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Permanency Blast June 2011

Hello again permanency warriors!  I wanted to provide you with some quick sources of information and an update on the Search Services component of the National Institute for Permanent Family Connectedness (NIPFC).  Happy Reading!

  1. Here is a link to a recent survey about the likelihood of children returning home from college.  Remember way back when (I am afraid I am dating myself a bit here) the expectation for many was that you would graduate from high school, find a job or go to college and then immediately transition into “independence?”  Well not so much now—the survey conducted by the firm TwentySomething cited by CNN projects that 85% of college graduates return home to live with parents, up from 67% just 5 years ago.  A bold reminder of what commitment really is all about, and how permanency extends far beyond a place to eat Thanksgiving dinner… 
  2. Here are a couple of publications worth downloading and reviewing:
    1. National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges – Courts Catalyzing Change, “Right from the Start” shelter care hearing bench card and technical assistance brief.  The bench card is a tool designed to be a reference for judicial officers at the initial hearing.  It is however, an incredibly useful tool for any stakeholder.  Reasonable efforts to prevent removal and to return home are highlighted, with special reminders to include and involve parents (mothers and fathers), maternal and paternal family and non-related extended family members, while simultaneously seeking to address disproportionality and disparate treatment of these families.  It is possible and the agency is required to search and locate family members prior to and at the time of this hearing to meet these reasonable efforts standards.  This resource outlines not only federal requirements, but also best practices and how we can maintain accountability to the youth and family when we intervene.  http://www.ncjfcj.org


    2. Judicial Guide to Implementing the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 – American Bar Association, Center on Children and the Law, National Center for State Courts and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges – Among other things, this publication outlines all portions of the Fostering Connections Act and highlights the importance of judicial leadership in areas such as relative identification and notification.  (pg. 11-14)  It further focuses attention on how judicial officers can partner with stakeholders in seeking training opportunities, grants and community involvement in child welfare cases.  (pg. 10-11) http://www.americanbar.org/groups/child_law.html

Finally, a note on our Search Services component and a brief story that highlights the inspiring possibilities of permanency work.  In less than 3 months of launching our capacity to provide lower cost searches to entities, we have now firm commitments or signed contracts with 30 public and private agencies to conduct searches.  Comments and feedback have included:

“You've helped me find so many family members in record time. Recently 2 kids connected to long-lost biological fathers - one with a name no one (even the mother!) was sure how to spell!”

"Thank you - Thank you- Thank you for the excellent search results!!! This is the best search service I have come across in 2 years!!!"

“GREAT STUFF! Not only did you respond to me with a comprehensive report within 30 minutes of my initial request. I have located the DAD and the youth's AUNT....FANTASTIC WORK!!!”

Most recently, NIPFC trainer Kelly Beck was working with a group to assist a lonely foster child, in out of home care for 7 years and currently living in a group home.  The file indicated parents’ whereabouts unknown, and the child was not having contact with any family members.  Within 30 minutes, 41 family members were identified by the search, and the whereabouts of both parents were found!  The plan was updated to reconnect with lost family to develop a family support network for the young person.  Those in the room who were downcast and pessimistic about the outlook for this young person were immediately inspired and energized to create connections and possibilities!

Warm Regards,


Bob Friend
National Institute for Permanent Family Connectedness (NIPFC)
6925 Chabot Rd.
Oakland, CA 94618
Office: (510) 654-4004 ext 2239
Cell: (510) 677-0485