World Wide Wednesday – January 13, 2016

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

  •  10 Things Young People Want You to Know: Child welfare professionals work for—and on behalf of—young people who often feel ignored. This reality makes it all the more important that youth feel like their opinion matters and that they are a part of choosing their family.

    The National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections (no longer in operation) and the Virginia Department of Social Services combined efforts to publish a document titled, “Ten Things that Youth Want Child Welfare Professionals to Know: Engaging Youth in Foster Care” (PDF – 185 KB). These tips came from youth who had been adopted and youth still in foster care who shared their experiences and advice. The tips touch on youth’s requests that workers listen to their opinion, involve them in creating their permanency plan, and build trust with them.

    The common theme is that youth desire to be heard and involved in their own permanency.

  • Answering Relatives’ Tricky Questions about Adoption: When a family member asks a rude question about adoption or birth mothers, you can’t use a snappy comeback. Here’s how to educate and maintain privacy.
  • Parenting a Child Who Has Experienced Trauma: Children who have experienced traumatic events need to feel safe and loved. All parents want to provide this kind of nurturing home for their children. However, when parents do not have an understanding of the effects of trauma, they may misinterpret their child’s behavior and end up feeling frustrated or resentful. Their attempts to address troubling behavior may be ineffective or, in some cases, even harmful.

    This factsheet discusses the nature of trauma, its effects on children and youth, and ways to help your child. By increasing your understanding of trauma, you can help support your child’s healing, your relationship with him or her, and your family as a whole.

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

Inclusion in this post does not imply an endorsement by the Coalition for Children, Youth & Families. The Coalition is not responsible for the content of these resources.

World Wide Wednesday, April 1, 2015

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

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

World Wide Wednesday, February 11, 2015

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

  • Complex Trauma: Facts for Caregivers. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network published a factsheet for parents and caregivers that defines complex trauma and its signs and symptoms, explains its effects, and provides recommendations for how parents can help their children build resilience and recover. The factsheet offers information about traumatic reminders— everyday incidents (sounds, smells, feelings) that cause a child to relive a traumatic event from his or her past. These triggers can cause overreactive behavior, intense anxiety, distraction and lack of focus, and other negative outcomes. Complex trauma can create irrational thinking and inaccurate perceptions related to the child’s relationship with a caregiver. Because caregivers can also experience feelings of frustration and helplessness, the factsheet outlines coping strategies and provides information on self-care.
  • Parenting Coach.  The Parenting Coach tool from Understood.org offers over 300 practical tips for parents. Parents can utilize this tool by visiting the link below and selecting their child’s age and one of the following challenges listed below. Select the challenge:
    • Transitioning From Task to Task
    • Getting Organized & Managing Time
    • Managing ADD/ADHD
    • Sticking With It & Not Giving Up Easily
    • Building Independence
    • Handling Frustration
    • Dealing with Anxiety & Fear
    • Taking Risks
    • Making Friends
    • Interacting with Kids
    • Interacting with Adults
    • Fitting In
    • Using Social Media & Technology
    • Problem Solving
    • Improving Self-Esteem
  • New Adoption PSAs. The Ad Council and Adopt US Kids are celebrating with two commercials the tenth anniversary of their joint campaign, started in 2004 to encourage adoption of kids in foster care. Both ads carry the tagline “You don’t have to be perfect to be a parent,” first used in 2011, but this time there’s the addition of two 1970s-style moustachioed crooners who narrate the tales of parenting mishaps in song.
  • Going to see Paddington? Check out the Adoption at the Movies review first.

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

World Wide Wednesday, January 28, 2015

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

  •  NACAC to Host Free Webinar on Advocating for Adoption Assistance. On February 2 at 2:00 p.m. central time, Josh Kroll, NACAC’s Adoption Subsidy Resource Center coordinator, will present Advocating for Adoption Assistance. During this free webinar, participants will learn how to advocate for adoption assistance programs in their state or province. In these tight financial times, legislators sometimes seek to cut adoption assistance programs and advocates need to be ready to respond. Even if your adoption assistance program is not under threat, proactive advocacy can help maintain and even enhance these important benefits for children who have special needs.
  • Look Through Their Eyes. The Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition’s Look Through Their Eyes campaign offers resources in English and Spanish to help parents and caregivers approach their child if they suspect they’ve experienced trauma.
  • The Potential Trauma of Family Tree Projects. Many adopted persons particularly in closed adoptions, cringe at the thought of creating a family tree that most students will have assigned to them in high school or college. The fear and discomfort from adoptees creating a family tree stems from not having access to their original birth certificate and not knowing their biological family history. Feelings of grief, abandonment, and loss are a few emotions that an adoptee can experience while trying to complete a family tree project. (Continue reading)
    The Coalition has a tip sheet on this topic, as well as a video that you may find helpful.
  • Giving voice to foster care alumni. Yasmin Mistry, a film animator and CASA volunteer, is working to raise the platform of foster care alumni. Mistry is heading the creation of a series of web videos where folks who’ve been through foster care simply share their recollections. It’s kind of a series of brief, video memoirs. They’re well-made, and certainly worth seeing.

