Permanency in the News

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: Addressing the Permanency Needs / Challenges of the Permanent Connections

When we are working to establish permanency for our youth, it is important to assess the experience of permanency for the permanent connections themselves. If they identify that they have or have had their own challenges related to permanency (unresolved childhood loss or trauma, recent loss, etc.), it can be helpful to engage them in a conversation both about how we can support them and how they are experiencing the youth gaining permanency. This conversation can help them to more effectively handle their own reactions as well as those of the youth when challenges arise during the journey towards permanency.

Permanency Story of the Week: Rodrick’s Redemption: A Life Saved Through Family, Football

East Valley’s Rodrick Jackson was looking for a place to live and a family to call his own. When he asked his high school football coach for help, he received everything he ever wanted.

Current Permanency Related Articles:

Rising: Former foster child’s reflection on “twisted” past leads to healing

WKYC-8 – Cleveland, Ohio – “Unadoptable.” It’s the label placed on LaTasha Watts when she was just three years old. “I cried. What three-year-old is unadoptable,” says Watts. “They’re basically saying this three-year-old can’t have a family.”  Watts says foster care records reveal she received the “unadoptable” label because psychologists and social workers believed she had a personality disorder and was too loyal to her biological family … The birth of Watts’ daughter and being diagnosed with thyroid cancer shortly after was the turning point. “I felt that I could die possibly and then my daughter could end up in foster care,” says Watts. “At that point I started to think about my life.” After beating cancer at 29, Watts became an advocate for foster care children. In 2009 she founded The Purple Project, an advocacy organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for foster care youth and those who have aged out of foster care. The organization hosts a conference each year.

Surviving Life In Foster Care: Why Children In Foster Care Are Vulnerable To Depression, Learning Disabilities, Obesity & Asthma

Parent Herald – A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics found that children who have been in foster care were twice as likely to develop asthma and obesity and three times more likely to have hearing and vision issues, Medical News Today reported. As for mental health, children who have been in foster care were seven times more likely to develop depression and five times more likely to have anxiety. See “Kids in Foster Care Have More Mental & Physical Health Problems.” Also: “Foster Children Face Increased Risk Of Asthma, ADHD, Depression, And Other Health Problems,” and “Study shows foster care is bad for your health.”

A Different Kind of ACEs Summit

At the first ACEs summit in California in 2014, it seemed as if participants were still becoming familiar with the import of ACEs science. This year’s 2016 Conference on Adverse Childhood Experiences, which brought 450 people to the Park Central Hotel in San Francisco, reflected an ACEs movement that’s got enough history, data and evidence under its belt to become unstoppable.

Refuge Ranch breaks ground on center for victims of sex trafficking

KXAN – Austin, TX – The dream of a Central Texas center helping child survivors of sex trafficking is taking take a big step towards becoming a reality. “Located on 50 acres in a beautiful and restorative setting outside of Austin, Texas, The Refuge Ranch will provide trauma-informed, holistic care for the girls on-site,” said Crowder.  The ranch will offer a variety of programs for survivors. There will be a University of Texas Charter School program, a People’s Community Clinic and various therapeutic programs uniquely designed for the development of a child survivor.

Mental and Physical Health of Children in Foster Care

Journal: Pediatrics – Each year, nearly 1 percent of U.S. children spend time in foster care, with 6 percent of U.S. children placed in foster care at least once between their birth and 18th birthday. This study compared children in foster care to children in the general population, children across specific family types, and children in economically disadvantaged families. The study found that overall, children in foster care are a vulnerable population in poor health, partially as a result of their early life circumstances. Citation: Turney K and Wildeman C. Mental and Physical Health of Children in Foster Care. Pediatrics. 2016; 138(5): e20161118

Family Engagement: Partnering With Families to Improve Child Welfare Outcomes

Child Welfare Information Gateway – Engaging families in the casework process promotes the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and families in the child welfare system and is central to successful practice. Effective family engagement occurs when child welfare practitioners actively collaborate and partner with family members throughout their involvement with the child welfare system, recognizing them as the experts on their respective situations and empowering them in the process. This bulletin provides an overview of the foundational elements of the family engagement approach, followed by strategies and promising practices for implementing this approach at the case level, peer level, and systems level.

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Gregory Manning
About Gregory Manning 9 Articles
Gregory Manning is a clinical psychologist based in Orange County, California. He has worked in government, non-profit organizations and mental health agencies, providing case management services for youth in foster care and serving as a mental health liaison.