SRCD 2009 - Lost Boys
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

SRCD 2009 - Lost Boys

on

  • 698 views

 

Statistics

Views

Total Views
698
Slideshare-icon Views on SlideShare
672
Embed Views
26

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
3
Comments
0

2 Embeds 26

http://saltarel.fts.educ.msu.edu 14
http://www.andysaltarelli.com 12

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft PowerPoint

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment
  • Adaptation of youth in context of parent-child relationship from 2 perspectives: youth and FPs
  • Child Welfare:: Can develop attachment very similar to bio parents Vietnamese boat people, WWII Kindertransport
  • Put research questions here?? From both perspectives Been very successful
  • Thus, the purpose of this qualitative study was to explore, from both the youths’ and parents’ perspectives, the role that the foster parent-child relationship had in helping unaccompanied Sudanese refugee minors adjust to life in the United States. Literature on unaccompanied children tends to focus on documenting trauma experiences and assessing initial adjustment and service needs among recently separated and relocated children; few researchers were able to follow children beyond the initial adjustment period (e.g., Ingleby, 2005; Sourander, 1998). In addition there are a few retrospective descriptive studies of the unaccompanied refugee group’s perceptions of their experiences and their adjustment as adults (e.g., Conde, 1999; Moskovitz, 1985). Many retrospective studies have limitations as well. For example, studies of the Pedro Pan children of the Cuban Revolution (Conde, 2003), the Kindertransport of World War II (Harris & Oppenheimer, 2000), and Basque children sent abroad during the Spanish Civil War (Legarreta, 1984) have limited applicability to the majority of separated children, because these groups were evacuated with the consent of parents to protect them from harm and experienced less of the violence and deprivation directly associated with the conflict. Many had the opportunity to communicate with parents, at least occasionally, and some were reunited with parents over time.
  • War claimed lives of over 2 million Sudanese
  • Interviewed by State Department in camps, Significantly decreased after 9/11
  • Interviewed by State Department in camps, Significantly decreased after 9/11
  • 3,800 total settled in US Once they arrived, the refugees who were 18 or older received services from Refugee Services of St. Vincent Catholic Charities, Inc. Youth younger than 18 entered through the unaccompanied minors program of Lutheran Social Services of Michigan, and were placed in the refugee foster care program. Youngest at resettlement was 11 78% of sample invited accepted Only about 100 girls… were captured or taken into families in Kakuma… for bride wealth, domestic servants
  • 89 youth… how to place all of them
  • 40-50% of Vietnamese and Cambodian URMs changed placements as well
  • Even if instrumental… previous research on ambiguous loss shows that they really Many of the youth reported feeling frustrated by the perceived loss of emotional support from their parents, “The major problem of being a child without a parent is that you always feel that you are missing something ... that parental love from the family is not there. To me I missed that parental care. It made me feel that I am lost.” One of the youth who was only two or three years old when he was separated, missed being comforted by his mother, “When you are a little kid, you need your mom so bad. You need something, you cry. So your mom, she is not there to hold you, to calm you down.” The participants reported missing their parents especially during hard times when they thought their parents could have provided support and protection. One youth observed that the boys thought most often about their parents during difficult times, much like some people only pray when they are experiencing difficulties, “When you are in problems, you frequently call the name of God for help. When you are not in trouble, you may pay less attention to God (laughs).”
  • 29 total parent-child relationships First description
  • 29 total parent-child relationships First description
  • Now talking about 15 youh overall talking about foster care experience What did the parent do? Accepted them, brought them into the family We see them even more talking about affective ties within the context of what helped them adapt which is a bit surprising when it seems as if this question would give them more license to talk about instrumental things The relationship being the core of what helped them to adapt How did they help me to adjust…? They treated me like their own child, gave me a family Although they came in with differing expectations as to the parent-child relationship (as we’ll see later), the affective
  • Now talking about 15 youh overall talking about foster care experience What did the parent do? Accepted them, brought them into the family We see them even more talking about affective ties within the context of what helped them adapt which is a bit surprising when it seems as if this question would give them more license to talk about instrumental things The relationship being the core of what helped them to adapt How did they help me to adjust…? They treated me like their own child, gave me a family Although they came in with differing expectations as to the parent-child relationship (as we’ll see later), the affective
  • More than just the ones that talked about positive relationship with instrumental
  • Recap…. After not having parents for 10 years… they needed a parent, still looked to have that figure, needed that figure in their life and that attachment to an adult caregiver Don’t max out credit cards
  • Use the FP perspective on the relationship as a backdrop on how the youth adjusted
  • It was quite difficult to get them to really answer this question Isn’t this just like a parent to really deflect the praise… Many deflected praise or attributed it to their resilience And, I think after having lived on their own that long, people weren’t gonna come in and mold them into these American citizens. Just wasn’t gonna happen. I don’t feel like I did a whole lot because they were in school…so it’s a lot of peer influence in terms of that
  • Lots of time management things
