Blog Posts -- Solution Stories

Commentary: A fresh start for former foster-care youths [philly.com]

This piece is a wonderful commentary showcasing a solution story out of Philledelphia where a coffee shop is creating a sense of community, job-skills, and life-skills for young adults formerly placed in foster care. The Monkey and the Elephant is a shining example of doing right by foster alumni, and bringing hope to ending intergenerational cycles of trauma and adversity. Sherreiff McCrae was 5 years old when he was placed in the care of a neighbor. Not long after, the Department of Human...

An American Public Health Crisis - the 'Pair of ACEs' [huffingtonpost.com]

The Soil in which we’re Rooted; the Branches on which we Grow Each of the children described above experiences adversity within their families: parents with substance abuse problems, physical and emotional neglect at a very young age, fear that family will be deported. Each child also lives in a community that faces adversity: widespread poverty, lack of opportunity, lack of needed social services – including in mental health. When childhood adversity occurs in the context of an adverse...

Sand Diego County's Answer to School Stability for Students in Foster Care [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

It seems obvious that keeping kids in their home school with their peer group – a concept known as “school stability”– is a key ingredient in the recipe for academic success for students in foster care. Research shows that on average, children lose four to six months of learning each time they change schools. This is especially acute for high school students, who run into issues obtaining the credits they need to graduate or may have to re-take classes due to coursework alignment issues. For...

Early childhood programs can reduce the effects of trauma [missoulian.com]

Connecting very young children who've experienced adversity with high quality early childhood programs can provide both the child and the family with the tools, support, protective factors, and resources to address the effects of trauma on the child and the family. I've seen first hand the benefits early childhood programs can bring to families and communities. Often times, families who encounter child welfare don't need an extensive, court-involved child welfare intervention, and can be...

Palatine organization The Bridge helps teen cope with stressors [chicagotribune.com]

The Bridge Youth and Family Services has served children and families in the village of Palatine Illinois since the 1960’s. This private agency provides a wide array of services to youth and families to address childhood trauma and change the trajectories of the families they serve. Services include mental health, crisis intervention, mentoring, and social & emotional groups for families throughout this Chicago suburb. Managing stress takes practice, something The Bridge Youth &...

ACEs-informed 'freckles' spreading across Midwest [socialjusticesolutions.org]

This article is a wonderful collection of ACEs and trauma-informed resources and solution stories happening across the Midwest. Originally published on ACEs Too High, and now on Social Justice Solutions, this article provides a resource rich look at the ACEs and trauma-informed landscape of America’s heartland. From public child welfare, to private social service agencies, higher education and juvenile justice… follow the link below to learn about some exciting programs, initiatives and...

What does hope look like? [bettergeorgia.org]

Georgia has a crisis on its hands. It’s the slow-growing kind: one where kids grow up with family and neighborhood violence, drop out of school and struggle as adults to support themselves and their own family. And while far too many policymakers neglect the issues that impact kids and families, organizations like CHRIS 180 are working to shift the trajectories of families dealing with the trauma of violence and poverty. Click here to read more and learn about this organization's impact on...

Disrupt the cycle of adversity, disease [courier-journal)

“Imagine a community where all children are happy and healthy.” The beginning of the New Year provides the perfect opportunity to dream big dreams like this — when virtually anything is possible. A recent series of meetings convened by “BRICK,” a group of Louisville leaders committed to B uilding R esilience I n our C ommunity’s K ids, invited participants to imagine how to make this wish come true for Louisville by exploring new ways of approaching historically vexing problems. The result...

Children in foster care: How to address their mental health needs [philly.com]

There is an urgency to ensure each child’s needs are addressed when he or she enters foster care. Children in this system have greater health needs and frequently suffer from higher rates of behavioral and learning problems that are often misdiagnosed as ADHD. Fortunately, we now have a guide on how to get these children in foster care the care they need. Recently, at a meeting sponsored by CMS Health Care Payment and Learning Action Network on how to pay for quality health care, reports...

In Los Angeles, Drug Court’s Wrap-around Services Help Parents Quit Using Drugs, Keep Their Kids [JJIE.org]

“I didn’t know how to be a mom,” Lisa Galvan said. “I was used to being by myself. It was really hard for me to adjust and even for the kids to adjust because I never was around. So when I came back out [of rehab] they gave them back to me, and within a month I started using again.” By the time Galvan was 20, she had three children and had been using meth for seven years. She had been a drug addict for far longer than she’d been a mother, and when she tried to get sober, she found out she...

Child Welfare and Human Trafficking - Connections Rooted in Trauma

Recently in Washington State, there has been a massive, multi-pronged coordinated effort to address Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) across systems. As this effort made its reach to child welfare, I was reminded of a documentary I watched years ago about two girls who were swept into a life of sexual exploitation, kept from their families and everything familiar. One of the girls was in and out of foster care and group homes, the other had run away from her family home, both...

Treating trauma's steep toll on native youth remains challenge for courts [inforum.com]

Of the many reaches of trauma-informed practice, a trauma-informed court room seems to be one of the most impactful. The court is an instutution which holds tremendous power, through the work of trauma-informed courts, judges are uniquely positioned to use this power to help traumatized youth who appear before them. What this means is a more accurate assessment of what a traumatized youth may need as far as mental health, behavioral, and social-emotional support. When trauma-informed systems...

Grief, Healing and Meditation for Los Angeles Foster Youth [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

For children in foster care, struggling with grief and loss can go hand in hand with experiencing trauma. Grief and loss are unfortunately a common, and sometimes pervasive emotional state. What's worse, is the effects of grief and loss - be that internalizing or externalizing, are oftentimes missed as being connected to the grief and loss. This results in many foster youth never understanding their own grief or never mourning their own loss. The Gift of Compassion fellowship is a program...

Pasadena Unified Establishes Foster Youth Advisory Council [Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley Journal]

What an amazing solution story highlighting some great work done in the Pasadena Unified School District to support foster youth! The district has established an advisory council to ensure the success of the 400 foster youth enrolled across the district. The district has established services, training, programs and resource centers to support the needs of enrolled foster youth. At its meeting on August 25, 2016, the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) Board of Education approved the...

The Ubering of Foster Care has Begun [ChronicleofSocialChange.org]

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/child-welfare-2/ubering-foster-care/21670 Earlier this month , I wrote a story about how Los Angeles County was considering using ridesharing services like Uber to improve “family visitation.” The problem in L.A. and across the country is that it is hard to transport children and their parents to court-ordered visits. My back-of-the-envelope math suggested that if every L.A. foster child were to be afforded one hour of visits a week – way less than court...

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