Foster Care and Child Welfare Week in Review – October 16, 2020
Here are some news items from this week related to foster care, adoption, and child welfare that caught my eye:
Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers are members of the community who are trained and appointed by judges to advocate in court for children in the child welfare system. Children who have a CASA volunteer are likely to receive more services while they are in the custody of the state, creating a bigger support structure for the child. Teenagers who have a CASA volunteer to support them are less likely to run away while in foster care.
Buckner International in Midland has implemented a new virtual foster care certification program that families interested in fostering can complete right from their home. According foster mom, Keri Vaught, “89% of kids that go into foster care out here are sent somewhere else and that was mind-blowing to me that 9 out of 10 kids don’t stay here in Midland Odessa when this is their home.” Keri and her husband, Tyler, completed the virtual program and say the process and training were unexpectedly easy and seamless.
Maintaining meaningful in-person contact between foster youth and their parents remains important even during the COVID-19 pandemic. This article discusses lessons learned from the pandemic and makes recommendations for how policymakers and child welfare professionals should respond to those lessons to ensure that children can remain with their families whenever safely possible.
Adoptive parents explain effort they put into self education and inclusivity. Parents who choose to adopt have so much love to give. When they adopt kids of a different race, that love requires education and extra responsibility.
The El Paso Child Crisis Center hosts children brought to them by Child Protective Services and also allows parents to drop off their children at no cost for a respite period, without facing repercussions. The Center provides a safe and structured environment for children that decreases periods of temporary risk they may experience at home.
A coaching model partnership between Family Tapestry and the Bexar County Fostering Educational Success Program supports foster youth ages 16 and up who are aging out of the system. Krizia Ramirez Franklin, who was in the foster care system throughout her life and is now a mentor for the program, said she was not prepared for what she would face as a first-year university student: “It was a very scary and overwhelming experience. I had no idea what I was in for; I really didn’t. I had to grow up even more.”
A $500,000 donation from San Antonio philanthropist and businessman Harvey Najim has revitalized a home for teen girls in foster care at the SJRC Bulverde campus. The Najim Home will now serve up to 15 girls through renovations and the addition of 4 bedrooms, a commercial kitchen, and new furnishings.
In the U.S., both migrants without proper documentation and children in foster care are two of the most vulnerable populations to becoming victims of trafficking. This problem is widespread and requires a coordinated response at the federal, state, and local levels. This panel discussion features policy experts discussing a coordinated solution to modern-day slavery.
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