World Wide Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It’s World Wide Wednesday! Here’s what’s happening the world of foster care and adoption around the web:


  • African American Hair Care Styling Tips: Looking for some simple hair care tips, including washing, combing and braiding? View step-by-step instructions

  • Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Placement: The Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parent Association’s Pre-Placement Questionnaire contains a list of questions to ask before agreeing to the placement of a child into your home. There will be times and circumstances when a worker has limited information about the child they need to place. When information is available, however, it will help you determine if the child will be a good fit for your family and your parenting abilities. This list can be a helpful resource for obtaining information. You might want to have a copy readily available to refer to when you get a call about a possible placement. View the questionnaire

  • 4 Dos and Don’ts When Welcoming a New Foster Child into Your Home: The arrival of a foster child in your house can be a time of excitement, as well as anxiety. The phone call from a caseworker asking if you would like a foster child placed in your home can leave you in a state of apprehension. It is often a time of questions, from you and your family, as well as from the foster child. For the child coming into your home, it is especially an intimidating period. Remember, this new foster child is being moved, against his/her wishes, to a strange home and to an unknown family. While each child is unique, it is difficult to predict how each new foster child will react to this sudden and extreme change. Yet, with a little preparation and planning, you can ease the stress that is sure to occur during this transition.
  • Complex Trauma: Facts for Caregivers The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) Complex Trauma Collaborative Group has developed this new factsheet designed specifically for caregivers, which provides information on how a caregiver can support a child with a complex trauma history. It presents information that can help a caregiver understand complex trauma and recognize the signs and symptoms of complex trauma in their child. It also offers recommendations for what the caregiver can do to help their child heal, as well as tips for self care.

Have news you’d like to share? Please post in our comments!


Upcoming Training: Recharge Your Batteries

469509271“Self-care” is a term you have probably heard many times. Most likely, you already know what it means. But, unfortunately, taking care of yourself doesn’t always happen; especially during stressful times, which is when it is needed most.

Given all that there is to do in any given day, taking care of yourself can sometimes feel like one more thing you have to add or try to fit into your schedule. As a result, if you don’t do it or can’t make time for it, you could run the risk of feeling like you’ve failed. Taking care of yourself can often feel like it is easier said than done.

Join our discussion to learn the reasons self-care is especially important for kinship caregivers, foster and adoptive parents, ideas for taking care of yourself, finding ways to fit self-care into your busy schedule, and getting support from others to help make sure self-care happens.

About the Trainer

Maureen Heffernan is a child welfare consultant and trainer. She works on a national level with the National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. She is also a regular trainer in the Ohio Child Welfare Training program and a member of the Board of Directors of the Ohio Family Care Association. Maureen is committed to supporting kinship, foster and adoptive families and has trained families on numerous foster care and adoption topics.


Recharge Your Batteries: Self-Care for Parents & Caregivers Running on Empty

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
6-8 p.m.

$20/person or $80/agency group

Attend in person at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Wausau-Rothschild (1000 Imperial Avenue, Rothschild, WI 54474) or attend via webinar.

Register online, email us at or call 414-475-1246 (Toll Free: 800-762-8063)

World Wide Wednesday, August 13, 2014

It’s World Wide Wednesday! Here’s what’s happening the world of foster care and adoption around the web:


  • Free Book from Iowa Foster & Adoption Parent Association: As a foster parent you have a critical role to play in the life of a child. Not only are you responsible for the child’s day-to-day care, but because you spend so much time caring for and observing them, you are able to provide the Department of Human Services (DHS), and the court with valuable information that is needed to make important decisions regarding the child’s welfare. One of the important needs of a child placed in foster care is the need to receive permanency timely. Juvenile court and DHS have the responsibility to assist the birth family in rectifying the problems that led to the removal of the child, allowing the child to return home safely.

    The Foster Parents and the Courts booklet was written in order to help you understand the court process. It will provide you with valuable
    information about your rights and responsibilities, the role of key participants in the court process, and how you can be most effective in advocating for the best interests of the children in your care.

  • Building Relationships Between Adoptive and Birth Families: This factsheet from the Child Welfare Information Gateway is designed
    to support adoptive families who are considering and/or maintaining open adoption. It describes open adoption and various levels of openness, trends towards increasing openness, and the potential benefits of open adoption. It also offers strategies to build and maintain relationships with their children’s birth families.
  • Visitation Tips for Foster Parents: Healthy Foster Care America shares some tips to help children and teens before and after a visit with the birth family. Read reasons why a child might be in extreme distress before or after a visit and what you can do to help prepare them before a visit and how to transition back from a visit.

Have news you’d like to share? Please post in our comments!


World Wide Wednesday, August 6, 2014

It’s World Wide Wednesday! Here’s what’s happening the world of foster care and adoption around the web:


  • New Website Offers Resources for Families about Trauma: The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has created a new web page focused on the family. The site includes information that defines the impact of trauma from a family systems perspective and connects readers to resources to valuable resources related to trauma.
  • Earth to Echo Foster Care & Adoption Movie ReviewTuck, Munch, and Alex are junior-high friends who have big plans for their last night together. Their neighborhood is about to be evacuated for the construction of a bypass. The loss of their neighborhood is significant to each boy, because each of them feels somewhat displaced. Tuck is overshadowed by his older brother and has also moved to Nevada from New York. Munch doesn’t make friends very easily. Alex is a foster kid, who Tuck says “has been moved all over.” All three of them are about to be moved away from their homes, and away from each other. Recently, their cell phones have been acting strange, displaying unusual designs. The boys decode the designs as a map, and decide to spend their last night together trying to discover what is causing the phones to act strange. They follow the map into the desert, and one character admits that they are scared. While exploring, they see a faint light and discover Echo, a scared, tiny alien who just wants to go home. Visit the review to find out how this relates to foster care and adoption.
  • They Would Hide Their Purses: Chris Chmielewski, editor of Foster Focus magazine and former youth in care, recently wrote an article for the Huffington Post.

