Child Welfare Information Gateway-Updates November 2016

Child Welfare Information Gateway E-lert! November 2016

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Encourage your colleagues to subscribe to E-lert!

To ensure you receive E-lert! each month, please add us to your safe senders list.

Here’s what’s new from Child Welfare Information Gateway. Use the links below or contact us to request print copies. If print copies are available, we will ship them to you for free.

Raise Awareness for National Adoption Month 2016

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This year, National Adoption Month focuses on the importance of identifying permanent families for thousands of 15–18 year olds in foster care who are currently less likely to be adopted, often because of their age, and who all too often age out of the system without a stable place to call home.

The 2016 National Adoption Month website provides information and resources to help professionals with Developing and Supporting Families for older youth and Involving and Empowering Older Youth. This year, a new downloadable tip sheet, “Talking With Older Youth About Adoption,” was developed to support professionals in starting or re-engaging older youth in conversations about adoption.
Additionally, resources for families include, Preparing to Adopt and Finding Support After Adoption.

Finally, the Watch and Listen section offers sharable videos and podcasts featuring adoption stories of older youth in foster care.

Be sure to visit the 2016 National Adoption Month website and take the survey today! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and join the conversation using #AdoptionMonth, #NAM2016, and #JustAskUs.

NEW Podcast: Washington, D.C., and the Local Child Welfare Professional

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How does the Federal Government stay connected to the needs and issues of the frontlines of child welfare? How is the field changing its approach to protecting children and strengthening families?

Find out the answers to these questions and more in our new podcast, “Washington, D.C., and the Local Child Welfare Professional,” featuring a conversation with Rafael López, who was nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate in 2015 as the Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Commissioner López’s experience spans the local, State, and Federal levels of child welfare. Visit the podcast landing page for more information on this podcast and related resources.

Looking for more podcasts? Visit our growing collection on the Children’s Bureau website.

New & Updated Publications

Court Hearings for the Permanent Placement of Children
This factsheet summarizes State laws that mandate the type and frequency of court hearings that must be held to review the status of children placed in out-of-home care. At these hearings, the court reviews the efforts that have been made to address the family issues that necessitated the out-of-home placement as well as efforts to achieve permanency for the child. This document also lists the persons who may attend the hearings and permanency options.
https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/laws-policies/statutes/planning/

Definitions of Human Trafficking
This factsheet presents State criminal laws that define human trafficking, including involuntary servitude, forced labor and services, and sex trafficking of minors. Federal definitions of human trafficking and the inclusion of trafficking in civil child abuse definitions also are discussed. Summaries of laws for all States and U.S. territories are included.
https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/laws-policies/statutes/definitions-trafficking/

Determining the Best Interests of the Child
This factsheet discusses State laws that present the factors that courts need to consider when making decisions about a child’s appropriate custody and care. Factors to be considered include parental capacity to provide adequate care, sibling and other family relationships, and the child’s wishes. The factsheet also addresses the definition of best interests and guiding principles of best interest determinations. Summaries of laws for all States and U.S. territories are included.
https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/laws-policies/statutes/best-interest/

Understanding Child Welfare and the Courts
Families involved with the child welfare system must often engage with the judicial system. This factsheet is designed to demystify the legal process and inform families of their rights and responsibilities. It includes frequently asked questions about the different stages of court proceedings, how parents and family members can prepare for court hearings, and who and what to expect in the courtroom and throughout the process.
https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/cwandcourts/

BUILDING A CULTURE OF ORPHAN CARE IN YOUR FAITH BASED COMMUNITY

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http://jasonjohnsonblog.com/#theblog

http://jasonjohnsonblog.com/everyone-can-do-something-ebook

This ebook resource highlights key principles to consider and provides practical tools, real-life models and implementable “next steps” for you and your leadership team in your faith based community.

