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Tagged With "Foster Youth"

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Child Protection Agency in Australia Introduces Digital Memory Boxes for Kids in Foster Care

Former Member ·
One of the lead child protection agencies in Australia, Barnardos Australia , has  introduced a resource for children and youth in foster care : a digital “memory box” called  MyStory .   The purpose of the digital memory...
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Child Welfare and Human Trafficking - Connections Rooted in Trauma

Alissa Copeland ·
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...
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Child Welfare Ideas from the Experts #1: Reducing Frequency of Foster Care Placements [SocialJusticeSolutions.org]

The Chronicle of Social Change is highlighting each of the policy recommendations made this summer by the participants of the Foster Youth Internship Program (FYI), a group of 12 former foster youths who have completed congressional internships. The program is overseen each summer by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. Each of the FYI participants crafted a policy recommendation during their time in Washington, D.C. Today we highlight the recommendation of Alexis Arambul, a...
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Child Welfare Ideas from the Experts #1: Stable Placement Equals Stable Education [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

Alicia Doktor ·
The Chronicle of Social Change is highlighting each of the policy recommendations made this summer by the participants of the Foster Youth Internship Program (FYI), a group of 10 former foster youths who have completed congressional internships. The program is overseen each summer by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. Each of the FYI participants crafted a policy recommendation during their time in Washington, D.C. Today we highlight the recommendation of Shay House, 22, an...
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Child Welfare Ideas from the Experts #11: Connecting Aging-Out Youth to Behavioral Health Services [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

Alissa Copeland ·
The Chronicle of Social Change is highlighting each of the policy recommendations made this summer by the participants of the Foster Youth Internship Program (FYI), a group of 12 former foster youths who have completed congressional internships. The program is overseen each summer by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. Each of the FYI participants crafted a policy recommendation during their time in Washington, D.C. Today we highlight the recommendation of Justin Abbasi, a...
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Child Welfare Ideas from the Experts #12: Improved Matching in Foster Care

By John Kelly, August 30, 2019, for Chronicle for Social Change The Chronicle of Social Change is highlighting each of the policy recommendations made this summer by the participants of the Foster Youth Internship Program (FYI), a group of 12 former foster youths who have completed congressional internships. The program is overseen each summer by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. Each of the FYI participants crafted a policy recommendation during their time in Washington,...
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Child Welfare Ideas from the Experts #2: Getting Serious About Siblings [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

Alicia Doktor ·
The Chronicle of Social Change is highlighting each of the policy recommendations made this summer by the participants of the Foster Youth Internship Program (FYI), a group of 10 former foster youths who have completed congressional internships. The program is overseen each summer by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. Each of the FYI participants crafted a policy recommendation during their time in Washington, D.C. Today we highlight the recommendation of Brittney Barros, 20,...
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Child Welfare Ideas from the Experts #3: Protecting LGBTQ Rights in Child Welfare [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

Alicia Doktor ·
The Chronicle of Social Change is highlighting each of the policy recommendations made this summer by the participants of the Foster Youth Internship Program (FYI), a group of 10 former foster youths who have completed congressional internships. The program is overseen each summer by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. Each of the FYI participants crafted a policy recommendation during their time in Washington, D.C. Today we highlight the recommendation of Terrence Scraggins,...
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Child Welfare Ideas from the Experts #6: Improving Foster Care for Refugee Minors [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

Alicia Doktor ·
The Chronicle of Social Change is highlighting each of the policy recommendations made this summer by the participants of the Foster Youth Internship Program (FYI), a group of 10 former foster youths who have completed congressional internships. The program is overseen each summer by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. Each of the FYI participants crafted a policy recommendation during their time in Washington, D.C. Today we highlight the recommendation of Noor Kathem, 23, an...
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Child Welfare Ideas from the Experts #9: Improve Federal Supports for Foster Parents [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

Alicia Doktor ·
The Chronicle of Social Change is highlighting each of the policy recommendations made this summer by the participants of the Foster Youth Internship Program (FYI), a group of 10 former foster youths who have completed congressional internships. The program is overseen each summer by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. Each of the FYI participants crafted a policy recommendation during their time in Washington, D.C. Today we highlight the recommendation of Calli Crowder, 25, a...
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Child Welfare System Increasingly Relying on Relatives to Raise Children Exposed to Trauma [prnewswire.com]

