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Tagged With "health care"

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New York Child Welfare Leader Takes Up Obama Legacy, Foster Care Hackathons [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

Alissa Copeland ·
In May, a couple hundred technologists, child welfare experts and foster youth gathered on the grounds of the White House for the first foster care hackathon to reach such national prominence. During the last hour of the two-day event , Rafael López, who leads President Obama’s Administration for Children, Youth and Families , offered a chance for participants to share their commitments in regards to fomenting increased use of technology in child welfare. One of the hands that went up was...
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New York Expands Eligibility for Kin Who Want to Foster Children [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

By Rachel Nielsen, The Chronicle of Social Change, November 14, 2019 When caseworkers remove children from their homes and place them into foster care, it can be jarring and traumatic. A new law in New York aims to ease the transition by enabling a wider circle of family members and even non-relatives to become the kids’ foster parents. That law, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed in late October, broadens the definition of relatives. Previously, only certain blood relatives of a parent of a...
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New York’s parent defender model lowers reliance on foster care [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

New York City’s brand of wrap-around legal representation may not prevent the removal of children from their families. But they might be getting home much faster, and without any risk to their safety. A much-anticipated study of parent representation released this week found that for parents represented by interdisciplinary law offices (ILO) – which include lawyers, social workers and parent advocates – youth spend about four fewer months in foster care than in cases represented by...
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No Foster Home…Then What? [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

Is there a shortage of foster homes in the United States? If so, is the shortage widespread or localized? To find answers to these questions, I looked at federal data, research by the Casey Foundation, information from state program directors and evidence from hundreds of recent news reports documenting critical local shortages throughout our nation. The overwhelming message is that we have fewer foster homes than in the past and recruitment is becoming quite difficult. The foster home...
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No More Missed Goodbyes: Promoting Greater Placement Stability for California Foster Youth [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

Alicia Doktor ·
On February 12 , 200 California Youth Connection (CYC) members, allies and community members gathered to celebrate 30 years of the organization’s youth-led advocacy in California, and to continue the fight with a new bill to prevent unnecessary placement changes for foster youth in the state. That day, the steps of California State Capitol in Sacramento resonated with the voices of current and former foster youth, who chanted “C’mon, c’mon, join the fight! Stability is our right!” and “CYC...
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North Dakota Trauma Initiative Sparked at August 16th U.S. Senate Field Hearing and Roundtable in Bismarck

Dr. Tami DeCoteau, holds the sign-up sheet for a North Dakota trauma initiative, flanked by Dr. Zach Kaminsky, (left), Dr. Mary Cwik, (right) of the Center for American Indian Health, Johns Hopkins University, and Megan DesCamps, health policy advisor for U.S. Senator Heitkamp ________________________ There is often a distinct event that leaders in the trauma movement mention when asked about how it all got started in their community. Many times it is when one of the authors of the ACE...
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Nothing But Bad News in the “Ever in Foster Care” Report [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

By John Kelly, The Chronicle of Social Change, January 26, 2020. A new federal report has found nothing new: time in foster care is associated with negative circumstances later in life. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) just published findings from a fairly novel approach to assessing the impact of foster care experience as people move from young adulthood into middle age-dom. A group of researchers within HHS used six years of responses to the National Survey of Family...
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Office of Children's Mental Health Focuses on Helping Communities Prioritize Children’s Mental Health with New Fact Sheet [children.wi.gov]

From Wisconsin Department of Health Services, May 6, 2020 Ahead of Children's Mental Health Awareness day tomorrow, May 7, Office of Children’s Mental Health Director Linda Hall today announces the publication of a new fact sheet focused on prioritizing children’s mental health in Wisconsin and how our communities can do that. Highlights include: Almost half of high school students in Wisconsin are feeling anxious A child typically experiences symptoms of emotional distress for 11 years...
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On Child Welfare, an Insufficient Federal Response to the Opioid Epidemic [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