    “It’s as if you get a card. It comes with the garbage bag full of your clothes. It’s the result of being a part of something so abnormal that most people don’t know anything about it. It’s not a physical card or stamp on your forehead but it’s always there.

    It’s always front and center. You’re scary. You’re dangerous. There must be something off about you. After all, you’re a foster kid.” Continue reading They Would Hide Their Purses.

  • A Message to Foster Parents Everywhere: “It is said that during World War II that Arthur Hays Sulzberger, the publisher of The New York Times, found it almost impossible to sleep. He was never able to clear his mind of worries until he adopted these five words as his motto, “One step enough for me.” They are taken from an old hymn, “Lead, Kindly Light… Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see. The distant scene; one step enough for me.” “Easy” is not a word I would use for our fostering journey.

Have news you’d like to share? Please post in our comments!


World Wide Wednesday, July 30, 2014

It’s World Wide Wednesday! Here’s what’s happening the world of foster care and adoption around the web:


  • Collecting Information on Your Adoptive Child’s History: Whether you adopted your child at the age of 3 or 15, your child comes with his or her own life experiences that are different from yours. Often there have been many adults working to assure your child’s safety and wellbeing. Unfortunately, despite social workers’ best efforts, sometimes the details of a child’s life can be lost as that child travels from his birth family into foster care and then into adoptive placement. It’s important for adoptive parents to obtain as many details about their child’s life as possible and waiting years later to obtain those details can be difficult if not impossible. This workbook was written by DePaul Family Services to guide
    adoptive parents in obtaining those details that are often hidden in files and in people’s memories.
  • 7 Ways to Give Your Child a History: All of us spend at least some time wondering who we are and why we are. For a child who has faced
    many moves and a chaotic life before adoption, these are difficult questions to answer. But as elusive as the answers may be, they are vital as the child matures into adulthood. In “7 Ways to Give Your Child a History” — published in Adoptive Families — Gregory Keck and Regina Kupecky share seven activities from their book, Adopting the Hurt Child, to help any child adopted beyond infancy, whether from U.S. foster care or another country, to understand and integrate his past.
  • Agency Liability: What Adoption Service Providers and Adoptive Families Need to Know: The adoption process involves liability in multiple areas, including financial accountability, information disclosure, communication with clients, and the actions and supervision of employees. In the July 2014 issue of NCFA’s Adoption Advocate, Michele Jackson explains the current requirements for licensed agencies for the benefit of both adoption service providers and prospective adoptive families.

Have news you’d like to share? Please post in our comments!


Jockey Being Family Conference – Pieces of Me: The Puzzle of Identity


Front PanelHave you ever felt as though you don’t belong? Maybe with a group of people or in a particular scene or setting? For children and youth who have been adopted, feeling as though they don’t belong or fit in can sometimes grow into questions about who they are as a person.

Every person who has been adopted experiences his or her adoption journey in different ways; but there are common themes that include:

  • peer pressure and bullying
  • adoptee loyalty and thoughts about searching for biological family members
  • grief and/or trauma
  • attachment challenges
  • intrusive questions

The Jockey Being Family Conference, Pieces of Me: The Puzzle of Identity, will provide both parents and their children (ages 6-17) who have been adopted with an opportunity to explore adoption identity.

Children and youth will spend a portion of their day with Jaclyn Skalnik, a transracial internationally adopted person, with the goal of leaving at the end of the day with a better understanding of their adoption story, feelings of curiosity about their adoption exploration, and stronger self-esteem through education and emotional support. When not in session with Jaclyn, children and youth will spend time engaging in arts projects and games with fellow adoptees; connecting with one another in a safe, supportive, and fun environment.

Parents and caregivers will also have a session with Jaclyn, addressing common thoughts, questions, and struggles that children who were adopted may experience. By sharing stories, experiential exercises, and role playing, Jaclyn will provide:

  • recommendations of tangible ways for parents and caregivers to connect or stay connected to their children through realistic discussions
  • tips on how families can establish a community of networking to support their children in ways beyond their own parenting abilities
  • suggestions on how to help their children feel health, strong, and deserving

When not in session with Jaclyn, parents and caregivers will have workshops on self-care, an adult adoptee panel, and a wrap-up of what their children experienced during the day.

Conference Details & Registration Information

Jockey Being Family Conference
Pieces of Me: The Puzzle of Identity
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Country Springs Hotel
$40 per person/$70 per twosome
$10 per child
(adopted children only, ages 6-17)
Registration Deadline: September 11, 2014
Questions? Call 414-475-1246 or email


Upcoming Training: Talking Transitions

Originally posted on The Coalition :

179032577Many children and adults find it challenging to deal with life changes. A person who was adopted may also experience these challenges, but to a greater degree due to their past, unknown history, or anxiety related to separation.

Permanency can be an ambiguous concept to people who have been adopted, so when a transition is around the corner, regardless of whether it’s minor or major, it can be a difficult time to process emotions. Please join us to learn how to identify triggers in children, what steps can be taken to reduce the anxiety, and how to smoothly transition children into new situations like school, new adults, new friends, new neighborhoods, new situations, etc.

About the Trainer
Jaclyn Skalnik, founder of Adoption Wellness, is also a transracial, internationally adopted person. Jaclyn earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin. She has assisted adoptive families throughout…

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