Alicia Doktor ·
Washington, DC "Thirty percent (127,819) of children in foster care are being raised by grandparents or other relatives, a six percent increase since 2008. In the wake of the opioid epidemic, that number is even more dramatic in the states hardest hit by the opioid epidemic like Ohio, which saw a 62 percent increase in the number of children placed with relatives in foster care since 2010. For each child in foster care with a relative, there are 20 children outside of the system with a...
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Children of the Opioid Epidemic Are Flooding Foster Homes. America Is Turning a Blind Eye. (motherjones.com)

The scourge of addiction to painkillers, heroin, and fentanyl sweeping the country has produced a flood of bewildered children who, having lost their parents to drug use or overdose, are now living with foster families or relatives. In Ashtabula County, in Ohio's northeast corner, the number of children in court custody quadrupled from 69 in 2014 to 279 last year . "I can't remember the last time I removed a kid and it didn't have to do with drugs," says Mongenel, a quick-witted redhead.
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Chronicle investigation spurs calls to close foster care shelters (sfgate.com)

The state attorney general's office is looking into hundreds of dubious arrests at California's shelters for abused and neglected children that were detailed last week in a San Francisco Chronicle investigative report . A County officials have called for immediate reviews of the newspaper's findings that shelter staff contacted the sheriff an average of nine times a day last year, with children booked at juvenile hall nearly 200 times in 2015 and 2016. The county shelters are the first stop...
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Coding Boot Camp Gives California Foster Youth a Path to Solid Tech Careers [ChronicleOfSocialChange.org]

As a teenager , Jose Colmenares spent time sleeping on the streets of Los Angeles as a runaway before ending up in a group home for foster youth. Besides missing many days of school, he missed out on important conversations about how he would plan for the future, including developing a career. At the group home where he lived from age 15 to 18, he remembers listening to many panel discussions about drug abuse, but never about careers. Colmenares had always been fascinated by technology, but...
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Comfort in Chaos: Understanding Trauma Brain

Shenandoah Chefalo ·
I make no bones about it, as a foster child, I don’t think I was an easy person to get along with and I certainly wasn’t trying to make bonds or connections with those around me. I went into foster care at the age of 13. My life prior to entering the system was one of immense dysfunction, and I had practically raised myself. My mom was rarely around, and when she was it was usually to tell me that we were moving. We moved over 50 times and I went to more than 35 schools in my life before the...
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Community Buffers Help Children in Foster Care Thrive [hometownsource.com]

By Sheila McCoy, Morrison County Record, February 2, 2020 Children who are placed in foster care or are adopted often carry trauma and other mental health issues with them. It is a natural response to their experiences. While many receive counseling and other mental health services, there are several ways the community can help the children to build resiliency to their adverse childhood experiences. Examples of adverse childhood experiences are emotional, physical and sexual abuse,...
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Conyngham woman testifies about need for change in foster care system

Former Member ·
HARRISBURG — A young woman who grew up in the foster care system in Luzerne County testified before a state House Committee on Monday about her experiences and why changes to state laws are so desperately needed.   Brittany Bullock, 20, now...
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Coronavirus pandemic stresses young adults aging out of foster care [sfchronicle.com]

By Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, May 3, 2020 When Gov. Gavin Newsom pumped $42 million of emergency funding into foster care, he steered a small portion — about $1.8 million — toward young adults who might otherwise be cut loose from services and thrust into a deadly pandemic. Advocates say the money isn’t enough to help people learning to navigate the world on their own. People like Emmerald Evans, 21, who went grocery shopping with a friend right as the shelter-in-place orders...
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Data Sharing Tool Helps Educators and Caseworkers Focus on Foster Youth Success (chronicleofsocialchange.org)

As California continues to work to address educational disparities for foster students, an increasing number of counties in the state are buying into a homegrown data-sharing system designed to improve academic outcomes for the state’s foster youth. Since its rollout in 2000, 41 of California’s 58 counties have integrated Foster Focus, a web-based program that helps bridge the data gap between the education, child welfare and probation officials who share responsibility for the state’s...
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DCYF Director Says N.H. More Focused on Keeping Families Together [nhpr.org]

By Rick Ganley and Mary McIntyre, New Hampshire Public Radio, October 17, 2019 Reports of child abuse and neglect reached a record high in New Hampshire during the last fiscal year. That's according to data released last week by the Division for Children, Youth and Families, the state's child welfare system. NHPR's Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with the DCYF director Joe Ribsam about what this data mean for measuring the agency's progress and how DCYF plans to do better. [ Please...
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Defining Moments: How the Foster Care System Can Be a Stepping Stone [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