Alicia Doktor ·
In 2012, following more than a decade of significant decline, the number of American children in foster care began rising. Between 2012 and 2016, the number of children in foster care nationally has increased by more than 10 percent. There is broad agreement that the ongoing opioid epidemic has been a primary contributor to those increases. Now, a recent research brief issued by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and...
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One-Third of California Foster Youth Leave Transitional Housing Involuntarily, Report Finds (chronicleofsocialchange.org)

More than a third of older foster youth in transitional housing placements in California were involuntarily removed, according to a new report. A John Burton Advocates for Youth report looks at how youth in California used the Transitional Housing Placement-Plus (THP-Plus) and THP-Plus Foster Care (THP+FC) programs during the 2016-2017 year and how they fared upon exiting, in addition to other data. The California state legislature created the THP-Plus Program in 2001 in response to high...
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Oregon foster care system targeted in federal lawsuit [Daily Mail]

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Oregon's foster care system has failed to shield children from abuse and they are sometimes forced to stay in refurbished jail cells and homeless shelters, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday. The 77-page complaint filed in U.S. District Court details stories of foster children being neglected or harmed while under Department of Human Services care, including a 16-year-old girl sent to a juvenile jail after she had previously tried to kill herself. The agency has...
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Oregon foster youths seek $8.5M to help those aging out of foster care [Street Roots News]

Expansion proposed of Child Welfare’s Independent Living Program and other transition services Whitney Rodgers has spent nearly half her life moving from placement to placement in the foster care system, but it wasn’t until she turned 17 that she began to worry about what came next – after foster care. “I was always expecting there to be another step or two before I turned 18,” she said. “But then, at 17, I thought, the clock’s running out.” Rodgers admitted she had always been a flight risk...
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Oregon psychiatrist testifies before Senate Finance Committee on the impact of childhood adversity and toxic stress on adult health

Appearing before the powerful Senate Finance Committee in Washington, DC, recently, Dr. Maggie Bennington-Davis, psychiatrist and chief medical officer of Health Share Oregon, devoted a significant portion of her testimony to the role of adversity and toxic stress during childhood on adult health, both physical and emotional. She explained how Health Share Oregon—that state’s largest Medicaid coordinated care organization—examined the people with the costliest health bills and found them to...
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Oregon sends hundreds of foster kids to former jails, institutions, not families

ROSEBURG — A move to improve the care of foster children relegated to living in hotels has resulted in 25 percent more children removed from their families being housed in institutions such as former juvenile jails, The Oregonian/OregonLive has found. The children being sent to cinderblock facilities are often the most traumatized and difficult to care for. Most are teens but the state is looking at expanding institutional programs for children as young as six. A year ago, Oregon child...
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Our Foster-Care System Shouldn’t Separate Families Either (thenation.com)

The research is clear on the psychological and physical damage these practices inflict: Parent-child separations lead to increased anxiety and depression, lower IQs, and post-traumatic stress disorder in children. At least in theory, the federal government agrees. In an interview last year in The Chronicle of Social Change , Jerry Milner, associate commissioner of the Children’s Bureau, rightly said : “We should consciously avoid inflicting psychological and emotional damage to children in...
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Our Most Vulnerable Population - Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Beth Tyson ·
Before the pandemic, grandparents raising grandchildren were already in a precarious situation. They were struggling to meet the needs of children exposed to maltreatment and trauma while also supporting the family financially. But now, we fear, things have made a critical turn for the worse while those grandparents become unemployed, sick, or in the worst-case scenario, die due to Corona Virus.
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Over 14,000 CA foster youth facing end to critical services

Olivia Kirkland ·
May is National Foster Care Month. If foster youth are not reunified with their families or adopted by age 21, youth “age out” of the state’s foster care system and services often end abruptly. In 2015, more than 14,000 California foster youth—nearly a quarter of all those in care statewide—were between the ages of 16 and 20 years old.
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Parent Mentoring Program in L.A. County Helps Reunify Families Separated by Foster Care [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

