Permanency in the News is a weekly email roundup of media stories on permanency in child welfare curated and distributed by Dr. Greg Manning. Below you will find this week’s edition.
Permanency Tip of the Week: Relationship First, Placement Second
When we reflect on many of the people who claim us in their lives and whom we claim in our lives, I am certain that we first connected with many of them through a relationship and that gradually grew into claiming. Seeking permanency for our youth in out of home foster care must follow the same process. We must seek relationships first before we shift the focus to exploring the possibility of the youth being placed with the family. If we do it in reverse order, we are sabotaging the chances of both the child remaining in the home and more importantly in relationship with the family.
Permanency Story of the Week: And So It Was That Our Girl Came Back To Us
Chicago Now – Portrait of an Adoption – My husband and I were the parents of two little boys – twins – and we wanted one more child. After eighteen months of trying without success to get pregnant, I was diagnosed with secondary infertility. Making the decision to adopt was easy for us; we both were crazy about kids, and any baby that you put in our arms was instantly ours … To the other mothers and fathers out there who are going through hard times with your kids — be they biological OR adopted children — stay the course. Let your child feel all the feelings. It’s okay. You are okay. Perhaps the ultimate reassurance I can offer you is this — I wouldn’t trade my family for anything. Not ever. Because parenting means you never ever give up. And adoption means love like I’ve never known before.
Current Permanency Related Articles:
Amelia Franck Meyer with Alia Innovations | TEDxMinneapolis – Child welfare veteran Amelia Franck Meyer describes the human need to belong and to be claimed. When we are disconnected from our tribe, and we feel as though we must make it on our own, it can have devastating life-long impacts. Listen to Amelia share the profound power of human connection.
Every year, there are more than 100,000 children and youth in the U.S. foster care system waiting for permanent families. This year’s National Adoption Month theme, “We Never Outgrow the Need for Family—Just Ask Us,” focuses on supporting professionals in beginning and re-engaging older youth in conversations about adoption. Permanent family connections are critical for older youth to have legal and emotional support as they transition into adulthood and strive for achievement, growth, and well-being. However, older youth in foster care are less likely to find permanent homes and may age out of care to face independence without any secure, lifelong connections.
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – There are roughly 1.5 million adopted children in the U.S., comprising 2.5 percent of all American children. But the reach of adoption goes further: Almost 60 percent of Americans in a landmark 1997 survey said they knew someone who had been adopted, had adopted a child or relinquished a child for adoption. Those children come from all manner of backgrounds and locations – in 2009, children adopted by Americans came from 106 countries around the globe.
White House – Across America, adoptive parents welcome children into stable, loving families, providing a safe and comforting place for children in need to call home. Families who choose the life-changing path of adoption make a meaningful and lasting difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable young people in our society. Regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, or religion, devoted Americans who adopt help give more children the upbringing they deserve. Each November, we recognize the important role that adoption has played in the lives of children and families in our country and around the world, and we rededicate ourselves to ensuring every child can find their forever family …
Pew Trusts – Stateline – The number of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren is going up and increasingly it’s because their own kids are addicted to heroin or prescription drugs, or have died from an overdose. For some, it’s a challenge with little help available. Information Gateway resource: Supporting Kinship Families.
A Special Poem for You, as a Foster Parent
Dr. John DeGarmo – I came across this poem just a few minutes ago, and wanted to share it with you.
Sometimes I know the words to say, Give thanks for all you’ve done, But then they fly up and away, As quickly as they come. / How could I possibly thank you enough?; The one who makes me feel whole; The one to whom I should owe my life; The forming of a brand new soul. / The one who’s there at nights; The one who helps me when I’m crying; The one who’s continuously an expert; At picking up when I was lying. / The one who sees me off to school; And spent the days alone; Yet magically produced a smile; As soon as I came home. / The one who always makes sacrifices; To always put us first; Who lets me test my broken wings; In spite of how its hurts. / What way is there to thank you?; For your heart, your sweat, your tears; For the ten thousand things you’ve done; For oh-so many years. / For changing with me as I changed; For accepting all my flaws; For not loving cause you had to; But loving just because. / Thank you for the gifts you give; For everything you do; But thank you most of all; For making my dreams come true!!
— A poem composed by Brandy, age 15, for her foster parent.