World Wide Wednesday – December 9, 2015

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

  • 5 things you need to survive as a foster parent
    In truth, though, taking in children from foster care into your house can certainly be a challenge. Behavioral issues, learning disabilities, emotional trials; all can be exhausting and trying for a foster parent. Yet, what many foster parents often overlook is the risk factor that goes along with taking a foster child into a home. As a foster parent, you become vulnerable to many possibilities, and it is important that you protect yourself and your family from the possible implications and investigations. Just as important is making sure you do not become overly exhausted and even burned out.
  • Focus on the Figures: Long Stays in Foster Care
    The U.S. foster care system is structured to provide temporary, safe living arrangements and therapeutic services for children who cannot remain safely at home due to child maltreatment or for children whose parents are unable to provide adequate care. The aim, at all times, is to either reunify children with their parents or secure another source of permanency with other family or through adoption.

    Too often this goal is not achieved. Instead, many children spend years in foster homes or group homes, often moving multiple times.

    Many such youths – about 10 percent nationwide — will “age out” of foster care and into adulthood. A high percentage of these youth experience inadequate housing, low educational and career attainment, early parenthood, substance abuse, physical and mental health problems, and involvement with the criminal justice system.

  • When Sad Looks Mad
    Many times, children from hard places tend to act mad, when that is not what they are feeling at all. Why is that? The answers are really quite obvious when we remember where they came from.
  • Letting Her Go: Chinese Birth Parent Search and Reunions
    The first study on this topic provides fascinating insights about adoptees’ and parents’ motivations to search, search methods used, the initial reunion, and ongoing contact.

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.

Tip Sheet Tuesday: To Search or Not to Search

Tip Sheet Tuesday: To Search or Not to SearchAdoption is often viewed as a triad that exists between the adoptee, adoptive family, and the birth family. But for many Wisconsin adoptees, this triad may not feel whole because of a lack of information about their birth family. To complete the picture, many adoptees choose to search for the missing information.

People can sometimes make an unfair assumption that the reason behind an
adoptee’s wish to search for information about her birth family stems from dissatisfaction with or a conflict within the adoptive family. However, for adoptees, there are several reasons why you might choose to search for information about your birth parents and other birth family members. Before beginning your search, it’s important to have a good understanding of your reasons for searching, realistic expectations, and a personal support system in place to help you through what can be an emotional journey.

“My parents told me early on that I was adopted and that someday I could search for my birth parents if I was interested . . . Finding my birth parents really helped me complete the picture of who I am. It was very useful to gather their medical history, but it was also very helpful to talk about [the reason my birth parents made an adoption plan].”
John Bauman, Wisconsin Adoptee

Reasons for Searching
Curiosity about your past. It’s quite common for all of us to feel curious about our own personal histories. For those who were adopted, there may be many unanswered questions about the past, and you may find that you feel driven to find those answers. Depending on the type of adoption (domestic, international, or adoption from the foster care system) these questions could include:

  • Why did my parents choose to make an adoption plan for me?
  • Why was I placed in foster care?
  • Did my parents fight to keep me?
  • Why were their parental rights terminated?
  • What was it like to live in my country of origin?
  • Do I have any birth siblings?
  • What about extended birth family?
  • Continue reading

World Wide Wednesday, October 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:

  • Creative Ways to Connect with Birth Family: Families in open adoptions share the unique ways they stay in touch, from taking photos with the same stuffed animal they gave to their birth parents to getting matching tattoos.
  • DNA Testing: Seven Guidelines for Adoptees
  • Taking a Break: Creative Foster, Adoptive, and Kinship Respite Care in Your Community.
  • Kinship Caregivers and the Child Welfare System: A number of grandparents and other relatives find themselves serving as parents for children whose own parents are unable to care for them. Sometimes, the arrangement (referred to as “kinship care”) is an informal, private arrangement between the parents and relative caregivers; in other situations, the child welfare system is involved. This fact sheet is designed to help kinship caregivers—including grandparents, aunts and uncles, and other relatives caring for children—work effectively with the child welfare system.

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.