Greetings Permanency Champions,
Permanency Tip of the Week: Multi-Tasking and Hyper-Focused – Challenges of Permanency
When we look at the practice of seeking and securing Permanency for our Youth in out of home care, it is critically important that we strike a balance between maintaining an intense focus on the goal of Permanency while at the same time not focusing on just one possible type or source of Permanency. The challenge of multi-tasking in the search and engagement process is that we can get lost, frustrated and overwhelmed. This is where strong planning, organization and support come into play. We must continue to pursue all connections that our Youth have available to them – even if they “didn’t look so good” the last time we checked.
Permanency Success Story of the Week: Unplanned Parenthood – The Journey Towards Becoming a Family
You Gotta Believe – Ashley and Naimah met early into Ashley’s freshman year of high school. Naimah was Ashley’s therapist at the time and helped her navigate the foster care system and all the tough decisions it presented for her. They instantly clicked and with Naimah, Ashley experienced an understanding and care she had not experienced anywhere else. Early into their work together, Naimah was presented with brighter job opportunities and she made the hard decision to work elsewhere, leaving her role as Ashley’s therapist. This change left Ashley feeling devastated, facing another loss. It was at that time that they committed to always stay connected and their even more dynamic journey began…
Naimah recognized how much Ashley had achieved over the years and knew deep down that she deserved to experience a forever family and a place that she could call home. It was at that time that she was introduced to You Gotta Believe and sought their guidance in making her connection with Ashley forever, lasting and one that could only be described as family. The journey towards becoming a family included a great deal of ups and downs, as well as learning and growing together as a family. The support of YGB, created a sense of safety and assurance that carried them to this moment.
Today, Naimah is proud to call Ashley her daughter. She says, “Without the support of the incredible team at You Gotta Believe, Ashley and I would not have made it to where we are today as a family and I would not have gained a great deal of the skills and support needed to parent a teen for the first time. You Gotta Believe remains one of the most influential forces in our lives as a family and we feel strongly in their ability to make a difference in the lives of many other teens, like Ashley.
Permanency Related Articles:
National Center on Adoption and Permanency – Fostering Families Today – The feature story in the latest edition of Fostering Families Today magazine is an insightful and hands-on useful piece by NCAP’s multi-talented COO, Allison Davis Maxon. It’s titled “Adoption Trauma.”
Article Excerpt: Let’s be clear . . . for the infant, child or teen, adoption is a traumatic experience. The trauma of forever losing one’s maternal and paternal family tree, lineage, cultural identity, genetic mirroring, relationships, siblings and other connections will be experienced and felt throughout the entirety of the child’s life. These losses to the child are traumatic, overwhelming and will linger across the entire life span. Through every stage of development, as the child’s understanding of adoption grows, the well of loss and pain deepens.
Chronicle of Social Change – Many people who work with the child welfare system know that only three percent of foster youth graduate from college. This means that, despite the number of youth who enroll, most do not finish…To the young adults soon emancipating out of foster care, here are four things I wish I knew about higher education before I transitioned to adulthood, wisdom that I did not hear from the child welfare experts. 1) College is a different type of hard. 2) Choose the right type of heroes. 3) Build connections with the foster care community outside of school. 4) Sometimes it’s OK to share your foster care status…
Yes, college is hard but it is not impossible. No matter how long it takes, you can make it through college to earn your education.
Generations United – Most babies, children and youth have traumatic experiences before going to live with their grandparents, aunts, uncles or other relatives in grandfamilies. More than half of children involved with the child welfare system have experienced at least four adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), leaving them 12 times more likely to have negative health outcomes than the general child population. As the number of children in foster care increases, due in part to the nation’s opioid crisis, the child welfare system is increasingly relying on grandparents and other relatives to raise the children. Yet grandparents and other relatives are less likely than non-related foster parents to receive supports and services, including those provided by professionals trained in helping children who have experienced trauma…
Chicago Now – Portrait of an Adoption – “My child is always telling lies. It started at a young age and it has just gotten worse over time. Why is this happening? Is it common among adoptees? What should I do?” I frequently receive messages about adoptees that struggle with chronic lying. It’s something that is not discussed enough in adoption circles, because nobody wants to be attacked for perpetuating the stereotype of the “flawed adoptee…”
The goal is for YOU to understand what the child cannot articulate. After each episode of lying, take a deep breath and move forward. Your child may display no sign of remorse, but that does not mean deep feelings of shame aren’t hidden inside. Shame is a terrible emotion. It eats away at a person’s sense of self. Try to avoid using shame as much as possible. Your child didn’t ask to be adopted and doesn’t deserve to be shamed for these adaptive behaviors.
If you are an adoptee that struggles with lying, give yourself grace and patience. You are not a bad person. You are someone who needs to change a behavior that doesn’t work well in the world. It’s okay. You are not alone. We all have behaviors that could stand to be changed. We all have good and bad days. If you mess up and tell a lie, do your best to repair the damage to anyone who was harmed, and then remind yourself that each day is a new day. You never run out of chances to be the person (or the parents) you want to be.
Office of U.S. Congressman from Alaska, Don Young – Representatives Don Young (R-AK) and Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) today introduced the Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act of 2017 to help remove barriers and provide support to help homeless and foster kids access and succeed in higher education.
Also: Clark bill makes college more accessible to homeless and foster youth.
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Take care and keep up the Permanency work – Our children, youth, young adults, families and communities are depending on it!