Youth Advocacy and Leadership in Child Welfare

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

Fostering Resilient Outcomes

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

The Lived Experience of Foster Care

“Do you feel that being in foster care has the changed the way you view yourself?” “How has where you lived and who you lived with impacted the way you see the world?” “How about your view of others?”  “Do you think that your experience before and during your foster care placement will have any  longstanding effects on your… Continue reading The Lived Experience of Foster Care

Has Compassion Disappeared?

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?

ACEs…Great in Poker not in Childhood

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

Listen Carefully…A Podcast

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

What’s that Podcast About?

There is now a podcast for almost any topic out there from politics, philosophy, crime investigation, and yes, even foster care!  The now infamous series Serial, with over 80 million downloads, brought the podcast to its now current status of the "go to" on demand listen while engaging in our day to day tasks.  Well, truth be told, I am… Continue reading What’s that Podcast About?

ReMoved: Understanding the Lived Foster Care Experience

"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

The Luggage of Foster Care

We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.  We must start in our own homes to remedy this type of poverty. -Mother Teresa

Feelings of Youth in Foster Care

Pictures speak louder than words!  Look at this image of how children and youth in foster care may be feeling and ask yourself "How can I help?"