THE FIVE PRINCIPLES OUTLINED IN THIS GUIDE INCLUDE:

1. Building a Culture of Discipleship

2. Reinforcing the “Everyone Can Do Something” Message

3. Moving from the Peripherals to the Core

4. Developing a Holistic Ministry Culture

5. Charting a Clear Path of Ministry

DOWNLOAD PDF GUIDE
https://cafo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Everyone-Can-Do-Something-PDF-GUIDE.pdf

WATCH WEBINAR
https://vimeo.com/186297760

Subscribe to Jason Johnson’s Blog at http://jasonjohnsonblog.com/subscribe/

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NFPA received permission from Jason Johnson to copy and publish this material from his website in The Scoop and The Informer.

Talking With Teachers About Trauma: Do’s And Dont’s

Talking With Teachers About Trauma: Do’s And Dont’s
It’s time to head back to school! For many foster and adoptive families, this means educating our children’s teachers about the impact of trauma.
Shannon Hicks September 04, 2016

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It’s that time of year again: shiny pencils, yellow buses, endless paperwork, and new shoes. It’s time to head back to school! For many foster and adoptive families, this means educating our children’s teachers about the impact of trauma. Here are a few tips to make those conversations productive and positive:
DO be proactive.
Of course, you want to let teachers know ahead of time if you anticipate that your child’s trauma will affect them in the classroom. The beginning of the school year is a very busy time, so consider briefly mentioning this when you meet a teacher and then following up with an email. You could say something like, “My child had a difficult start in life and may react differently to certain situations than you would expect. Would it be okay if I shoot you an e-mail with some resources that I think might be helpful?” Follow up with links to some resources to support trauma-informed teaching. I like this list by the Trauma Informed Care Project and this Child Trauma Toolkit.
DO be positive.
After repeated negative experiences in the classroom, it can be easy to assume that your child will struggle. As a teacher, I truly believe that the number one factor in whether or not a child feels successful in school is the quality of their relationship with their teacher(s). A great teacher can make a huge difference in helping students feel safe to take risks and reach their potential. And there are lots of great teachers out there. Try to face the new year and the new teacher positively even if your child has had negative experiences with teachers in the past.
DO involve your child as appropriate.
When they’re young, we have little choice but to be our children’s voice to their teachers. In most cases, as they approach upper elementary school and beyond, it’s important to gradually hand off this responsibility. This doesn’t mean that you never speak to teachers on your child’s behalf. It does mean that you talk to your children about this. Consider asking for their input on what and how you share with their teachers. I always tell my daughter that as long as she is polite, she never has to share any part of her adoption story with anyone unless she feels comfortable doing this. I even tell her that she can blame me (“My mom said I don’t have to answer that question.”)
DO appreciate.
Lots of children who have experienced trauma display challenging behaviors at some point during the school year. Often there are school staff members (maybe your child’s classroom teacher, maybe someone else) who go out of their way to try to understand these behaviors and connect with our children. A positive relationship with one of these people can mean the difference between a child feeling angry and feeling heard, feeling misunderstood and feeling accepted. These folks are the heroes of the educational system (and they are out there—I know some of them personally). Go out of your way to appreciate them.
DON’T patronize.
Teachers are professionals. Many have advanced degrees and do extensive research to meet the unique educational needs of their students. They may also feel underpaid and underappreciated. Be a good advocate for your child, but don’t be a know-it-all. Open the lines of communication between home and school. And assume that teachers will go out of their way to do their job.
DON’T overshare.
There is a difference between sharing information and resources about the impact of trauma on children and sharing your child’s story. Before you contact your child’s teacher, spend some time thinking about this difference. There may be some situations where it is appropriate (even necessary) to share parts of your child’s story. I think those situations are few and far between. I know different parents have different ideas about this, but I always want to err on the side of protecting my kids’ privacy. It is their story, and unless it is truly necessary, it’s not my job to share it with other people (this is another time when communication with your child can be really helpful . . . not sure what they would want you to share? Ask them.).
DON’T stress too much.
This is probably the hardest tip to follow. But it’s important too. Our children feed off of our emotional energy and if we are overly anxious about them starting school, it signals to them that they should be anxious too. Educate. Communicate. Advocate. And then sit back and take a deep breath. It will be okay.