  • You really have to look at indirect sources to gauge parental attachment and what they did to help the youth adjust… a good place to start is why they became parents in the first place
  • Get numbers?? Would this help to make the case about them wanting to create a home??? This is what they were looking to create for the boys.
  • Get numbers?? Would this help to make the case about them wanting to create a home??? This is what they were looking to create for the boys.
  • First quote, affective tie really contributed to helping with adjustment
  • This is with any one child who was in their home
  • Still were disconnects… and the story isn’t over. The story is still evolving for these families, many youth are still come back Many parents didn’t feel like they got through to the youth or made a connection, but if you juxtapose this with the youths’ perspective, you see that they really did have connections
  • Still parents occasionally felt it was necessary to establish a measure of respect in the home.
  • What’s the story? Youth, without parents for almost 10 years…. Many have lost their parents or have no idea if they’re alive and have taken care of themselves during formative years… would they want to give up on attachment, be able to form attachments with caregiver? They came here faced with innumerable obstacles, and things to adjust to, but they articulate their adjustment here in the US primarily in terms of wanting/needing an affective relationship with an adult caregiver… You have foster parents, many first time parents having to adjust extremely quickly to having a URM from war torn Sudan in their families. They were very motivated to help...and a provided a myriad of necessary, instrumental things (and trust me, they did a ton) but at the end of the day, they were also looking for a new son, a new daughter, a relationship and a connection that would last….Through all the complexity of the situation, both sides seemed to eventually develop long-lasting, affectual ties and that really made a difference in why these youth have predominately been able to adjust well to life in the US and show resiliency. ------------------------------------- Ambiguous loss stuff: Many of the youth reported feeling frustrated by the perceived loss of emotional support from their parents, “The major problem of being a child without a parent is that you always feel that you are missing something ... that parental love from the family is not there. To me I missed that parental care. It made me feel that I am lost.” One of the youth who was only two or three years old when he was separated, missed being comforted by his mother, “When you are a little kid, you need your mom so bad. You need something, you cry. So your mom, she is not there to hold you, to calm you down.” The participants reported missing their parents especially during hard times when they thought their parents could have provided support and protection. One youth observed that the boys thought most often about their parents during difficult times, much like some people only pray when they are experiencing difficulties, “When you are in problems, you frequently call the name of God for help. When you are not in trouble, you may pay less attention to God (laughs).” Loss of parents and need for attachment supercedes some of the other issues, capable of attachment after going through so…. With all the complexity, you get underneath it and it’s about having a parent, a home base
  • What’s the story? Youth, without parents for almost 10 years…. Many have lost their parents or have no idea if they’re alive and have taken care of themselves during formative years… would they want to give up on attachment, be able to form attachments with caregiver? They came here faced with innumerable obstacles, and things to adjust to, but they articulate their adjustment here in the US primarily in terms of wanting/needing an affective relationship with an adult caregiver… You have foster parents, many first time parents having to adjust extremely quickly to having a URM from war torn Sudan in their families. They were very motivated to help...and a provided a myriad of necessary, instrumental things (and trust me, they did a ton) but at the end of the day, they were also looking for a new son, a new daughter, a relationship and a connection that would last….Through all the complexity of the situation, both sides seemed to eventually develop long-lasting, affectual ties and that really made a difference in why these youth have predominately been able to adjust well to life in the US and show resiliency. ------------------------------------- Ambiguous loss stuff: Many of the youth reported feeling frustrated by the perceived loss of emotional support from their parents, “The major problem of being a child without a parent is that you always feel that you are missing something ... that parental love from the family is not there. To me I missed that parental care. It made me feel that I am lost.” One of the youth who was only two or three years old when he was separated, missed being comforted by his mother, “When you are a little kid, you need your mom so bad. You need something, you cry. So your mom, she is not there to hold you, to calm you down.” The participants reported missing their parents especially during hard times when they thought their parents could have provided support and protection. One youth observed that the boys thought most often about their parents during difficult times, much like some people only pray when they are experiencing difficulties, “When you are in problems, you frequently call the name of God for help. When you are not in trouble, you may pay less attention to God (laughs).” Loss of parents and need for attachment supercedes some of the other issues, capable of attachment after going through so…. With all the complexity, you get underneath it and it’s about having a parent, a home base
  • Sisimayo Quote: LSJ March 16, 2009 “ And this kind of relation have never happened to me since I was separated by the war from my own family when I was only nine years old. Luster and family treated me as their own son…When I completed high school in Kakuma Refugee camp, to me that is the end of the road for my education. Today, losing him does not only leave a wound in the heart of Ann, Ben and Carol but also individuals like me that come into this country as nothing but now are able to obtain the most important paper [diploma] that has never been a dream of my own.

