World Wide Wednesday – February 10, 2016

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!

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.

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Welcome Home Books: Building Connections

Imagine for a moment what it must feel like to move into a new environment, with new surroundings; an unfamiliar mattress, new rules, new routines. Moving into a new home can be a scary and overwhelming experience for youth in foster care.

welcomehomebooks.pngFoster and adoptive parents can help ease some of those fears and anxieties by creating a welcome home book. The less anxiety a child feels, the safer he or she will feel.

Welcome books can be valuable resources for youth of all ages. Welcome home books can help bridge the gap between what is unknown to what will soon become more familiar, comfortable, safe, and secure.

Getting Started
Encourage all family members to participate and contribute in creating a welcome home book. Welcome home books do not have to be an extensive project. Pictures with captions and descriptions are what make up the contents of a welcome home book. A small photo album or a scrapbook with captions would work well, too.

Your creativity will ultimately dictate how detailed and comprehensive your welcome home book ultimately becomes. Be creative and imaginative and most importantly of all, have fun and be expressive!

If you have computer skills, you could create a welcome home book through a free online website, such as snapfish.com If computers are not your strong suit, then perhaps you could put together a hand crafted welcome home book, including pictures of:

  • Family members greeting the child with warm and welcoming messages, such as “Welcome Annisha!” or “We are looking forward to meeting you, Antonio!”
  • The child’s bedroom
  • The family’s dining room
  • Holiday celebrations or family traditions
  • Continue reading

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, March 25, 2015

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

  • “Faith in Family”When the social worker brought my new daughter to my house, she wasn’t the African-American girl I was expecting. And so we became a transracial family.
    by Tracy Clausell-Alexander

  • “Googling Her Birth Parents”: My daughter wanted to know more about her birth parents. Could the Internet have the answers she was looking for? by Annie Kassof
  • Black or White Movie Review – Guest Post by Lori Holden: Though Black or White earns its adoption stripes through simple kinship adoption (Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer vie for custody of the granddaughter they share, Eloise, played by the luminous Jillian Estell), the bigger message for adoptive families is the devastating split a person can experience when divided in two by color, race, biology and/or biography. And how not dealing with tough emotions such as anger and grief rarely means they resolve on their own.
  • Finding a Niche of their Own: A common rite of passage for youth is finding a niche, whether it’s with peers, co-workers or society. For some, it is a staggering obstacle to overcome.But the thousands who are too old for foster care and too young for complete independence are just as lost in their young adulthood as they were in their youth.

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

World Wide Wednesday, March 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:

  • In Your Best Interest: A Teen’s Guide to the Child Welfare System in Wisconsin is a legal guide that helps youth navigate their way through the foster care system in Wisconsin. This guide explains the function of child protective services, introduces the people involved from social workers to lawyers and judges, describes permanency plan options and foster youth rights. The guide includes an introduction to going to court, as well as questions that a judge might ask during court.

  • The Storyboard Projectusing story to empower and educate foster and homeless youth transitioning into adulthood.
  • You Might be a Foster Parent if . . . The author of this article asked several foster parents to fill in the blank to the phrase “You might be a foster parent if . . .”

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

World Wide Wednesday, March 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:

  • Preadoption Training: Different types of adoption often require different types and amounts of preadoption training for prospective parents. Adoptive parent trainings for families adopting from foster care, as well as trainings for kinship/relative families, also vary from State to State and even from one county to the next in county-administered States. Visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway for additional information and resources.
  • It Takes Two: Identical twins, separated at birth – but raised as sisters since the day they were born – are giving new meaning to the phrase “blended family.”
  • Helping Foster Kids Succeed: State Strategies for Saving Lives and Saving Money is a research paper requested by Wisconsin legislators and developed by the Family Impact Institute at UW-Madison.
  • Resilience in Foster Youthan article that shares stories of foster youth alumni and their determination to succeed.

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