Support NFPA this holiday season with AmazonSmile

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The holidays are approaching and you will be busy shopping for gifts, decorations, and more. NFPA would like to remind you to shop at smile.amazon.com highlighting the National Foster Parent Association, Inc. as your charity of choice so that  we can increase our AmazonSmile donations.

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#StartWithaSmile at smile.amazon.com/ch/06-0899870 for your holiday gifts and Amazon will donate to the National Foster Parent Association, Inc..

NCTSN-The Invisible Suitcase: What It Is and Why Does It Matter?

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The Invisible Suitcase: What It Is and Why Does It Matter?

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Children in foster care can exhibit challenging behavior that’s difficult to manage at times. Many of the children who come into foster care bring with them a history of experiencing trauma. But did you know that they also bring beliefs about themselves, caregivers, and the world, as a result of the trauma they have experienced? In part one of the Invisible Suitcase two-part interactive lessons, you will learn about the beliefs that children often bring into their foster homes and how these beliefs are connected to their challenging, and at times puzzling, behavior. The narrator, Henry, will walk you through how a child’s experiences help form their beliefs, and in turn, how these beliefs are connected to the way they behave.
http://learn.nctsn.org/course/view.php?id=454&section=1

The second part of the Online Module Invisible Suitcase is scheduled to be posted after Thanksgiving.

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Heart of a Foster Mother

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You might not be able to tell what this is on this cool crisp fall morning at 7:15am. I would like to know how many days and how many of these big yellow buses I have watched come down the road. How many different kiddo’s have stood by my side ready for a new day and so much life to look forward to.
By my side today stood a sweet 4 year old holding a dead weed. She said as she held it out to me, this is for love. This made me think about the close to 300 others gone before. Where are they? Are they on a dark road watching their own munchkins step on a big yellow bus? Are they happy, do they remember?
It won’t be long until this time will be over for Steve and I. I know many of you don’t believe me (especially my family) but we will retire from foster care. In January it will be 32 years!!! Who knew that this young couple (so many years ago) so excited to be “called” by GOD, would still be making this trek down a dark country road so many years later….Watching one more head off to school. Safe…loved…sometimes for the first time in their lives.
I watched this same little one on top of Papa’s shoulders headed for the big yellow bus yesterday. So many others on those big shoulders… Another place another time another child… still echoes in my mind!
I guess I’m just too sentimental! I know my kids would say I am. Steve is positive I am, but for right now I’m just thankful. Even with all of our faults and so many failures he chose us!!!! Easy? Not on your life! Heartbreaking? More than anyone will ever know. Rewarding? Yes!
This is my prayer today… “Lord I pray for every abused hurting child. Somewhere today let them see you. Let one more person dedicate their life to healing these children by sharing their home, their time, their love; their lives. Father, You said in your word if we have done it unto the least of these we’ve done it unto you! Raise them up Lord! The workers are so few!!! God, let them know you are not looking for perfect, but a willing heart.”

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Lana Freeman and her family live in Oklahoma. Lana is currently the Secretary of the National Foster Parent Association. Your donation to NFPA will help provide advocacy, educational activities, supports and services to the thousands of foster families across the country. Giving Tuesday is the perfect time to show your support – www.nfpaonline.org

MODERNIZING FOSTER CARE

MODERNIZING FOSTER CARE
Jim and Mary Kenny

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The foster care system has failed to keep pace with changing family life styles. Fewer stay-at-home moms are available when both parents work. In addition, families have become more urban. Changing jobs, more moving, and longer commuting times reflect life in the city. Fewer people reside in long-term communities. Neighborhood support has diminished. As a result, the recruitment and retention of foster families has become more difficult.
Foster families are key players along the road to permanence. The shortage of appropriate foster families has been hidden by our failure to keep track of the number and types of homes available. This lack of hard data has been partially remedied by a review of hundreds of recent local news reports. Although the shortage varies by locale and special populations served, it is real and likely to worsen.

