Greetings Permanency Champions,
Permanency Tip of the Week: We Already Crossed that Bridge, So We are Fine.
In working with our youth and families, we need to be alert to a tendency that many of us have and that is the belief that once we have a crossed a certain bridge the process will be the same the next time we approach that bridge. Bridges in this context represent are experienced by parents encounter in raising children and by children living in family homes. The bridges can range from having a child join the family to bed time routine to enforcing house rules. For each of our children, they bring unique histories and these need to be honored and integrated into the parenting strategies. We also need to be aware that for each developmental milestone they reach, many of the bridges they have crossed in the past can appear radically different to them the next time. This reality leads to the need for parents to be patient, graceful and provide a little bit of review to help them our children learn how to best cross the bridge each time they face it.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Dashun Jackson’s CASA Success Story: From Victim to Victorious
CASA of Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties – Six years ago, Dashun Jackson was a boy in need of a voice. After years of abuse at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend, he had many physical and emotional scars, including what he describes as an inability to talk with men. Today, Dashun is not only confidently representing himself—as a junior in college and program manager at a youth service organization—he is also speaking up for the rights of foster children as an advocate in state and federal government settings. I often quote the title of a book to describe my journey in life: Eternal Victim/Eternal Victor. When I was 13 years old, we were all removed from our home. After that, I bounced around, from a children’s emergency shelter to an aunt’s house, then back to the shelter. There was so much I did not know about the foster care system. Without knowledge or the power to speak up, I felt like a victim. A year and a half later, I met my CASA volunteer, Robert. And everything changed…
Permanency Related Articles:
Children’s Bureau’s Child Welfare Capacity Building Collaborative – This video series demonstrates the importance of agency capacity and community and caregiver networks to strengthen families and achieve positive outcomes for children. In these videos, caregivers discuss their role in strengthening families through foster care practices and processes, including family reunification, adoption, therapeutic services, respite care, and collaboration with birth families and kin.
Public Now – Senators Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), Todd Young (R-IN), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) led a bipartisan effort to modernize the foster care placement process. Their effort takes steps to alleviate our overwhelmed adoption system. Currently, states use antiquated paper-based systems to process and approve placement cases, significantly hamstringing efforts to place foster children in loving homes. The legislation would provide resources to modernize the system by implementing a standardized electronic interstate system, known as the National Electronic Interstate Compact Enterprise (NEICE)…The Modernizing the Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act would streamline the process, and let as many of our nation’s foster children as possible find homes and parents who love them.’
Youth Today – Michelle Guymon is a hero in the world of child sex trafficking prevention. Seven years ago, she had no idea Los Angeles County had a child sex trafficking problem. Now Guymon is director of the Child Trafficking Unit for the Los Angeles County Probation Department and is part of the group that aims to make LA’s efforts to combat child sex trafficking a model for the nation.
Her connection to child trafficking began in November 2010. She was the director of Camp Scudder, one of the two girls’ camps in the probation system. Guymon also served on the Interagency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (ICAN) committee, which — as the name suggests — looked at various types of child abuse within the county. At a committee meeting, an FBI agent gave a presentation on human trafficking worldwide, and domestic sex trafficking of minors. She was startled by the domestic part of the presentation.
Today, child sexual exploitation is a significant problem nationally. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, one in six of the 18,500 children reported as having run away from home in 2016 were “likely sex trafficking victims.” The organization defines sex trafficking victims as young people under 17 years old — boys and girls — who are “exploited through commercial sex.” Of these, “86 percent were in the care of social services when they went missing,” NCMEC says…
The Blue Ribbon Project – When a child is in a dangerous home environment, every effort should be made to get him or her to safety. However, healing doesn’t stop with providing a child with a safer home. Children who suffer abuse often continue to suffer in other ways long after they are separated from their abuser, showing symptoms years or even decades into adulthood. These symptoms can be devastating for them and their personal relationships.
Edutopia – Educators want nothing more than for our students to feel successful and excited to learn, and to understand the importance of their education. We want our students’ attention and respect to match our own. I believe that most if not all of our students desire the same, but walking through our classroom doors are beautifully complex youth who are neurobiologically wired to feel before thinking.
Carrying In – Educators and students are carrying in much more than backpacks, car keys, conversations, partially-completed homework, and outward laughter; Trauma and the Brain – What is trauma? When we hear this word, we tend to think of severe neglect or abusive experiences and relationships. This is not necessarily true. A traumatized brain can also be a tired, hungry, worried, rejected, or detached brain expressing feelings of isolation, worry, angst, and fear. In youth, anger is often the bodyguard for deep feelings of fear; Prime the Brain – To learn and problem solve, we must prime the brain for engagement and feelings of safety. Here are three ways to calm the stress response: 1. Movement; 2. Focused Attention Practices; 3. Understanding the Brain
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention – This bulletin discusses the second National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence (NatSCEV II), which was conducted in 2011 as a follow-up to the original NatSCEV I survey.
Major Findings: The NatSCEV II survey confirmed NatSCEV I’s finding that children’s exposure to violence is common; nearly 60 percent of the sample (57.7 percent) had been exposed to violence in the past year, and more than 1 in 10 reported 5 or more exposures. This exposure occurs across all age ranges of childhood and for both genders. Implications for Interventions With Children and Families: One factor that holds promise for reducing children’s exposure to violence may be the growth and dissemination of prevention and intervention strategies aimed at reducing youth violence and victimization… Continuing to focus attention on the prevalence and incidence of children’s exposure to violence may help those who work with children and their families better understand what may be effective in preventing violence and extending improvements in safety.
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