Alicia Doktor ·
“I told them we were being taken and I didn’t know where we were going and when we were coming back.” That’s how Kaysie, then 14, recalls telling her friends about the fact that she and her siblings were headed to foster care. What was supposed to be a weekend stay turned into seven years in the system. The words strength and resilience are often used to characterize youth in care. They got through it because they are tough, they’re successful because they have grit. We want to find reasons...
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Early Takeaways from 50-State Look at Extended Foster Care [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

Alicia Doktor ·
Juvenile Law Center (JLC), with the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, has built an excellent new resource for the field in its National Extended Foster Care Review , a website that breaks down each state’s foster care guarantees after the age of 18. Fittingly, the site was launched on the 10th anniversary of Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, a law signed by President George W. Bush in 2008. Fostering Connections, among other things, amended the Title IV-E...
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Early Takeaways from 50-State Look at Extended Foster Care [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

Alicia Doktor ·
Juvenile Law Center (JLC), with the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, has built an excellent new resource for the field in its National Extended Foster Care Review , a website that breaks down each state’s foster care guarantees after the age of 18. Fittingly, the site was launched on the 10th anniversary of Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, a law signed by President George W. Bush in 2008. Fostering Connections, among other things, amended the Title IV-E...
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Equal Footing: Oakland Program Keeps Foster Youth on Track to Graduate with Their Peers [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

Alicia Doktor ·
When Tramischa Cole , a homeless 24-year-old mother of one, stumbled across a Civicorps flier in 2015, she didn’t expect to be accepted into the Bay Area’s only accredited high school and job training program for 18 to 26 year olds. It’s not that Civicorps had a waiting list: Cole was worried her parenting responsibilities and lack of housing would be an issue. “I told them I’m homeless and I don’t have child care,” Cole said. “I thought everything I was telling them would be something to...
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Eunju Lee's Research on Kinship Care: Informing a Community-based ACE Response

Kelsey Whittington ·
Eunju Lee, assistant professor at the University at Albany, is a leading contributor to a body of research focusing on kinship care. Kinship care occurs when children cannot safely stay in the care of their parents due to child maltreatment, parental substance abuse, parental mental health issues or other reasons. In these cases, relatives, or family friends in some jurisdictions, take over the care of the children. Kinship care is often utilized by child welfare services as a diversion from...
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Families in Limbo: Coronavirus Hobbles Reunifications from Foster Care [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

By Jeremy Loudenback and John Kelly, The Chronicle of Social Change, April 16, 2020 This week was supposed to be a triumphant one for a Northern California mother of two, a 39-year-old home health aide. Soon after a long-scheduled court date at the Sonoma County Hall of Justice this week, she imagined she would soon be able to gather her 1-year-old daughter in her arms at last and end what has been the most terrifying experience of her life: the seven months her toddler has spent in foster...
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Fewer US Children in Foster Care; First Drop Since 2012 [nytimes.com]

By The Associated Press, The New York Times, October 24, 2019 The number of children in the U.S. foster care system has dropped for the first time since 2012, stemming a surge that was linked to substance abuse by parents, according to new federal data released on Thursday. The annual report from the Department of Health and Human Services counted 437,283 children in foster care as of Sept. 30, 2018, down from about 441,000 a year earlier. The peak was 524,000 children in foster care in...
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Finding Your People: How Foster Youth Connect [Foster Club]

How did you find ‘a community’ through FosterClub, a Youth Advisory Board, or another peer network? Why is it important for young people in foster care to connect with other youth with similar experiences? Share your story, poetry, quotes, photos - or any other creative outlet! OFFICIAL RULES AND GUIDELINES: Any young person up to age 24 who have experienced foster care, including kinship (living with relatives), is eligible to apply. Submissions can take the form of stories, poems, quotes,...
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Former Foster Youth Share Findings of Survey on Preventing Removals from Families [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

Alicia Doktor ·
In early February, the National Foster Care Youth and Alumni Policy Council hosted a webinar on its most recent policy focus on preventing unnecessary removal of children from their families. Three former foster youth – Dani Townsend, David Hall and Nico’Lee Biddle – presented the group’s findings from their survey on the subject and recommendations that will be shared with federal stakeholders. Hall shared a few highlights from the survey, which included responses from 200 current and...
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Foster Care From the Youth Perspective [fosteradopt.org]