In May, 2015, nearly one out of seven wards in our welfare system was living in a group home (Annie E. Casey Foundation). That amounts to 57,000 children at a cost seven to ten times higher than foster care. Approximately 23,000 of these children had no medical disability or behavioral problem that might warrant such a restrictive and expensive placement. These and other sources confirm a common perception:
Although general shortages tended to vary by state and by county, foster homes for special populations were in universal demand. Homes were needed for teens, sibling groups, minority groups of Blacks and Hispanics, and for health-challenged children. Homes within the child’s social and cultural milieu were rare. Distance was a factor. Too often the child had to be placed so far from the birth parent that reunification became geographically difficult.

Another serious problem was the misuse of those foster homes that were available. Foster homes in some areas were dangerously overcrowded. Also, because of the absence of any alternative, there were reports of foster parents being allowed to skip required training and to violate policies.

Adding to the problem, foster home shortages were said to be a major cause of high staff turnover. Caseworkers are already overworked. Examples were given of case loads of 90 clients where the CW was still required to handle emergencies for two additional uncovered case loads. This heavy responsibility is compounded by having to spend an inordinate amount of time searching for a proper foster home for a newly removed child. Annual caseworker turnover was reported as high as thirty-five percent.
Maintaining the Birth Home
The first and best way to deal with the shortage of foster families is to reduce our need for them. Prevention and early safe reunification offer two obvious strategies.

Removal of a child almost always offers a Sophie’s choice. On the one hand, the child has to be protected physically. On the other, separating the child from the only family he may have known is social surgery and may cause even more harm. Have we sometimes been too hasty with our “remove-to-protect” response? Can we let the child remain in the home and still keep him or her physically safe? What resources do we need to accomplish this?

Concerned relatives, if they can be found, offer the best chance for family stability and are the least disruptive. An immediate inventory of the birth parents’ extended family may open up several possibilities. Is there a caring relative who might be willing to move in as a temporary nanny or mother’s helper? They can model homemaking skills while giving birth mother time to correct the issues that might lead to the removal of her child. Background and reference checks on kin can be accomplished on an emergency basis.

If the relative does not actually move in, might they drop by and monitor progress daily until safety can be assured? Care by kin lessens the culture shock for the child and can make eventual reunification easier.

Going beyond kin, might special foster parents be identified who are willing to provide a similar form of emergency care? Going still further, an innovative caseworker might be able to mobilize community care and support for mother and child. Churches and other helping organizations might be recruited to watch over mother’s rehabilitation while keeping the initial family together. Obviously, mobilizing and supervising these support systems would require more work for the caseworker. The benefit, in those cases where such a plan was appropriate, would be to maintain the birth home.

A brief period of haphazard uncertainty usually follows the removal of a child. A three-day transitional placement would offer an interlude while thought can be given to the next step: possible reunification or a search for the most appropriate placement.

If the child must be removed, offer birth mother an initial reunification plan within 24 hours. This is not brain surgery. Address the problems directly that led to the removal and offer a way to correct them. If the housing is substandard, new housing must be found. If the parents have little parenting skill or the child was left alone, attend parent training classes. If a boyfriend abused the child, get rid of the boyfriend. If one or both parents were on drugs, they may need to seek treatment and pass random drug screens. And so on. The plan can later be approved and/or improved in court, but the clock will already be ticking, either on the way to reunification or toward termination. Most importantly, the truly concerned mother has the opportunity to begin working immediately to get her child back.

The Foster Families We Need

Foster families are the displaced child’s number one resource. To properly serve abused and neglected children, the temporary placement should be tailored to their requirements. What type of homes are we lacking? Here is a shopping list.

Foster children need experienced parents to cope with the special challenges. A training course is not sufficient. Virgin parents will have little or no hands-on understanding of how and why a neglected or abused child behaves as he or she does.

Except for sibling groups, no more than two foster children should be placed with a family. Otherwise, overcrowding is likely to prevent the individual attention that most foster children crave and need.

The foster home should be within a one-hour drive from the birth home. Without reasonable access, attempts at reunification will be badly compromised.

To allow time for locating the best placement and a brief med/psych evaluation, short-term holding places, ideally with a family, should be recruited for newly removed children. Time in the transition home should be no more than 72 hours.

