like me, former foster youth who are committed to completing college. We help build one another up to provide the kind of support system many of us could have used as children. We have come really far, but we share a deep, cautious respect for the fact that the odds are stacked against us. Now, when my professors treat me like any other student, I’m a little mystified. But it feels good.
Public Now – Sen. Chuck Grassley, co-founder and co-chair of the Senate Caucus on Foster Youth, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, co-chair of the Senate Caucus on Foster Youth, and a bipartisan group of colleagues today introduced legislation recognizing May as National Foster Care Month. The legislation is a resolution describing the multiple challenges facing the approximately 425,000 children in the foster care system. It resolves that the Senate should enact policies to improve the lives of these children. Policy goals include the achievement of permanent homes and the successful transition of youths who are aging out of the system into adulthood.
‘The month of May gives us the chance to spread the word about foster youth among our fellow elected representatives and the public at large,’ Grassley said. ‘National Foster Care Month focuses attention on the kids and caregivers who deserve recognition and problem-solving from their elected representatives for a good quality of life and future.’ ‘It’s critical that foster children are placed in permanent, safe and loving homes,’ said Stabenow. ‘By recognizing May as National Foster Care month, we hope to raise awareness of the issues faced by young people in foster care as we work to create a bright future for each one of them.’
Huffington Post – Dr. John DeGarmo – Children abused. Children neglected. Children abandoned. Children being placed into foster care; a foster care system where there are not enough homes. The media and news continue to report on the shortage of foster parents and foster homes across the nation…The shortage of foster homes across the nation can in part be attributed to the increase of children being placed into care…Other areas of the nation face the challenge of both recruiting foster parents and of retention, or of keeping strong foster parents.
A recent study by The Foster Care Institute found that foster parent retention suffers from several different factors – feelings of grief and loss. Of this number, not feeling supported by their case worker or agency during this time, not being included in the decision making of the child placed in their home, access to effective training.
To be sure, foster parenting can be incredibly challenging, and might just be the most difficult “job” a person tackles in one’s life. At the same time, it can also be the most rewarding job a person does in his or her lifetime. Lives are changed for the better, not only for the child many times, but for the foster parent, as well. In order for a child in need to find a loving, safe, and stable home, foster parents need to find the emotional, educational, physical, and financial support they need, as well. If not, both the child in foster care and the foster parent will suffer.
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Take care and keep up the Permanency work – Our children, youth, young adults, families and communities are depending on it!
Dr. Greg Manning