Alissa Copeland ·
Foster Adopt Connect is a non-profit foster care support agency serving Missouri and Eastern Kansas. Their mission: To provide foster and adoptive children a stable, loving and nurturing family environment by support and advocacy for abused and neglected children and the families caring for them. One of the services they provide to the families they serve is the Fostering Hope Radio Show. This episode from May 28 th explores Foster Care from the Youth Perspective - “three incredible foster...
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Foster Care Rate Rises [CWA Flash E Newsletter]

The number of children and youth in foster care nationally rose for the fifth consecutive year , to 443,000, in federal fiscal year 2017. The number is a 12 percent increase from FY 2012, when the number of children and youth in care began rising after more than 10 years of decline. Child Trends state-by-state data show that most states (39) experienced an increase from FY 2016 in the rate of children and young people in foster care . These rates range from a low of 2.5 per 1,000 children in...
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Foster care survivor forced to move 50 times during childhood; brings her story Downriver [TheNewsHerald.com]

Social activist and former foster care youth Shenandoah Chefalo was forced to move 50 times during her childhood, and that experience coupled with her ideas to improve the foster care system that she survived resulted in her book, “Garbage Bag Suitcase.” The book, which took over four years of research and writing to complete, describes Chefalo’s dysfunctional upbringing and journey through the foster care system. She also offers insight into the problems and potential solutions surrounding...
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Foster Students at Learn4Life Graduating at Rates Higher Than the California State Average (learn4life.org)

Foster youth face multiple obstacles that make it hard to succeed in high school. According to the National Foster Youth Institute , only about half of the nation’s youth raised in foster care end up finishing high school. As such, Learn4Life identified the challenges and solutions for this student population and set up a needs-based support team. Over the past three years, Learn4Life has doubled its foster student graduation rate to 77 percent in the 2018-19 school year, exceeding the...
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Foster Youth Deserve the Right to Speak for Themselves in Court [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

Alicia Doktor ·
As a youth in foster care, I am used to major decisions about me being made in my absence. Countless times, I was not made aware of my court dates, where my future would be decided. But not being able to participate in court can have a far-reaching impact on foster youth like me. Last year, I tried reaching out to my attorney to find out my court date and to discuss some challenges I had with my case workers. However, he never answered, and attended my hearing without me. I later found out...
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Foster Youth meets Psychiatry: First Do No pHarm

Wayne Munchel ·
When a foster youth encounters a psychiatrist, chances are high that s/he will get medicated. Traumatized foster youth are often prescribed powerful psychotropics due to exhibiting a wide variety of “normal reactions to abnormal events”, such as despair, agitation, anxiety and self-harm. The practice has been well documented; foster children are prescribed psychotropics at a 2.7 to 4.5 times higher rate than non-foster youth [1] . The National Center for Youth Law aptly summarizes the...
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FOSTER YOUTH NEED MORE THAN EDUCATION TO BUILD A STABLE LIFE [Zocalo]

By Mike Stajura, August 19, 2019 Schools Don’t Nurture Long-Term Relationships—and May Even Discourage Them For the last three years, I have been working on public policy related to foster youth. But at a recent monthly foster care policy meeting in Sacramento, where experts were discussing the needs of foster youth fortunate enough to go to college, I found myself thinking, “They’re missing the point.” Getting the degree doesn’t fix the real problem that foster youth have, which is forming...
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Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act: A Necessary Step to Protect Those Aging Out [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

Alissa Copeland ·
Those of us who've worked in child welfare know all too well that child welfare systems do not make good parents. Meaning, youth who age out of foster care are lacking, more often than not, supportive connections that all youth launching into adulthood need to ensure their success. Think about where you went for your first Thanksgiving when you were a freshman in college. Think about who you called the first time you were short on your rent. Many youth who've aged out of foster care don't...
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Framework to Reduce Criminalisation of Young People in Residential Care [apo.org.au]

From the Victoria State Government, February 2020 The safety and wellbeing of young people and staff is paramount in providing residential care in Victoria. Attention needs to be directed at ensuring young people placed in residential care receive the necessary support to enable them to achieve the same outcomes as their peers in the broader community. A significant proportion of young people in residential care have experienced extensive abuse and neglect. The impact of this trauma may lead...
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From Promise to Practice: Aligning Housing and Services to Support Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence [howhousingmatters.org]