SRCD 2009 - Lost Boys SRCD 2009 - Lost Boys Presentation Transcript

  • FOSTER PARENT SUPPORT AND REFUGEE YOUTHS’ ADAPTATION IN A NEW LAND: THE EXPERIENCE OF UNACCOMPANIED SUDANESE MINORS. Andy Saltarelli, Tom Luster, Meenal Rana, Laura Bates, Desiree Qin, Deborah Johnson, Katherine Burdick and Diane Baird
  • Adaptation of Immigrants and Foster Children
    • Parents can play a protective role in immigrant adaptation (Sluzki, 1979; Suarez-Orozco, Todorova, & Qin, 2006)
    • Positive parent-child relations in foster care can be protective for children (Buehler et al., 2006)
    • Previous research on URMs has focused on trauma and deleterious effects of separation (Freud & Burlingham, 1943; Jeppsson, O., & Hjern, A., 2005; Ingleby, D., 2005)
  • Purpose of Study
    • To explore the role that the foster parent-child relationship had in helping URM Sudanese youth adjust to life in the United States.
      • Would youth seek and develop affective bonds after not having parents?
      • How would parent-child bonds contribute to the youths’ adaptation?
  • Overview of Presentation
    • Overview of resettlement and context of placement
    • Sudanese youths’ perspective 7 years after resettlement (n = 18)
    • Foster parents’ perspective (n = 15)
    • Discussion: Conclusions and implications
  • A Journey Through 4 Countries
    • Late 1980s separated from parents by civil war
    • Walked to Ethiopia
    • 1991 Driven out of Ethiopia
    • 1991 Displacement camps in Sudan
    • 1992 Walked to Kenya
    • 2000-2001 Came to U.S.
    Bol Riiny’s Journey :: Google Earth
  • Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM)
    • “ a person who is under the age of majority and not accompanied by a parent, guardian, or other person who by law or custom is responsible for him or her” (Ressler, Boothby & Steinbock, 1988, p. 7)
    • Afforded full protection under article 22.1 of UNHCR 1989 Convention
  • Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Foster Care Program
    • Established in 1979 – US Dept of State refers minors through a network of programs.
    • Best Interest Determination Interviews in Kenya
    • Specialized foster care programs and services including:
      • Case Management
      • Life Skills Classes
      • Counseling
      • Educational Advocacy
      • Mentoring
      • Socialization/Cultural Events
    • Serve youth from date of entry to 21 st birthday. Educational expenses to 23 rd birthday (varies by state).
  • Population and Sample
    • 500 Sudanese unaccompanied minors resettled in U.S. foster care
    • 89 in Lansing MI area
    • 18 (20%) interviewed about experiences in foster care 7 years after resettlement
    • Mean age 15 at resettlement
    • Mean age 22 at interview (range 18 to 26)
  • Recruiting Foster Families
    • Recruit Foster Families
      • Churches/Religious Institutions, Newspaper, Radio, Refugee Communities
    • Provide Training
    • Monthly ongoing support to families and youth
    • Agency had limited knowledge of youth
  • Number of Placements
    • Of the 18 youth:
      • 8 had one placement and continued to have a relationship with their foster parents
      • 5 lived with 2 foster families
      • 3 lived with 3 foster families
      • 2 moved to independent living after having a falling out with their first foster family
    • In all, the 18 youth had 29 foster placements.
  • Current Relationship with Foster Parents
    • 15 of 18 youth reported currently having a positive relationship with at least one FP
    • Many of those positive relationships developed in the second or third placement
