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2013 pcsao youth panel
 

2013 pcsao youth panel

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  • Supervisors will learn strategies for helping case workers provide better services to children affected by abuse and neglect. Specifically, supervisors will learn how to help case workers make children feel emotionally and physically safe, give children choices and a sense of control, and offer children ways to work through their trauma in creative ways. <br />
  • A child’s response to a traumatic event may have a profound effect on his or her perception of self, the world, and the future. <br /> Traumatic events can affect a child’s: <br /> Ability to trust others <br /> Sense of personal safety <br /> Effectiveness in navigating life changes <br /> According to former Health and Human Services Commissioner Bryan Samuel: <br /> Simply moving a child out of immediate danger does not in itself reverse or eliminate the way that he or she has learned to be fearful. <br /> The child’s memory retains those learned links, and such thoughts and memories are sufficient to elicit ongoing fear and make a child anxious <br />
  • We do our work with VISION – and we do our work with HOPE <br />
  • Introduce Panelists: Name, Age, County, and Proudest Accomplishments <br />
  • Encourage the audience to:Think of a specific time in your life when you felt endangered, scared or worried. <br /> Now think about what it took to make you feel safe and secure again. What it something that you did? Something another person did? <br /> That’s the type of information that our young people are going to share with us today… <br /> According to the dictionary, safety is the condition of being protected from undergoing hurt, injury or loss <br />
  • What was your experience in traveling from one foster care placement to another?Did your caseworker discuss the move with you ahead of time? <br /> Did you know where you would be going? <br /> Did you know anything about the next place where you were going to stay?Best Practice: One caseworker showed a youth an actual map of where they were going ahead of time. <br />
  • What did you wish you knew about your case during your time in foster care? <br /> How would having that knowledge have helped you feel more emotionally secure?What about possibly going to your court cases or attending your SAR’s? Were you interested in that? <br />
  • Children who have survived trauma often find difficult to: <br /> Trust other people <br /> Feel safe <br /> Understand and manage their emotions <br /> Physically and emotionally adapt to stressKnowing why you are in foster care <br /> Youth voice in court <br /> CASA/GAL <br />
  • According to former Commissioner Bryan Samuels:A longitudinal study of maltreated and non-maltreated children provides evidence that child abuse is associated with difficulties in interpersonal relationships. <br /> Almost half of those reporting abuse in adulthood had been rated as showing significant abnormalities in interactions with peers in adolescence. <br /> These findings provide further support for the view that impairments in interpersonal relationships are of crucial importance for understanding the effects of child abuse on mental health outcomes. <br /> Similarly, resilience and relationship quality are strongly and independently linked. <br /> Rates of resilience were also considerably higher among adults reporting the presence of at least one parent rated as very caring. <br /> Peer relationships in adolescence, the quality of adult friendships and the stability of adult love relationships were all strongly related to resilience. <br /> Resilience is not seen as good fortune arising from chance encounters with a supportive friend, peer or partner, but rather as an ongoing process of developing the competencies necessary to form, maintain and benefit from supportive interpersonal relationships. <br />
  • Children who have survived trauma often find difficult to: <br /> Trust other people <br /> Feel safe <br /> Understand and manage their emotions <br /> Physically and emotionally adapt to stress <br />
  • What was your experience in being welcomed into a new foster home?Did you feel welcomed? <br /> Did you feel overwhelmed? <br /> Were you greeted with a list of rules – or were the new rules and expectations explained to you gradually? <br /> Did you have your own room? <br /> If so, were you allowed to decorate it?Best Practice: What do you suggest should be Best Practice for foster parents in welcoming a child and helping him/her to adjust?Recommendations from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network:- Foster parents should help children become familiar with their home and neighborhood so these places feel less foreign. <br /> - Give them choices and responsibilities so they experience a sense of control over their daily lives. <br /> - Set limits so they don’t feel overwhelmed or responsible for more than they can handle. <br />
  • Foster parents can make the child feel at home – find out what he/she likes. <br /> Caseworkers can find out the interests of a child, and advocate for their involvement in extra-curricular activities. <br />
  • Ask panelists: Can you remember a time when you wished that your caseworker had asked questions, rather than taking your behavior at face value?Or a time when he or she did ask those questions, and it helped? <br />
  • What have foster parents or caseworkers done to earn your trust?What did they do in the moment that made a difference?What did they do over time? <br />
  • Mention the new rule that ODJFS has created that every time a child exits foster care, there is going to be a mandatory Exit Interview to ask questions like whether or not they felt safe in their foster home, how meals worked, etc. <br /> For the purpose of making sure that when we remove children from one abusive home, we are not then delivering them into another. <br />
  • Name one person who has been a good role model to you in how to handle emotions in the moment.Why do you look up to that person?Name one person who was helpful in helping you sort out how you were feeling during your time in care?What did they do that helped?Recommendations from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network: <br /> 1. Foster parents and caseworkers should try not to react in the heat of the moment.2. They should try not to take the young person’s emotions personally.3. Rather, they should strive to provide realistic reassurance and comfort.4. Saying things like: --“How are you feeling right now?” <br /> -- “It’s okay to talk about painful things” <br /> -- And, in an argument, “We don’t always have to see things the same way. That’s okay with me, and I care how you feel.” <br />
  • During times when you felt unsafe, what have you found to be the most helpful way to calm down? <br /> The National Child Traumatic Stress Network recommends a technique called S.O.S.: <br /> S – Stop – and take a deep breath before reacting <br /> O – Orient – how are you feeling? (physically and emotionally… what’s your heartrate? Are you breathing fast? Try taking slower breaths to help yourself calm down.) <br /> S – Seek Help – in the form of a Stress Buster or by talking with an adult or friend you trust <br /> They refer to a Stress Buster as something that makes you feel better and more relaxed, such as: <br /> Activities (walking, biking, reading a book, listening to music) <br /> Things (toy, picture, blanket, stuffed animal, special book) <br /> Places (spot in yard, room) <br /> People <br /> Specific thoughts, phrases or prayers <br />
  • According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, the most important times to make children feel safe in foster care are mealtimes, bedtimes and in terms of physical boundaries. <br /> How can caseworkers and foster parents help children feel in greater control of these situations? <br /> Best Practice: If a child hoards food, provide them with a Tupperware container of food in their room. Do NOT lock the refrigerator door. <br />
  • Suggest and model appropriate ways for expressing feelings without damaging things or lashing out at other people <br /> Recommendations from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network about FOOD:- Accommodate child’s food preferences when possible. <br /> Foods that the child equates with safety and comfort might seem foreign or even unhealthy to you, but if you make sure that at least a few of them are available, this sends a powerful safety message to the child <br /> Set consistent mealtimes. <br /> Involve the child in planning and preparing meals. <br /> Keep mealtimes positive, calm and supportive. Recommendations from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network about BEDTIME: <br /> Have a consistent bedtime – dependable routines help children start and end the day feeling safe. <br /> Let the child make choices about the look and feel of their bedroom space. <br /> Always ask permission before sitting on a child’s bed. Acknowledge <br /> Respect a child’s fears (be willing to check in the closet and under the bed, provide a nightlight), set consistent times for going to bed <br /> Let the child decide how to be awakened – i.e. an alarm clock might be too jarring, and sound like danger <br />
  • Peer Support network in Lorain County <br />

