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Creating Family Connections Pursuing Permanence

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Title: How can we give a child the best chance for success? Author: CCS Last modified by: Judy Blunt Created Date: 5/18/2003 7:21:48 PM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Creating Family Connections Pursuing Permanence


1
Creating Family Connections Pursuing Permanence
  • Don Koenig, Family Preservation Director
  • Vancouver, Clark County, WA
  • Family Search and Engagement
  • Training and Technical Assistance
  • Catholic Community Services of
  • Western Washington

2
There but for the grace of God
3
Valuing the Family
4
What is Family Search and Engagement?
  • Finding family is tip of the iceberg.
  • The art of creating life long connections
  • Major shift from looking at family for placements
    to creating connections.
  • Exploring multiple ways to engage relatives to
    increase safety, stability and improve permanency
    outcomes.
  • Real Family Centered Practice.

5
CCSWW Who are we?
  • Serves all Western WA counties NW Or
  • Largest not-for-profit multi-service
    organization-WA
  • COA accredited
  • Licensed in Mental Health
  • Licensed Child Placing Agency
  • LTC, AHA, FP, FCs
  • Annual budget, 85 M
  • Number of employees, 3000

6
Family Preservation - HX
  • 1974 Homebuilders CPS referrals, preventing FC
    placement by strengthening families
  • 1978 expansion to Mental Health and DDD to
    prevent hospitalization and residential care
  • 1989 Wraparound Implemented
  • 2000 FAST and Crisis Stabilization Services
  • 2003 Initial Training and Technical Assistance
  • Ongoing provision of T/TA throughout the USA
  • National Resource Center for Family Centered
    Practice and Permanency Planning, NY, NY

7
Important lessons learned
  • Homebuildershome based services can strengthen
    families, reduce risks and increase safety
    through family connections (CPS)
  • Wraparound-recognize family strengths, empower
    and partner with families in solution focused
    team based process (MH-multi-system)
  • FAST Crisis Stabilization Services-treat
    psychiatric hospitalization like other medical
    hospitalization. Involve family in emergencies
  • If FSE can work under extreme circumstances why
    not with youth in ordinary child welfare services?

8
FAST Results (7/06 6/07)
  • 510 completed (90 day) services in the fiscal
    year
  • 154 at imminent risk of hospitalization at
    referral
  • 354 at high risk of placement disruption
  • 6 had a brief hospitalization (of the 510)
  • 8 ended services in detention or homeless (of the
    510)
  • 26 of children were not enrolled in school at
    referral. At exit, 91 were enrolled in school.
  • 84 were living with a parent or extended family
    member at close of 90-day FAST
  • The Washington Institute for Mental Health
    Research Training (WIMHRT)

9
Why We Do This Family Centered Practice
  • Children need their families and families need
    their children.
  • What would you want for your own child?

10
Why We Do This Cultural Relevance
  • Family resources are
  • the most culturally
  • appropriate and
  • available resources
  • providing access to
  • ethnic, racial and
  • cultural traditions

11
Why We Do This Emotional Security
  • Behavioral stabilization, a sense of identity and
    belonging

12
Why We Do This
  • Global practices In times of crises and natural
    disasters family resources provide stabilization.
  • International Red Crescent-Family Tracing

International Social ServiceUSA Branch, Inc. 200
E. Lexington Street, 17Th Floor, Suite
1700, Baltimore, MD 21202 (443)
451-1200 www.iss-usa.org
13
Aging Out of Foster Care
  • Foster care is supposed to be a temporary haven
    for children living in unsafe conditions. But
    about one-quarter of the 500,000 children in
    foster care in the U.S. end up in the system
    until they become adults.
  • Two-thirds are unable to function successfully
    on their own Mark Courtney, University of
    Chicago
  • According to the Child Welfare League of
    America, 25 become homeless, 56 are
    unemployed, 27 of male children end up in jail.
    Less than 5 finish college.
  • http//www.pbs.org/wnet/agingout/index-hi.html

14
http//kidsarewaiting.org/reports/files/AgingOut.p
df
15
Chapin Hall Placement Stability
  • Evaluation of 201,573 children served from 1990
    to 2002 and web-survey of 1,191 DCFS and private
    agency case workers
  • Majority of (76) of prior foster care placements
    ended because foster parents were unable or
    unwilling to continue fostering.
  • Statistical analyses found that placement with
    relatives almost halved the likelihood that a
    child will experience a placement change.