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

World Wide Wednesday, January 7, 2015

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

  •  New Website: Advocates for Families First. This organization provides information, direct technical assistance, one-on-one and group education to developing or existing foster, adoptive or kinship family support, and advocacy organizations. Their mission is to build a unified national movement in support of kinship, foster, and adoptive families who care for children and youth, promote their healing, and help them thrive.
  • Trauma Informed Care: New Online Tool. The Georgetown University, National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health  and others have recently completed a new free online tool entitled, Trauma Informed Care: Perspectives and Resources. The tool aims to support state and local decision-makers, administrators, providers, parents, and youth and family advocates to become more trauma informed. It includes video interviews, issue briefs, key resources and links that will be updated monthly to keep up with new developments in the field. This FREE tool is now live and available for your use.
  • PATHS Program Helps Transition to Adulthood after Foster Care. Nineteen-year-old Brianna Deprey, of Algoma, Wisconsin, is getting help on her way to independence thanks to a new federally funded four-county pilot program. When Deprey was growing up, her grandmother obtained court-ordered kinship custody due to problems with alcohol and substance abuse in her home. Now that she is a young adult, she has yet to find a stable home environment. (Continue reading.)
  • Adoptive Parents Need to be Supported to Help Their Child Grieve for the Past. Children in the adoptive system will have suffered separation, loss and trauma. The child’s “journey” through this process is explained first to adopters and then to children, when they reach maturity, through court reports produced by social workers. The creation of a “life story” book with this information in can help the child understand what has happened to them, where they have lived, who has cared for them and the decisions that have happened in their lives. (Continue reading.)

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

World Wide Wednesday, November 26, 2014

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

World Wide Wednesday

  • The Child I Didn’t Adopt: It was something about the phrasing that got to me. Something about the cadence of his words, the staccato of his speech. “Nobody loves me. Not even my mother who gave birth to me.” It is an odd turn of  phrase, isn’t it? Not even my mother who gave birth to me.  Continue reading
  • The 5 Best Strategies for Preventing Misbehavior: Unfortunately, a two year old’s frontal cortex is still developing the ability to control his
    emotions and behavior. That means they throw food, break things, have meltdowns, bite when they’re mad, and scribble on the furniture. In other words, they act like two year olds.

    But since the brain is still developing through the teen years, kids of all ages sometimes lack the rational control to behave as we’d like. Sometimes even 15 year olds act like 2 year olds!  Continue reading

  • New Website – Advocates for Families First: Enhancing Support and Advocacy for Children in Kinship, Foster, Adoptive Families: The mission of Advocates for Families First is to build a unified national movement in support of kinship, foster, and adoptive families who care for children and youth, promote their healing, and help them thrive. We envision a world where children and youth who need out of home care have a family – kinship, foster, or adoptive – who can most effectively help them thrive, meet their needs and assist them in becoming successful adults.
  • Infographic: The Truth about ACEs: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is part of a growing network of leaders working to increase awareness and understanding of the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and the need to develop effective innovative interventions. Learn more about ACEs and share the infographic with others.

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

World Wide Wednesday – October 8, 2014

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

World Wide Wednesday

  • Unconditional love from foster parents: Tiffany and Ryan McDonald didn’t plan to take in teenagers when they became foster parents eight years ago. After all, they were only in their mid-20s. But after going through the foster care classes, the first phone call the Ivins couple received was about 12-year-old Rochelle Lane and 13-year-old Rosalee Hafen. Tiffany initially said, “no.” Her own children were significantly younger and she worried the older girls might be a bad influence. However, after thinking about the girls’ background stories and the trials they were facing in foster care, the McDonalds called back and said they would take in Rochelle and Rosalee.  Continue reading
  • Transracial Adoption and Foster Care: Many children in foster care are placed at some point — either for foster care or adoption — with a family that is of a different race. The Child Welfare Information Gateway has compiled multiple resources on transracial foster care and adoption that can be helpful to agencies as well as to families. The Gateway Web page on cross-cultural issues in foster care provides resources on issues of race and culture in out-of-home care, including parenting tips to enhance child development. Another Gateway website section contains materials on supporting transracial and transcultural adoptive families, including state and local examples and a collection of articles and publications designed for use by families.
  • Factsheet for Caregivers on Supporting Children with Histories of Complex Trauma: The National Child Traumatic Stress Network Complex Trauma Collaborative Group has released a new fact sheet targeted specifically at caregivers. It provides information to help them recognize the signs of complex trauma, offers recommendations for what the caregiver can do to help a child heal, and shares tips for self-care.
  • She Thought Her Foster Parents Were Kicking Her Out: For 19-year-old Meredith, life has been anything but easy. Tragedy after tragedy has made her move from home to home, and left her without any family at all. When she was 19, a mentor invited her to live with her family for 6 months to help her get on her feet. As the six month mark approached, a family meeting was called.

    Meredith no doubt expected the worst. Given her past, and the heartache she’d had to endure, who could blame her? But the unexpected news they gave her completely changed her life. Watch the inspirational video.

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