Hispanic, black, and other minority families are currently in short supply. Language, hair styles, food, music, and many other ethnic customs need to be understood and accommodated to avoid more severe culture shock. The foster child has suffered shock enough.

Children with medical and psychological disabilities will require families capable of dealing with their special needs. This requires families with additional experience and/or training.

Recruiting Strategies for Today

Here are several strategies for recruiting and retaining foster families. Some are new. Others are in place, but may require a more concerted effort.
• Hire emancipated foster children and adoptees to use their internet skills in blitzing YouTube and Facebook with advertising for foster parents.
• Design appealing ads using the faces of children in need, coupled with catchy phrases. The old Peace Corps slogan comes to mind: “The toughest job you’ll ever love.”
• Hire foster and adoptive parents to do the recruiting from among their many contacts. Hire them to do foster parent training as well.
• Offer premiums for those who attend a program on foster care. Perhaps a free meal or craft items made by foster children. Award bonuses to successful recruiters.
• Recruit beyond traditional family lifestyles. Target single parents. Gay parents. Parents who work from their home who might have more flex-time for child-rearing.
• Appeal to and target special families who might be attracted to a child with different personal or cultural needs. The successful approach of You Gotta Believe with “Ten Really Great Reasons to Foster a Teen” is one example. Consider ethnic appeals to black and Hispanic families.
• Approach local churches directly with visits and flyers. Provide programs to church groups on the need for foster parents. “One Church/One Child” is an example of a successful religious commitment.
• Make national appeals for foster parents. This will help local and state recruiters, and may also open the way for placements and adoptions across state lines when parental rights have already been terminated.
• To fill in our shortfall of foster parents, we might also recruit mother’s helpers for struggling birth parents, mentors for foster children, and other support persons.
Modernizing Foster Care
The suggestions made so far call for a more concerted effort within our present system. To continue to provide personal in-home services in today’s world, however, foster care must be open to more significant changes.
Today’s business world offers many instances of how service enterprises have streamlined their efforts. Take UBER for example. UBER is not just another taxi service but an entirely new model, using technology to directly connect drivers and clients. Quality is monitored by a digital request for customer comments and ratings. Despite preliminary skepticism, the approach has been successful, with significant customer satisfaction.

What might the foster care system glean and adapt from some of these innovations? Clearly there are major differences. Foster children need a home, not a brief service. The involvement of biological parents, foster parents, case manager, agency, courts, CASA, and more make utilizing foster families more complicated than selecting transportation. Nevertheless, here are four innovative ideas adapted from the UBER approach that might benefit the foster care system.

Maximize Income for the Basic Service Providers

Our current foster care system pays everyone but the ones who work 24/7 and bear the heaviest burdens of care and responsibility. That is a lot to expect of volunteers. The per diem foster parents receive is not considered income but simply a reimbursement for expenses.

We don’t expect volunteers to handle other serious problems. We pay people to care for those who are seriously ill, to provide residential care for our elderly, and those who provide daytime child care for working parents. We value these tasks and expect to pay for them. Yet we call on volunteers and lean on their generosity to take care of our most vulnerable children

To compete with the lure of a job in the outside world, we need to provide the stay-at-home foster parent with reasonable compensation, the equivalent of a second income. Treat women’s work fairly for the great value it provides.

Adequate compensation for foster parents offers many advantages. Recruitment would improve dramatically. The offer of a reasonable salary with benefits would attract a considerably larger number and variety of family homes. No more need for begging within a shrinking pool of homebound parents willing to donate their services. Child welfare departments and agencies would not have to settle for just anyone who “makes the cut” but would likely have choices.

Standard hiring practices, using references, resumes, background checks, and interviews would replace the current variety of home study formats. Contracts would provide for better control. By signing a contract for a defined time period, the critical foster home resource would stabilize.

Employment opportunities would be available for adults who wish to work from the home. Those with the desire and capacity to offer nurture and effective discipline to children would be valued. Interpersonal abilities, an underrated resource in our technological society, would become a job skill.

