HB1576, the bill to increase the foster care reimbursement rate for the first time in 24 years, is really moving along! At the bill’s April 16th Conference Committee, Representative Carroll said she is waiting for the “conference draft” of the bill to be completed and asked to reconvene when the updated bill can be considered. The Conference Committee agreed and the bill will be heard next week Tuesday, April 22 at 4:15 pm in Conference Room 229 at the State Capitol. As this is a decision making meeting only, no public testimony will be accepted. However, we can still advocate for this bill – please follow link to learn why and how!
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.
Follow this link to read a short but important article that does a beautiful job of articulating 5 basic realities of foster parenting. Written by Solvej Schou, who writes regularly for TakePart,and has also contributed to the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, BBC.com, and Entertainment Weekly. The story starts with:
“Becoming a foster parent can be one of the most rewarding and loving acts of your life, but it is not an easy decision. Nor should it be. It takes extensive training, flexibility, commitment, hard work, and a willingness to provide a safe and stable temporary home for children who have been removed from their birth parents’ care by the court until family problems are resolved.”
Unique tax rules affect resource, foster, kinship care, and adoptive families. The best information regarding these tax rules that we have seen so far this year come from NYS Citizens’ Coalition for Children’s website. Follow link for more info.
The state of Alaska is calling upon the Gov. to incorporate parts of a new study into their child welfare agency that will provide sufficient support to child welfare workers. The plan they have come up with based on research makes a lot of sense. Follow link to learn more.
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.