    • “ It’s just real, real, real wonderful, you know. It’s just, I connect finally better.”
  • Eventual Appreciation for Parents
    • “ I kinda miss them and I appreciate the things they were doing for me…I wish I would have listened to them at least some part of it. And now that I don’t live with them, our relationship is very good, like you know, I just called mom for anything and I just tell her everything.” ~ Sudanese youth
  • Success among youth and foster families
    • High School Diplomas (18)
    • Bachelor’s Degrees (7)
    • Community College Programs (8)
    • Master’s Program Students (2 known)
    • Citizenship
    • Families, Children (4)
    • Employment
    • Long-term supportive relationships
    • A richer, more diverse community
  • The Sudanese Youths’ Perspective
  • Youths’ Descriptions of the 29 Relationships
    • Positive relationship, instrumental support (n = 10)
    • Close relationship with affective ties (n = 13)
    • Not a Positive Relationship (n = 6)
  • Youths’ Descriptions of the 29 Relationships
    • Positive relationship, instrumental support (n = 10):
    • “ It was a good experience for me. In the morning, (they) gave me a ride to school and when the school is done they brought me back home.”
    • Close relationship with affective ties (n = 13):
    • “ I did feel close to my foster parents…They treated me like one of their sons and their kids made me feel that I am one of their brothers as well .”
  • Youths’ Descriptions of 29 Relationships
    • Not a Positive Relationship (n = 6):
    • “ My foster dad, he was just kind of a mean person to us.”
  • Adaptation: Youths’ Perspective
    • What did your foster family do for you that you found helpful in adjusting to life in the US?
    • Help based on affective ties and relationship (n = 8)
    • Help based on instrumental within affective ties (n = 6)
    • Help based on instrumental support (n = 4)
  • Adaptation: Youths’ Perspective
    • Help based on affective ties and relationship (n = 8):
    • “ We may be different in color but we are just all people…kids sometimes are kids…But, even with their children, it was the same thing [i.e. I was treated the same]. So, I just felt comfortable. And I feel like OK I have a family.”
    • “… she made me up today. That’s who like who I am. ..we just become connected, she did not say, ‘O these are not my real sons, so why should I bother.‘”
  • Adaptation: Youths’ Perspective
    • Help based on instrumental within affective ties (n = 6):
    • “ so T was like, he was a father to make us understand America and make us good kids.”
    • “ Them being there… trying to show me everything…it doesn’t matter what, whether they know it, but they were trying hard for my success.”  
  • Adaptation: Youths’ Perspective
    • Help based on instrumental support (n = 4):
    • “ I think the one thing was they were always telling me I should be saving money…and that’s pretty much [all] that I learned.”
      • Money management
      • Transportation
      • Educational access
      • Acculturation
  • Foster Parents’ Perspective: Fostering Sudanese Refugee Youth
  • Parental Help in Adjustment
    • Tell me about what you did to help them make the transition to life in the US?
    • Deflecting Praise:
      • Attributed to youths’ resilience
      • Peers or other significant mentors
      • Can’t control
  • Parental Help in Adjustment
    • Instrumental help:
    • “ You know, bank, opening up bank accounts…talk about time management…just kind of like adjusting to life here in the US.” ~ foster mom
