A paramount role of a clinical social worker working with youth in foster care is hearing their voice. Adolescents deserve their voice being heard regarding their case plan, to include such things as establishing their goals, placement decisions and plans for their future. However, for adolescents in child welfare, the ability to have the robust capacity to identify and… Continue reading Youth Advocacy and Leadership in Child Welfare
In thinking about resiliency in clinical practice, most seek to understand the special quality about an individual that helps him overcome adversity. In a simplistic version of this inquiry, the professional may look at a person's characteristics to ascertain what makes him stronger than another, as if resiliency is located within a person rather than how he is affected by his lived experience. In an attempt to complicate the construct of resilience, by using… Continue reading Fostering Resilient Outcomes
On January 22, 2017, Naika Venant a 14-year-old girl committed suicide while in the care of the Florida child welfare system in Miami. She streamed the progression of her self inflicted death on Facebook Live for over two hours from the bathroom of her foster home. Horrifically, there were a reported 1,000 views which should have brought attention and help to Naika, but the opposite happened.… Continue reading Has Compassion Disappeared?
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are classified into three categories of events: abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction. The experiences are measured from an individual's childhood until the age of 18 into the ACEs questionnaire, which is 10 questions, to determine their exposure to harmful experiences to determine an overall score. The higher the ACEs score (or number of adverse experiences), the more… Continue reading ACEs…Great in Poker not in Childhood
Yes, you have read the title right! I have created a podcast. For an intimate look into the foster care system, listen to the interview I had with Sam a foster care alumni. In this podcast, I explore with Sam his journey from entrance into foster care to present, at age 25. We explore the impact that… Continue reading Listen Carefully…A Podcast
"My past defines me. This is who I am. I am unseen, unheard, unwanted. That is what I am. If I am even anything." ReMoved ReMoved is a poignant short film that portrays the lived foster care experience. The film was written and produced by Nathanael and Christina Matanick to raise awareness of the pain and hopelessness felt by children in the… Continue reading ReMoved: Understanding the Lived Foster Care Experience
Banksy's street art called A Girl with A Balloon, is painted on a wall in South London. Through my lens as a clinical social worker I am torn in two directions with this piece. I feel sadness, loss, despair, and heartbreak because of the loss of her balloon. But, then I feel the complete opposite; happiness and relief with the prospect that the… Continue reading Broken Stories
I recently came upon the poetry of Nayyirah Waheed, a poet who elicits intense emotion and unrivaled beauty. Her choice of simple words with unique grammar, dashes and no capitalization, brings a profound need to relate her poetry to the lived human experience. Here is one example that I came across in my exploration of personhood. Wow, right? A poem,… Continue reading Foster Care as an Adjective