It’s World Wide Wednesday! Here’s what’s happening the world of foster care and adoption around the web:
- Why Are Lifebooks So Important?: What is a lifebook? A lifebook brings together a child’s past, present, and future. It is a book to document a child’s history, celebrate accomplishments, and allow his or her talents to shine. It is a record of a child’s life in his or her own words using photos, artwork, and things picked up along the way. It allows a child to honor life, one day and one event at a time.
Working together on a lifebook can bring a parent and child closer together. It creates a natural opportunity to talk about the circumstances of the foster care and/or adoptive placement. A lifebook is a useful tool in any stage of foster care or adoption. Other benefits include:
- A lifebook is an easy tool to use to get to know a new child in your home. Working with the child to create pages that reflect his or her life will help you get to know the child better and build a relationship in the process.
- A lifebook can help a child prepare to return to their birth family. You can help a child document and celebrate accomplishments while in care, and keep track of the important people in their life.
- A lifebook can help prepare a child for adoption. You can work with the child to build a bridge between the birth family and the adoptive family.
Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parents Association (IFAPA) has created over seventy FREE lifebook pages for families to use. IFAPA also has the entire lifebook translated into Spanish. All of these pages are available to download and print for free. VIEW LIFEBOOK PAGES
- Youth Voices for Change: FindYouthInfo.gov created the Youth Engaged 4 Change website for teens and young adults who want to advocate for strengthening programs that improve outcomes for vulnerable youth. The website features voices of youth advocates or “Change Makers”; opportunities for internships, speaking engagements, conferences, and other events offered by the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs; tools for building knowledge and skills for advocacy on an array of topics, including foster care, education, LGBTQ issues, bullying, and more; and a list of hotlines, publications, and other resources offering support.
- My Family Matters Too: Imagine yourself as a child—taken away from your parents and separated from your siblings and then placed in a new home. This is not only scary, it can be confusing to children that do not understand why they are being taken away from the only homes that they know, regardless as to whether the homes were abusive or neglectful. Imagine yourself having all kinds of questions as to why you are being punished and taken away from your family, but no one answers. In this kind of situation, whom would you turn to for comfort? (Continue Reading)
- The Importance of Relationships for Native American Families: Understanding the culture of my people is critical to bringing about systems change for Native American families. Relationships are an essential part of our traditional values and belief structure, which is where upon so many of our customs continue to be based. Reflecting upon, understanding, and honoring these cultural values when providing permanency-support services is essential to improving permanency outcomes for American Indian children and youth. (Continue Reading)