      • Prepare for independence
      • Acculturation
      • Educational maintenance
  • Motivation to Become Foster Parents
  • Motivation for Becoming a Parent
    • Compelled by Story, Empathy:
    • “… and I read about the Lost Boys in the newspaper, and I just really felt moved that I needed to do something” ~ foster mom
    • Creating or Replacing Family:
    • “ My goal was never to be a revolving door…I tell people they’re kids in need of a parent, and I’m a parent in need of kids” ~ foster dad
    • “… but I had a need really to parent more kids” ~ foster mom
  • Motivation for Becoming a Parent
    • Lifetime Commitment:
    • “… a very common question I’d receive is, well how long of a commitment is this? And my answer always was, it’s a commitment for life, that’s the way I view it” ~ foster dad
  • Parent’s Description of Relationship
  • Parent’s Description of Relationship
    • Parent-child relationship, affective ties:
    • “ I developed a really loving relationship with them…J had some post-traumatic stress disorder…I tried to make it very clear that I loved him.” ~ foster mom
    • Parental Attachment:
    • “ Okay being upset showed you that I was attached but it was like this is good news that their parents are alive, it’s not bad news, it’s really good news. ~ foster mom”
  • Current Relationships
    • Distant relationship or no relationship (4)
    • Warm, friendly relationship (5)
      • Come home for holidays
      • Call occasionally for help
    • Loving relationship, active parenting (5)
      • Youth living with family, or returns there from college
      • Providing instrumental or emotional support
      • Parenting grandchildren
  • FP Perspective: Challenges
    • Differing relational expectations:
    • “ You’d think there were things going fine and then they up and do something like, ‘I wanna move’…you’re going like, ohh did I do…?” ~ foster mom
    • Struggle to connect, communication issues:
    • “ I felt like I was always trying to make it in, to be accepted as a friend…there always was a wall even to this year.” ~ foster mom
  • FP Perspective: Challenges
    • Authority Issues:
    • Related to cultural differences
    • Related to mental health issues
    • Typical teen issues
    • Precocious autonomy
    • … with your college age, when they come home in the summer, you know you don’t have the same kinda rules you did when they were in high school, and that’s really more the kind of relationship ~ foster mom
  • Conclusions and Implications
    • Seek relationships and develop affective attachment after 10 years
    • Affective attachment key in URM adjustment
    • Implications for placement agencies
      • Ability to seek out new placements usually ended well
      • Understand differing expectations of foster parents and youth
  • Conclusions and Implications
      • “ The major problem of being a child without a parent is that you always feel that you are missing something…that parental love from the family is not there. To me I missed that parental care. It made me feel that I am lost.”
  • Acknowledgements
    • We would like to thank the Sudanese youth and foster parents for sharing their experiences with us.
    • Support for this research was provided by: The Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station; Michigan State University Outreach and Engagement; The Department of Family and Child Ecology at MSU; Lutheran Social Services
  • Dedication Dr. Tom Luster :: 1953--March 15, 2009 Tom Luster and Sisimayo Henry Sisimayo becomes a US citizen -- November 2006