16
Is Kinship Care Good for Kids?
  • More than 2.5 million children are being raised
    by grandparents and other relatives because their
    parents are unablefor a variety of reasonsto
    care for them.
  • children in foster care are more likely to live
    with their siblings if they are placed with kin
  • Fewer children in kinship care report having
    changed schools than do children in non-relative
    foster care or those in group care

17
Is Kinship Care Good for Kids?
  • Children who reunify with their birth parent(s)
    after kinship care are less likely to re-enter
    foster care than those who had been in
    non-relative foster placements or in group care
    facilities.
  • Both teachers and caregivers tend to rate
    children in kinship care as having fewer
    behavioral problems than do their peers in other
    out-of-home placement settings.
  • Children in kinship care Less likely to report
    having tried to leave or run away

18
Myths and Mindsets
  • TX should be completed or the child should be
    stabilized before we search for or involve family
    in planning or visits

Some kids would NEVER see their family again if
we waited for emotional or behavioral challenges
to completely stabilize.
19
Myths and Mindsets
  • If the current placement is working we should not
    disrupt it by involving family members.

20
Myths and Mindsets
  • Placements are easier to access and are more
    stable than relatives

21
Myths and Mindsets
  • Teenagers dont want or need family
  • This child is not adoptable

22
Myths and Mindsets
  • We tried this before and it didnt work.
  • We already do this!

What did we learn from initial family
reunification attempts? How can we support the
relative better? How do we create rest and
relief, back-up and crisis plans to support the
youth and family?
23
Myths and Mindsets
  • Belief that behavior is too challenging
  • for a family

24
Myths and Mindsets
  • Middle class bias
  • Size of the family
  • Appearance of the home
  • Awareness and application of social graces

25
Myths and Mindsets
  • This child has no family

Rule them IN before you rule them out. People
change, circumstances change and children grow
up. What was once a concern may not be one now.
26
If family is available, why have they not come
forward?
  • Fear system involvement
  • Feel powerless to advocate for their
    children.
  • Just dont know their child is in need
  • Believe they have been adopted.
  • Afraid of damaging family relationships.
  • Cannot find their lost children.

27
Published in 2003, Model Programs for Youth
Permanency. California Permanency for Youth
Project
CCS-EMQ Collaboration
  • EMQ Children Family Services and Sacramento
    County Department of Health and Human Services.
  • In a six month period, Jan to June 2003, thirty
    children moved out of high level group care to
    kinship and foster family situations.
  • By June 30, 19 went home to parents or relatives,
    11 went to foster families that continued to
    support family search and engagement.

28
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29
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30
Orange County Youth had average of .58 family
connections at Intake
31
In six months youth had an average of
6.8 established family connections
32
Orange County 3 Month Follow-up
  • Of the youth for which connections were made
  • of new family connections that have been
    sustained since the project ended 88
  • of youth for which there is a positive
    difference in the youths functioning (as defined
    by the SSW) 63
  • of youth that have transitioned (or are being
    considered for a transition) to a lower level of
    care or family resource as a result of the CFC
    project 63
  • of social workers who participated in the CFC
    project that think it is valuable and should be
    continued 100

33
Safety, Stability and Connections
  • Differences between working with younger and
    older children
  • Considerations with children with serious
    MH/behavioral challenges
  • Advantages of Cultural strengths and kinship
    resources

34
  • Download free copy of Family Search and
    Engagement Guide
  • www.ccsww.org/fse
  • Also
  • National Resource Center for Family Centered
    Practice and Permanency Planning