Historically, approaches to ending homelessness and those for ending IPV have operated, at best, in parallel. Despite evidence that domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness among women , youth, and families and that abuse and its impacts continue long after survivors leave relationships, very few survivor-centered housing options exist . But this is beginning to change. Ending homelessness for families and youth is now a national priority. In response to this shift, several IPV...
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Getting from Foster Care to Where I Am Today [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

Alicia Doktor ·
Part of what amazes me about foster youth is our ability to survive and love despite the never-ending hardships that follow us. What amazes me even more is our ability to know and believe love exists, even though most foster youth — including myself — never received enough love growing up. It is this resilience that sets us apart from all other communities — far from a negligible quality, it amounts to one of our greatest strengths. If you had asked me what love was when I was 13 years old...
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Getting into College Doesn’t Always Spell Success for Foster Youth [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

Alicia Doktor ·
Outside looking in , you may think foster youth got it made. In California, youth in foster care are eligible for several state and federal grants aimed at helping them succeed in college. But the truth is, even state and federal scholarships, grants and loans allocated for foster youth are not enough to support success in higher education. As college students head back to campus for the start of the school year, it’s a good time to remember that government assistance may not be enough to...
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Grief, Healing and Meditation for Los Angeles Foster Youth [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

Alissa Copeland ·
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...
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#HackFosterCareLA Brings Tech Lens to Country’s Largest Foster Care System (socialjusticesolutions.org)

This weekend, over 200 people gathered at Fullscreen Media in Playa Vista for #HackFosterCareLA – Los Angeles’ iteration of the hackathon events that have been taking place across the country since last May at the White House. After months of planning, #HackFosterCareLA initiated two-days’ (and one long night’s) worth of active coding and intense dialogue between a cohort of 25 current and former foster youth, tech companies, county and city government officials, philanthropists,...
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Health Issues for Judges to Consider in Foster Care

Former Member ·
  This resource  from the AAP provides an overview of important health issues for children and youth in foster care. It includes downloadable, age-appropriate forms that can be shared with case workers and/or caregivers to obtain, record,...
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Health Status of Young Adult Mothers with a History of Child Welfare Involvement [policylabchop.edu]

Alissa Copeland ·
How many of you are aware of the disproportionate relationship between adolescent mothers and the child welfare system? As this research points out, although teen pregnancy is on the decline nation-wide, half of female youth who have current or previous involvement with child welfare also experience pregnancy by age 19 – and half of that number have experienced multiple pregnancies by this age. Researchers at Children’s Hospital Philadelphia research institute looked at one Mid-Atlantic city...
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Helping Youth Transition to Adulthood: Guidance for Foster Parents

Please see the attached document to learn more about: The transition to adulthood and self-sufficiency can be challenging for any young person. For teenagers who have been living in foster care, the transition to life outside of care can be daunting. Generally, youth who have experienced foster care do not have the same safety nets and support networks as others their age, and the transition challenges can be even greater.
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High School Suspensions, Multiple Schools Affect Foster Youth as They Enter College [edsource.org]

By Ashley A. Smith, EdSource, January 30, 2020 California foster students who were suspended from school or attended multiple high schools are more likely to struggle in college, according to a new report that examines the academic transition these students undergo. The report released Wednesday, from Educational Results Partnership, a nonprofit research organization, and California College Pathways, a statewide organization that helps foster youth succeed in college, finds these students...
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How Can State Law Promote School Continuity and Success for Children in Foster Care

Former Member ·
The federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Fostering Connections) promotes education stability for all children in foster care. A May 2014 joint letter from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and...
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How Homelessness Crisis in LA Affects Aged-out Foster Youth [JJIE.org]

Doniesha Thomas is in her bedroom, crouching on the floor and peering into a pet carrier that appears empty. “He’s in there, all the way back,” she said, reaching in to find the kitten she rescued from a nearby vacant lot the day before, though she says she dislikes cats. Thomas’ bedroom is in her house. Her house, rented in her own name. It’s a single-family dwelling in south central LA that she shares with her fiancé and a roommate. [For more of this story, written by Lauren Lee White, go...
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How Schools For Kids In Foster Care Act As ‘Educational Black Holes’ [HuffingtonPost.com]

PHILADELPHIA and GREENVILLE, Pa. — Back when he still lived with his family, when school was across the street from his home in West Philadelphia, Johnathan Hamilton used to plow through reading assignments and research religious questions online. He stumbled over fractions — math was always a struggle — but started getting into philosophy as an early teen. Then, at 15, his relationship with his parents grew violent, and Hamilton went to live in a city shelter for foster youth. When a bed...
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