Children need love, care, and safety; they need families

The Greatest terror a child can have is that he is not loved, and rejection is the hell of fears...... And, with rejection comes anger, and with anger some kind of crime in revenge for the rejection, and with crime, guilt - and there is the story of humankind. John Steinbeck, East of Eden

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Need For Permanent Families - Recruiting kinship, foster, and adoptive families

From Virginia DSS...

There is a need to design and implement models of diligent recruitment for kinship, foster, and adoptive families to improve permanency outcomes for children and youth in foster care and to meet the diligent recruitment requirements of MEPA. These models must be multi-faceted and recognize that permanency efforts should begin when a child first enters care. Options for permanency should include the early and continued exploration of kin, including paternal and maternal family members, foster and adoptive families who can provide for children with a goal of concurrent planning, as well as thorough exploration of youth's existing and past relationships to find those willing to build commitment to become adoptive parents or enter into some type of permanent relationship with the child. Projects under this program announcement will be expected to meet the diligent recruitment provisions of MEPA. Recruitment efforts should be designed to provide information to potential resource families throughout the community about the characteristics and needs of the available children; the nature of kinship care, foster care, and adoption processes; and supports available to kinship, foster and adoptive families. This includes the provision of information to the community of natural relationships such as, but not limited to, teachers, mentors, coaches, parents of friends, communities, and extended family members.

Effective models to recruit kinship, foster, and adoptive parents must be multidimensional. General, targeted, and child-specific recruitment efforts should all be included. Child specific recruitment efforts should be broadly viewed to include specific family and relationship exploration to work with youth to identify and develop existing relationships and nurture them into long-term connections and even possible permanent legal placements for the youth. The funded projects will collaborate and partner with groups from the communities representative of those groups from which children in care come, to help identify and support potential resource families and to conduct activities that make the waiting children more visible. The target population for this project includes any children or youth in public foster care systems.

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