Alissa Copeland ·
Parent mentors, or parent partners are such a critical component of a successful child welfare system. Families served through L.A. County child welfare are reaping the benefits of their local program. Stephanie Moreno says losing her children to Child Protective Services (CPS) back in 2015 was the hardest thing she’s ever had to deal with. A family member called CPS on Moreno, accusing her of using drugs and knowingly allowing someone to sexually abuse her daughter. As it turned out, it was...
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Parenting Matters: Supporting Parents of Children Ages 0-8 (The National Academies Press 2016)

Former Member ·
A study published by The National Academies of Sciences in 2016 resulting in 10 Recommendations to build support for parents... "Over the past several decades, researchers have identified parenting- related knowledge, attitudes, and practices that are associated with improved developmental outcomes for children and around which parenting- related programs, policies, and messaging initiatives can be designed. However, consensus is lacking on the elements of parenting that are most important...
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Parents’ emotional trauma may change their children’s biology. Studies in mice show how [sciencemag.org]

By Andrew Curry, Science, July 18, 2019. ZURICH, SWITZERLAND— The children living in SOS Children's Villages orphanages in Pakistan have had a rough start in life. Many have lost their fathers, which in conservative Pakistani society can effectively mean losing their mothers, too: Destitute widows often struggle to find enough work to support their families and may have to give up their children. The orphanages, in Multan, Lahore, and Islamabad, provide shelter and health care and send kids...
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Partners in Planning – When parents are supported to participate in planning, we can make better decisions [risemagazine.org]

This story is part of Rise's series by frontline staff at foster care agencies about their experiences working with parents. Recently, I facilitated a Family Team Meeting with a mother who was going through tremendous stress. (To protect her privacy, I’ll just call her “Mom.”) Her partner had recently died and she’d been diagnosed with a serious illness. She also suffered from anxiety and depression. Up until the series of crises in her life, she’d worked, had an apartment, cared for her...
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Building Resilience in Foster Children: The Role of the Child's Advocate [repository.law.umich.edu]

Alissa Copeland ·
Children who enter the foster care system often suffer from the effects of traumatic stress. The sources of their trauma may vary: they may be the victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect-or they may be exposed to violence in their homes or communities. Similarly, many children who enter the child welfare system have experienced the loss of one or more significant adults in their lives, often through death or abandonment. Although the removal of a child from an abusive or...
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California Guidelines for the Use of Psychotropic Medication with Children and Youth in Foster Care

Former Member ·
California Department of Social Services and Department of Health Services Care   ( The California Department of Health Care Services and Department of Social Services released  this guide  to best practices for the treatment of mental...
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California has Begun Screening for Early Childhood Trauma, But Critics Urge Caution [sciencemag.org]

By Emily Underwood, Science, January 29, 2020 On 1 January, California became the first U.S. state to screen for adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)—early life hardships such as abuse, neglect, and poverty, which can have devastating health consequences in later life. The project is not just a public health initiative, but a vast experiment. State officials aim to cut the health impacts of early life adversity by as much as half within a generation. But critics say the health benefits of...
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Can Trained, Paid Peer Support Help New York City Keep Foster Parents? [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

By Megan Conn, The Chronicle of Social Change, December 2, 2019 When Roxanne Williams became a foster parent four years ago, she started in the deep end of the parenting pool. New York City child welfare workers brought her a boy with limited English on a Friday afternoon and left after confirming her home was safe, leaving Williams to muddle through their first days together on her own. “It was rough – you weren’t getting the calls back [from her foster care agency] as fast as you wanted...
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Can We Please Fix the Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care? [ChronicleOfSocialChange.org]

Consider, for a moment , this story I recently discovered in court transcripts. A paternal grandmother living in New York City learns that her 1-year-old grandson is in Michigan’s foster care system. Days after the child’s removal, she immediately contacts the child’s foster care worker, travels to Michigan, attends the court hearing and requests that the child be placed with her, instead of strangers. It turns out that she raised the child for the first few months of his life, and the...
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Capitol Tracker: Bills hope to help foster youth (times-standard.com)

