A Home Within


The Art of Innovation in Foster Care

In early November, I will moderate a panel on foster care innovation at the Re-Envisioning Foster Care in America Conference (#REFCA2019) in Boston. The subject is timely, as it has become increasingly crucial for the private sector to step up and tackle social problems.


L.A. Uses iPads to Touch the Minds of Vulnerable Youth

In an effort to provide youth who are at risk of entering foster care mental health counseling, Los Angeles County is betting on computers and iPads. Last week, the county’s Board of Supervisors approved a $547,500 plan in which the Department of Mental Health (DMH) will contract with the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work to provide tele-mental health services to youth ages 12-to-21.


Helping Foster Youth Build a Home Within: Q&A with Toni Heineman

Working with foster children in her private psychotherapy practice in the 1980s, Dr. Toni Heineman realized that the profound effects of trauma and loss experienced by foster children were often exacerbated by another loss: that of their therapists.


Pound Foolish and Not Penny Wise

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is counting on foster youth to help solve the state’s financial crisis. By eliminating the three years of transitional care that currently supports foster youth until the age of 21, the state expects to save approximately $5 million annually.


Trouble from the Start: Trauma During Infancy

May is both Foster Care Month and Mental Health Awareness Month. This spring, we’ve seen a lot of attention to the mental health needs and well-being of foster youth, whether talking about ways to safely reduce the use of psychotropic medications (as I discussed in a previous post), or about the related need to recruit and support relatives, foster parents, and community members to create an essential network of support and healing so that all foster youth have a chance at a happy, healthy future.


Patience, Receptiveness and Cookies: Connecting with Traumatized Kids

It was 1995, and we had just started A Home Within. Seven-year-old Kelsey was one of the first foster children referred for open-ended therapy, but she was NOT happy about it.


    A Director’s Resolution: Finding Ways for People to Help Beyond Donations

    “I’m not a therapist, but I’d like to help.” When we get calls and e-mails like this throughout the year, I often find myself stumped, not wanting to give the lame response: “Well, you could make a donation.”


    In Child Welfare, Too Many Dark Days

    The Winter Solstice marks the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere—the day in which we enjoy the least amount of the Sun’s light and warming rays. With darkness falling quickly, many are glad to be with family and friends who offer a different kind of light and warmth in anticipation of the approaching year-end holidays.


    Keeping Foster Youth in College: Local Groups Share Strategies

    By Erica Hellerstein A group of social workers, child advocates, and therapists gathered in downtown Oakland last week to learn what some area programs are doing to keep foster youths in college.