Can we afford to pay foster parents? Where will we find the money? The answer lies in assessing our priorities. Our economy is the largest in the world. How we allocate our resources is a subject constantly being debated. We need to ask where our vulnerable kids fit within our financial system.

Some savings would result from compensating foster parents. Recruiting and retention would become less costly. Contracting for services would encourage the use of standard cost-saving business practices. Weekly monitoring of both the birth and foster home would shorten the time spent in temporary care. Permanence within one year, the desired goal set by federal legislation (ASFA), could be achieved more frequently. This would be good for children as well as the budget. Spending to minimize damages today will save money later in increased social costs like public assistance, homelessness, and mental health needs.

Others have objected that paying foster parents is hopelessly complicated. How could compensation be tailored to amount to a second family income? Would separate contracts be offered for each child in care? Would they be time-limited, a pairing of part-time contracts? Would foster parents be paid a token amount simply for being available? What about benefits? For tax purposes, income would need to be separated from reimbursement. While complicated, the structuring of foster family contracts is certainly not impossible. Workers today perform in a variety of settings, time frames, and structures. Foster parents too can be compensated using similar models.

The most serious objection is that paying for foster cares will delay permanence. Reunification or adoption might be discouraged. However, a judicious use of contracts and bonuses might resolve this problem. Contracts for payment might be time-limited for each child, with a bonus offered for a permanent home.

Some have argued that the love of money would replace the love of a child. This is bogus. Many employees love what they do and do it well. Payment for child care does not mean that foster parents will be less compassionate.

Use Technology to Reduce Administrative Costs

By putting the customer and the driver in direct contact with each other, UBER has made their taxi services both more efficient and less expensive. Digital technology offers all service enterprises the chance to streamline their operations. For the hiring of new foster families, the internet offers a quicker and more thorough way to perform background checks, obtain resumes and references, and document the information provided in a home visit.

Further, caseworkers can use the internet to monitor the birth parents and the foster parents on progress with the case plan. Checks on compliance with medical appointments, school attendance, visitation, handling of complaints, and other required actions can be updated regularly. Home visits are still important but digital checking makes it easier to keep track of weekly progress and provides digital documentation of compliance or the lack of it.

Technology can reduce administrative costs by streamlining many middle and upper management jobs. Administrators might be freed to focus more directly on providing client services.

Promote a Team Approach

Think of the foster parents and birth parent(s) as a ground-level team similar to the relationship between the UBER driver and passenger. The caseworker can involve the birth parent from the beginning. Ask the birth parent to suggest relatives who might help. Describe potential foster families and seek her input in the selection of where her child might be placed. Work with her to plan the time, place, and conditions of visitation. Would she like to bring a friend or relative with her to visits in the foster home or meetings with her caseworker?
Treat foster parents as partners. Notify them of all case conferences and court hearings along with an invitation or request to attend. Support the right of foster parents to present oral and written reports and make recommendations. They may know the child in their care better than any other attendee. Provide them with some respite. Enlist other licensed foster parents to give them an occasional weekend off. Offer a “customer service” hotline to answer questions about allegations, per diem, subsidies, medical and school problems, issues with the birth parent, parenting, and much else.
Teamwork implies transparency. Secret and hidden reports beget paranoia. Non-confidential information, positive and negative, might be open. The team members would know where they stand. By sharing concerns, birth and foster parents might better understand one another. Birth parents might feel less competitive and resentful. Foster parents might become more sympathetic toward the birth parents and even slip into the role of mentors. Teams are a good antidote to one-way thinking. If a team can be built, the real beneficiary will be the child.

Control Quality through Feedback

Invite regular feedback from all parties, following the example of companies like Amazon and UBER. Ask the caseworkers, birth parents, and foster parents to regularly assess one another. Each player would thereby have the opportunity to rate and comment on the other two. Birth parents and foster parents would gain a voice which hopefully would encourage better service and help reduce the current diet of complaints and allegations. The caseworker would be kept abreast of the situation, and permanence might be achieved more quickly. Failure to participate in a feedback system would be documented in the case record and convey its own message of lack of cooperation. A wise use of feedback might lead to better communication. To the extent feedback is positive, it could encourage the players to work as a team.

