World Wide Wednesday, February 18, 2015

iStock_000003621765_LargeIt’s World Wide Wednesday! Here’s what’s news in the world of foster care and adoption around the web:

  • From Foster Care to Freshman YearBy the time she aged out of foster care, Jasmine Uqdah had spent nearly half her life in the system. On a summer day in 2008, Uqdah grabbed her duffel bag and two small garbage bags, and she stuffed everything she owned inside. Uqdah was one of the more than 20,000 young people who age out of foster care in the U.S. every year. For most, the outcomes aren’t great. They’re heading out into the world with next to nothing — no family, no money, no support.
  • 10 Adoption Myths DebunkedAdoption can be mysterious. Many of us have relied on Lifetime movies and anecdotes of the most rare situations in adoption to define it. As a result, there are many myths that swirl around adoption. The truth, as always, is somewhere in the middle. The information that follows is applicable to domestic and foster care adoptions, rather than international adoption. 
  • Gay and lesbian foster, adoptive parents needed as research participants
    Participants must be:

    • A foster or adoptive parent
    • Adopted from a state child welfare agency
    • Fostered or adopted in the last five years
    • Attempted to become a foster or adoptive parent in the last five years
    • Available for approximately three hours

    If interested in participating in this study, contact Lisa Hines, Ph.D. principal investigator and faculty member at Wichita State University at 316-978-3278 or Lisa.Hines@Wichita.edu.

  • CedarWorks plans to ‘Play It Forward’ in 2015. CedarWorks, a Maine-based playset manufacturer, has teamed up again this year with the National Foster Parent Association to Play It Forward! The company will award several foster families with free playsets for their children to enjoy. Entry forms are now available and will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. EST on March 16. Two rounds of awards will be given to several lucky families — announcements will occur no later than May 11 and Sept. 14, respectively. “Kids just need to be kids and should have the opportunity to experience old-fashioned play on a playset that is strong, safe and fun,” said CedarWorks President Barrett Brown. “Quite simply, we believe in kids and the people who invest in them.” To enter the Play It Forward contest, you must be a foster parent and a member of the National Foster Parent Association. Applications are available here or at www.nfpaonline.org.

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World Wide Wednesday, January 21, 2015

iStock_000003621765_LargeIt’s World Wide Wednesday! Here’s what’s news in the world of foster care and adoption around the web:

  •  Life after foster care: Mentors help teens prepare. “Having someone to love you and all that stuff — I don’t get that.”

    Felix Louis Rivera Medina spoke with a shrug, a matter-of-fact gesture about his life. He is 18 years old and about to age out of Brown County’s foster care system. He has never had a stable home, has been in and out of jail, has no contact with his parents. (Continue reading.)

  • Helping adopted children cope with grief and loss. Adoption involves loss. Resources in this section can help families understand and help their adopted children deal with the loss and grief associated with adoption.
  • Adoption at the Movies. “Annie”

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:

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  • 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 9, 2014

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

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  • Factsheet Offers Guidance on Helping Teens with Grief: The National Child Traumatic Stress Network offers a factsheet for caregivers to help teens who have experienced traumatic grief. The sheet helps caregivers know how to respond when teens are demonstrating signs of their grief.
  • Aging Out: Voices from Those in the Foster Care System – Their stories begin with heartbreak. A family unable or unwilling to care for them. Parents dead, addicted to drugs, absent.

    About 400,000 children in the U.S. live in foster care, according to federal officials. Entry into the foster care system is meant to keep them safe, but the reality is often fraught with its own dangers and disappointments. Times photojournalist Robert Gauthier interviewed more than a dozen young men and women from the Los Angeles area who were on the verge of being emancipated from foster care or had recently aged-out of “the system.”

    Many fight a daily battle to shed the label of “system kid.” Often they are ill-prepared to survive on their own, let alone succeed. They talked to The Times about their past, as well as their dreams for the future. Asked to describe themselves in one word, they answered “survivor,” “driven,” “adaptable.” View Aging Out Video

  • The Benefits of Including Foster Children in Your Vacation Plans: Many foster families feel that since foster children are a part of the family they should also be included in family vacation plans too. So, if you are deciding whether or not to include your foster child on your next family vacation, here are some of the pros of taking along your foster child. (Read the article.)

