It’s World Wide Wednesday! Here’s what’s happening the world of foster care and adoption around the web:
- Federal Tax Guide for Foster Parents: The National Foster Parent Association publishes an annual guide for foster, adoptive and kinship parents that explains the ins-and-outs of how in-home care affects your federal taxes. TheTax Benefits for Foster, Adoptive Parents and Kinship Caregivers resource guide provides you with valuable information worth several thousand dollars or more in tax benefits. The guide is free for NFPA members and the link provided includes information on joining, as well.
- Fostering Success in Education: National Factsheet on the Educational Outcomes of Children in Foster Care – The Working Group on Foster Care and Education has released an updated version of this data factsheet on foster care and education (January 2014). The factsheet describes the educational challenges, and opportunities, for children in foster care, and includes a summary of research on this topic.
- New Program Aims to Streamline Health Care for Foster Kids, Treat Trauma: On Feb. 5, Wisconsin state officials joined in Milwaukee to unveil a new “medical home” program for children in foster care. The program means, no matter where kids are placed, they’ll keep the same doctor and other health care providers. The program also promises more mental health services for children who’ve experienced trauma. Read the full story.
- A Gathering for adoptees, former fosterees, and birth relatives: The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) is pleased to announce that at this year’s Protecting Our Children Annual Conference, we have invited the First Nations Repatriation Institute (FNRI) as special guests. On the evening of Monday, April 14, 2014, FNRI Founder and Director Sandy Whitehawk will facilitate a special meeting intended for American Indian and Alaska Native adoptees, former foster children, and their birth relatives.
The session is open to anyone touched by adoption. Participants are welcome to share their experiences or just come and listen. Whitehawk will lead the discussion on what it was like growing up not having words to describe what adoptees experienced. She states, “We can share our stories-often for the first time-and find out we are not alone.”
Whitehawk is quick to emphasize, “We will not bash our adoptive parents. Coming to terms with our adoption experience does not mean we encourage separation from our adoptive parents or relatives. There are those who are estranged from their adoptive parents, others who are not. And still others suffer from rejection of adoptive parents with whom they would like to have relationship. It is complicated. We support each other in our process, wherever we are within that journey.
Birth mothers, fathers, and other relatives are also encouraged to attend. Whitehawk elaborates, “Adoption impacts everyone. Our birth mothers and fathers have often suffered the loss of their children without the benefit of any resource to express the pain, confusion, and guilt associated with relinquishing a child. We want to give them space to tell their stories. There are also birth mothers and fathers who don’t experience these negative things, which we are also grateful for and invite their participation too. All are welcome.”
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