35
SETTING THE STAGE
  • Gather professionals, supports. Orient Team
  • Prepare youth for participation
  • Identify youths need for family connections
    (include fictive kin)
  • Negotiate Team mission desired outcomes
  • Identify known family network (other siblings in
    care) Withhold judgment!
  • Discuss permissions and safety considerations
  • Discuss expectations. Responsibilities and time
    frames are agreed upon

36
DISCOVERY
  • Due diligence, permissions and safety
  • Consider ALL of the resources to find information
    about the family
  • Explore of files and records (list ALL)
  • Talk to the family that we already know
  • Dont screen out possible sources of information
  • Use all available search and discovery tools
  • Documentation of contacts and quality of
    relationships

37
Internet Search Tools
  • Free Search Sites
  • Helpful Internet Search Hints
  • Boolean Search Tips
  • Obituaries Ancestry.com Familysearch.org
  • Public Records Virtualgumshoe.com
  • Other Helpful Search Sites and Resources
  • Prisoner Locator Services
  • International Search Sites

38
REVIEW OF DISCOVERED INFORMATION
  • Review discovered information with the key
    players. Question/verify all historical info
  • Discuss and approve newly found family
    (participation-visits)
  • Discuss safety considerations and strategies
  • Due diligence (court and other permissions, HIPPA
    compliance)
  • Complete background checks (child welfare
    assistance)
  • Identify invite and support newly found family
    members to participate

39
ENGAGEMENT CREATING CONNECTIONS
  • Team plans the engagement of new family members
  • Supports family connections, visits and
    activities (transportation, etc)
  • Extends invitations based upon
  • The youths strengths interests, talents,
    hobbies
  • The youths needs education, employment,
    medical, emotional, spiritual and cultural
  • The need for connectedness and belonging
  • The youths need for a place to live and a future

40
CREATING FAMILY CONNECTIONS
  • Permanency Pact www.fosterclub.org
  • 45 ways to support a child in care
  • Identify opportunities how relatives can
    contribute
  • Team with families to create sustainable plans
  • Uncles landscaping business to provide part time
    work
  • Cousin to provide tutoring in Spanish class
  • Grandma to teach piano lessons
  • Grandpa to provide weekend respite
  • Aunt to teach drivers education
  • Cousins to take youth to church youth group

41
PREPARATION FOR SUCESSFUL VISITS MEETINGS
  • Safety planning and structuring meetings
  • Prepare professionals for meetings (contingency
    planning)
  • Prepare foster parents or residential staff for
    normal reactive behavior pre and post visit.
  • Prepare youth and family members regarding
    expectations (reality vs. fantasy)
  • Initial visits..
  • are brief, supported and occur in natural
    settings (pizza parlor, the park, try to have
    fun)
  • are opportunities to create memories (bring a
    camera, share photo album, etc.)
  • After visit discussion, planning, and debriefing.

42
INCREASING FAMILY VOICE AND DECISION MAKING
  • Support and develop family connections
  • Encourage greater family discussion of placement
    options and/or long term planning for youth
  • Family helps develop multiple placement options
  • recruits family resources to support each other
  • develops circle of support (breaks and crisis
    respite, etc)
  • is allowed time and opportunities to put plans
    into practice
  • considers necessary professional and community
    resources

43
STAYING TOGETHER
  • Legal status is explored including reunification,
    adoption, guardianship, kinship foster care
    possibilities
  • Financial assistance and all available resources
    are utilized
  • The family members and other resources are
    organized to support one another with contingency
    plans
  • Formal resources are in place to support the
    youth and family
  • Follow up with the family as needed

44
Cautions Lessons Learned
  • Love is all you need (truth in lending)
  • Ambivalence (assess address concerns)
  • Honeymooners (anticipate practice)
  • All eggs in one basket (plan A, B, C, D, etc)
  • Incomplete planning (Wanna get away?)
  • Insufficient support (professional services)
  • Isolation (it takes a village)

45
One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to
anybody.
  • Mother Teresa

46
  • Contact Information
  • Catholic Community Services
  • of Western Washington
  • www.ccsww.org/fse
  • donk_at_ccsww.org
  • 360-567-2211
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