To assist some of California’s foster youth, there are more than a dozen proposed pieces of legislation working their way through various state Assembly and Senate committees. Several of the bills are hitting committee hearings this week. Activities funding >> Assemblyman Dante Acosta (D-Santa Clarita) introduced AB 754, which provides funding to help foster youth cover activities-related expenses. The funding would help cover costs for field trips, purchase caps and gowns for...
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Caring adult relationships can make the difference for children in trauma [register-herald.com]

Alissa Copeland ·
CHARLESTON — Social workers, law enforcement officers and other children’s advocates gathered Wednesday for the first day of the West Virginia Children’s Justice “Handle With Care” Conference to learn more about child trauma, intervention and ways to help children become successful. In a state that leads the nation for opioid overdose deaths and babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, West Virginia children are often witnesses to and victims of trauma. The West Virginia Defending...
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Caring adult relationships can make the difference for children in trauma [register-herald.com]

Alicia Doktor ·
Social workers, law enforcement officers and other children’s advocates gathered Wednesday for the first day of the West Virginia Children’s Justice “Handle With Care” Conference to learn more about child trauma, intervention and ways to help children become successful. In a state that leads the nation for opioid overdose deaths and babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, West Virginia children are often witnesses to and victims of trauma. The West Virginia Defending Childhood...
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Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma: A Workshop for Resource Parents [NCTSN Resource]

Former Member ·
Many children in foster or kinship care have a history of exposure to trauma. Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma: A Workshop for Resource Parents (RPC) is a PowerPoint-based training curriculum designed to be taught by a mental health...
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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 #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 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 in Care can Recover from Adversity with the Right Adoptive Environment, Research Finds [medicalxpress.com]

By Cardiff University, Medical Xpress, July 31, 2019 Research on adoptive family life in Wales has revealed the levels of adversity many children have experienced. Academics from Cardiff University analysed social services records of a cohort of children in Wales who were adopted in the same year. Adoptive parents also completed surveys about the children over a four-year period after the placement began, commenting annually on any difficulties the child was having and their parenting. The...
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Children in foster care: How to address their mental health needs [philly.com]

Alissa Copeland ·
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...
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Children of imprisoned parents get Oregon bill of rights [streetroots.org]

Alissa Copeland ·
"The first state law of its kind..." reads the article! A big thanks to Oregon law makers for pioneering law supporting the rights of children of incarcerated parents. On Tuesday September 19 th , Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law a bill of rights for Oregon's children requiring the Oregon Department of Corrections to develop and sustain policies and procedures supporting the needs of families, and protecting the rights of children, when parents are incarcerated. This legislation is...
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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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Column: A dinner to remember, made by culinary students who are aging out of foster care [LA Times]

By Robin Abcarian, Aug 30, 2019, for LA Times On a hot summer afternoon, the spacious kitchen of Pasadena’s First United Methodist Church was bustling. Culinary students and their chef-teachers were chopping basil, crushing watermelon, and laying slices of rustic bread on baking sheets. The students — in their late teens and early to mid-20s — were in high spirits. It was Saturday, and they were preparing a five-course meal for dozens of lucky guests, who would gather for dinner in the...
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Come Chat with Dr. Claudia M. Gold: An ACE-Informed Pediatrician

Date: July 11th Time: 10 AM PST / 1 PM EST Location: Parenting with ACEs Group , Online Flyer: Attached below. Please share. Dr. Claudia M. Gold has practiced general and behavioral pediatrics for 25 years and specializes in early childhood mental health. She is on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts, Boston Infant-Parent Mental Health program, William James College, and the Austen Riggs Center where she is a Human Development consultant. Dr. Gold is author of the following...
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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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Commentary: A fresh start for former foster-care youths [philly.com]

Alissa Copeland ·
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...
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Committee Votes to Establish Kansas Foster Care Task Force [kansaspublicradio.org]

Alissa Copeland ·
A Kansas House committee voted without dissent today (TUE) to establish a new task force to improve the state's foster care system. Foster parents, law enforcement, and court officials have all been testifying that they struggle to get information and services for children in state custody. That, plus high caseloads and turnover among social workers has meant that more Kansas children are waiting to go home or be adopted. Republican Linda Gallagher, Vice Chair of the Children and Seniors...
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