December 16, 2011
Dear Permanency Warriors,
As we head into the holidays and make travel plans to be with our families, we are once again reminded how lonely and at times dreadful the holidays can be for children and youth in care. Many of us have heard, all too frequently, stories of children who desperately miss their families, and relatives who set a plate at holiday meals
or buy a present for children absent from their family celebrations. Let's do
our best to create heartwarming stories this year of families reuniting and healing, or who managed to avoid disruption in the first place!
Kelly Lynn Beck, one of our Family Finding and Engagement Trainers has conducted a webcast for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Her webcast was the third and final webcast in a series of three which focused on certain provisions of the Fostering Connections Act. The first two webcasts were presented by staff from the American Bar Association which included an overview of Fostering Connection and Education requirements. Kelly's webcast entitled, "Finding Families, Finding Home" highlights how we can assist youth in building a lifetime, family support network through family finding and engagement strategies. She highlights additional areas of concern, including youth's response to multiple placements and losses and how to recognize the need to build this supportive network to improve outcomes for them. The webcasts provides child welfare stakeholders with strategies to meet some of our due diligence requirements in noticing relatives at the same time, engaging them to participate in the child's life.
You can view the webcast by clicking Here: Webcast Link
The Breakthrough Series Collaborative
The Breakthrough Series Collaborative on Independent Living Program Transformation just released its comprehensive final report.
This report, based on the insights and innovations of nine county teams in California, offers a new conceptual model for supporting youth in and transitioning from foster care. CLICK HERE to view or download the report.
You will find a navigation bar in the right-hand margin of the document and many hyperlinks within the Table of Contents and throughout the document, making this resource easy to navigate and use. There are four distinct sections of the report that may be of interest:
Part One: is worth a full read - it's all about policy and practice lessons learned as a result of the Collaborative.
Part Two is a great collection of "print and use" practice cards- these are activities to engage and support youth, develop enduring relationships and plan for their futures.
Part Three shares strategies and lessons learned from the perspectives of county and state team partners, as well as the Collaborative Director and Faculty. Don't miss the 12 Printable Activity Cards starting on page 103 - these Shared Learning Activities are great ideas for your own meetings, trainings and collaborative events.
Part Four is for those who are interested in the BSC Methodology that was used and adapted to move ILP Transformation forward - there's a section on the methodology in general, as well as another on lessons learned in using the methodology to support transformation.
Appendices include some very helpful resources, such as the Collaborative's Final Transformation Framework (p.144); a Caregivers Guide to Helping Youth Develop Independent Living Skills (p.150); a Self-Advocacy Curriculum for use with youth, caregivers and others (p.161), a guide to "What Makes a Good Adult Ally" (p. 167), and a "Five Youth Challenge" Guide (p.170)
Kudos to colleague and friend Gail Johnson Vaughan, Director of Mission Focused Solutions. Gail was chosen from a field of 1400 nominations as a 2011 Purpose Prize Fellow. The Purpose Prize program celebrates social entrepreneurs over the age of
60 who make extraordinary contributions in their encore careers. Gail was recognized forhereffective ongoing advocacy for permanent families for children and youth in foster care!Most recently she has focused on a fundamental budget reform methodology that allows counties to implement specialized youth permanency services at no net cost via reinvestment of savings garnered by moving youth to permanency. Gail is working on projects in a few California counties that are successfully utilizing her strategies.
For more information, please contact Gail at: email@example.com
National Institute for Permanent Family Connectedness (NIPFC)
Seneca Family of Agencies
6925 Chabot Rd.
Oakland, CA 94618
Office: (510) 654-4004 ext 2239
Cell: (510) 677-0485