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World Wide Wednesday, July 2, 2014

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

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  • New foster parent handout for children with mental health issues: New handout helps foster parents prepare for doctor visits if they think their child may have a mental health problem. The resource recommends questions to ask, explains informed consent and describes the steps the doctor will take in diagnosing and treating the child.
  • Nine thought-provoking adoption movies: “Good cinema can bring your thoughts places that you didn’t expect to go. That’s happened to me over the first hundred or so Adoption Movie Guides. Here are some of the films that have been the most thought-provoking for me, personally. I’ve gone ahead and linked the title of each film to its Adoption Movie Guide; feel free to click on over.”
  • A foster parent reflects on an 8-month journey home. “It’s the night before the boys’ court hearing and I just dropped off them off with their mom. Mom talked to her lawyer, and she will be granted custody again tomorrow. The paperwork will be done in about a week, and I find myself reflecting on the last eight months now that the boys are finally going home.”
  • What are the Factors Leading to Broken Adoptions? While broken adoptions represent only a small percentage of adoptions, it is crucial for adoption and child welfare advocates to study these cases in order to better understand the contributing factors and help prevent future broken adoptions. In the June 2014 issue of NCFA’s Adoption Advocate, Dawn J. Post of the Children’s Law Center New York (CLCNY) describes the results of a six-month case study undertaken to examine cases of children whose adoptions did not result in lasting permanency.

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World Wide Wednesday, June 25, 2014

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

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  • My Body Belongs to Me: An animated four minute film aimed to educate children about sexual abuse and empower them to speak up.
  • Educational and Training Vouchers for Current and Former Foster Care Youth: Consider offering this flyer to youth aging out of foster care so they are aware of financial aid for school. The John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program helps youth currently and formerly in foster care help pay for college, career school, or training. This flyer is also available in Spanish.
  • Adoption at the Movies reviews two newly-released films: X-Men: Days of Future Past and Blended.
  • The Seven Wonders of Adoption: This article provides a list of seven commonly identified adoption issues, reframed from the child’s point of view as “wonders.” Also included are some possible behaviors displayed by a child experiencing feelings associated with each of the issues.

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

 

World Wide Wednesday – June 18, 2014

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

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  • Bridging Foster Care and Adoption: Each year, nearly 250,000 children nationwide enter the foster care system. Of that, about half remain in the system for a significant duration of time. And the older the child, the less likely are the chances for adoption. In many ways, these kids are part of a forgotten population, but one area organization is seeking to bring greater awareness to these sometimes forgotten children; and most importantly, find permanent adoptive homes for the kids. (Continue Reading)
  • The Affordable Care Act gives former foster kids health care benefits to age 26, though they may not know it: Rain clouds couldn’t spoil Kenisha Anthony’s afternoon as she emerged from the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables, Florida, with an associate degree in social work from Miami Dade College. The 22-year-old from Miami had survived the school of hard knocks that is Florida’s foster care system to reach this moment. Now a provision of the Affordable Care Act promises to help her make an even better start. (Continue Reading)
  • The Cycle of Violence: Last year in the United States, 23,439 children in foster care turned 18 years old and were emancipated. In simple terms, they “aged out” of care.

    Put in perspective, last year in this country there were more than 3.3 million reports of abuse to authorities, representing about 6 million children, or 8 percent of the child population. From those reports, after investigation and intervention, about 400,000 children were placed in foster care, and of those, nearly 60,000 were permanently terminated from their families of origin.

    These are children who were neglected or abused — physically and/or sexually — and at a level so egregious that after numerous court proceedings, the rights of the parents to claim these children as their own were legally and permanently severed. Terminating, or legally ending the right of parent to child, is not something a judge decides lightly. In fact, every legal, social, and system opportunity is given to parents to keep their families intact, too often at risk of emotional or physical harm to the child.

    Because we know that children thrive in families — not institutions or transient, temporary care — we made a promise to those children in particular. We promised that the day they were permanently separated from their families, we would find them new ones. A place to call home, to be loved, supported, and cherished, as every child should. (Continue Reading)

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