The Honolulu-Star Bulletin is running a series of articles looking at Hawaii’s Child Welfare System. The first of the four part story was published Sunday, November 16, 2014. Follow link to learn more.
One of the most important things a caregiver of children and youth in foster care can do is to help them heal from trauma. If you can give the children in your home nurturance, structure, predictability, they have a chance of building good things inside themselves. We want to help you foster such an environment! Click here for a quick read that will explain some of the basics and give you tips by the author of “The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog” and“Born to Love”, Dr. Bruce Perry.
Another important factor in bringing good outcomes for our children and youth is education. According to the National Working Group on Foster Care and Education’s October 2011 report, “Success in school can be a positive counterweight to the abuse, neglect, separation and impermanence experienced by children and youth in foster care. Click here for the entire report.
It Takes An `Ohana (ITAO) became a part of Family Programs Hawaii’s (FPH) in 2010, allowing ITAO to renew our concentration on our core mission with greater support and resources. Click here to check us out on Facebook.
ITAO is happy to announce the launch of a statewide, virtual Book Club for Hawaii’s resource, adoptive, guardianship, permanency and kinship families. It will provide support to families and at the same time add to their expertise related to the needs of the children and youth in their home. The first book we are reading allows resource caregivers who read the book and complete the DHS Training Verification form to receive training 5 hour credits. Follow link for more information.
Follow this link for information and handouts from the “Smart Courage Program: Stranger Danger of the 21st Century for Teens” training held on Oct. 2, 2014. The workshop was presented by Kaleo Schneider, director of Hoola Na Pua’s Smart Courage Program. She has spent three years working with teens on prevention surrounding this critical issue.
The deadline for the Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) has been extended to 9/19. All community members are invited to this FREE civics and democracy training course. Together participants will emerge as strong leaders and advocates for Hawaii’s children. Follow link for more info.
One of the most important things adults can do to help Foster Children and Youth develop into caring, competent, and confident adults is to incorporate these 4 vital Protective Factors* into their lives.
Relationships with caring and supportive people
Every foster youth needs at least one supportive adult who provides steadfast encouragement and guidance. This caring adult presence plays a crucial role in determining the Foster Youth’s success. This person may be a family member, older sibling, teacher, coach, or other caring adult.
A Sense of Hope & Purpose
These often come from religion/spiritual association, faith, and culture. Identifying with a particular group or culture can instill a sense of pride. Believing that God (or whatever spiritual deity they have been exposed to) loves them, is a reminder that with the presence of hope and faith, they are never alone and can persevere through anything. Supportive adults (ministers, resource caregivers, Sunday school teachers, coaches, judges, social workers, etc.) who say positive things such as “you are great”, “we love you,” and “God loves you” are powerful messages for a child who may not hear them anywhere else.
Work and Responsibilities
Foster Children and Youth given the opportunity to develop a strong work ethic, even in the face of adversity, have important tools to fall back on when things get tough. Youth given household responsibilities and/or are able to work outside of the home are more resilient because later in life they are able to persevere, even when things are difficult.
Opportunities to Participate in Meaningful Activities
Help instill a sense of self in Foster Children and Youth by encouraging them to be active in dance, music, art, student government, clubs on campus, sports teams, etc. These are all meaningful ways to develop a sense of identity. Learning new skills will lead to greater self-confidence, which will in turn help Children and Youth make good life choices.
*Protective Factors based on Emmy Werner’s Kauai Longitudinal Study. Download the guide for adults who support foster youth.