Summary

When a child is seriously neglected or abused, the role of state welfare is to protect the child, usually by removing him or her from an unsafe situation. Temporary placement in an appropriate foster family setting provides the best intermediate step en route to finding a permanent home through reunification or adoption. The best interests of the child are served if this can be done expeditiously, within one year. Foster families provide the key link between abuse and a safe permanent home.

We are currently facing a shortage of available foster homes. The first remedy is prevention: Maintain the birth home when safety can be assured and monitor the case plan weekly to shorten the time in foster care.

What can be done to reverse the loss of foster families? Both traditional and new recruitment strategies have been suggested, along with four innovative approaches that might make fostering more attractive and our system more effective. The easiest path is to do nothing. Change always involves difficulties. If the issue is important and critical, however, and the will is there, a way can be found.

About the Authors-Jim and Mary Kenny are the parents of twelve children, four of whom were adopted, and have been foster parents to many more. They have authored nine books and many articles on parenting and foster care matters. Jim was a social worker and a practicing psychologist with doctorates in both psychology and anthropology. Mary is a CPA.

Talking With Older Youth About Adoption

Talking With Older Youth About Adoption

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Older youth may have some concerns about adoption, like the belief that they are being disloyal to their birth families or they don’t understand the value of permanency when they are so close to the perceived freedom of adulthood. As a professional, it can be difficult to know what questions to ask and what language to use in conversations with older youth about adoption.

This year’s National Adoption Month website features a downloadable tip sheet, “Talking With Older Youth About Adoption,” which was created to help you navigate conversations with youth. It includes sample questions and suggestions for reframing permanency discussions.

Also visit Involving and Empowering Older Youth to learn more about how engaging and involving youth in the process promotes permanency and improves practice. This information is designed to be used in tandem with resources dedicated to recruiting,
developing, and supporting adoptive families.

Visit the 2016 National Adoption Month website today and take our survey! Stay connected! Keep the conversations going by following us on Facebook and Twitter and using hashtags #NAM2016, #AdoptionMonth, and #JustAskUs!

For more information on National Adoption Month, contact Child Welfare Information Gateway at 1.800.394.3366 or info@childwelfare.gov.

NFPA Youth Scholarship for Continuing Education Students

NFPA Youth Scholarship for Continuing Education Students

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NFPA proudly announces that it will be awarding a scholarship to a student who is continuing their college or technical school enrollment beyond the first year. The scholarship application period will begin in mid-January for the 2017-2018 school year. Please check our website, www.nfpaonline.org for qualifications and application materials.

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www.gluckgear.com Supports NFPA

www.gluckgear.com Supports NFPA

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Check out our newest NFPA supporter – GLUCK Gear! If you are looking at great quality shirts, fishing gear, surfing gear, coolers, etc, then this is the website for you. Thanks to the owners of GLUCK Gear for their support of foster families and the children they so valiantly serve day in and day out. Their partnership with NFPA will bring much needed funds to help NFPA better serve these families and children. This is a win-win for you, as the consumer……great merchandise while supporting the work of NFPA. Just go to www.gluckgear.com.

About GLUCK Gear

The Gluck logo was created as a way for people to say “Good Luck”. Gluck is slang for Good Luck. Our family has used this phrase since I was a child, based on a short-story written by Patrick McManus.

The short term goal is to create a logo, brand products, sell them, to support the National Foster Parent Association. In the beginning we will be donating money to the National Foster Parent Association who support the hundreds of thousands of families in the foster system. The long term goal is to continue to donate the National Foster Parent Association, as well as, build a fund, to buy a ranch/camp to offer a place to say thanks to foster parents in addition to provide a place for foster kids to just be kids and enjoy themselves.

A purchase from GluckGear.com supports foster Kids and the National Foster Parent Association. A minimum of 10% of proceeds will be donated annually to the National Foster Parent Association. Let’s get this to “catch on” where we can, Gluck to all, It’s Catchy!

Thank you, The Stiles’