Supporting Stable Foster Home Placements
The Imprint is highlighting each of the policy recommendations made this summer by the participants of the Foster Youth Internship Program, a group of 12 former foster youth who have completed congressional internships.
The annual program is overseen by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that raises awareness about the needs of children without families. Each of the participants crafted a policy recommendation during their time in Washington, D.C.
Today we highlight the recommendation from Nyomi Davis, a senior at the University of Denver in Colorado.
Congress should reintroduce the Trauma-Informed Care Act, first introduced by former North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, and add two provisions to it: a federal requirement of 25 hours of training on post-traumatic stress disorder, and “additional resources” to provide effective trauma-informed therapy for youth while in the system.
Davis points out that at minimum, all youth placed into foster care experience one traumatic experience: the removal from their family and the experience of displacement. This makes the ability for foster parents to understand PTSD paramount, she writes, and notes that a qualitative study published two years ago found that foster youth behavior was the No. 1 contributing factor to a foster parent’s stress.
In Their Own Words
“My new caregivers struggled with my younger brother’s and my own resistance towards authority. Admittedly, I did not think I needed to be parented since I had been raising myself and my siblings for years. I now know much of my attitude resulted from my past trauma and lack of stable connections — something my foster parents did not have the training to recognize or the tools to manage.”