2013 pcsao youth panel 2013 pcsao youth panel Presentation Transcript

  • Trauma and Safety “In the Moment” From the Perspective of Foster Care Alumni 2013 PCSAO Conference “Making a Difference”
  • Invisible Suitcase of Traumatic Memories • What do I expect from the world? • What can I expect from other people? • What do I believe about myself?
  • Repacking the Suitcase • When we protect children from harm… children learn that the world can be safe. • When we respond to their needs and live up to our word… children learn that adults can be trustworthy. • When we recognize and nurture their strengths… children learn that they are capable and valuable.
  • Voices of Resilience Foster Care Alumni of America’s “Culture of Foster Care” Postcard Project
  • Physical vs. Emotional Safety Foster Care Alumni of America’s “Culture of Foster Care” Postcard Project
  • En route from one foster care placement to another Foster Care Alumni of America’s “Culture of Foster Care” Postcard Project
  • What Do You Wish You Knew About Your Case? Foster Care Alumni of America’s “Culture of Foster Care” Postcard Project
  • Best Practice Tip #1 Give youth some idea of what is going to happen in their future. • Children who have been through trauma need more control, more reassurance and more information in order to feel safe. 8 8
  • Maintaining Positive Connections during time in care Foster Care Alumni of America’s “Culture of Foster Care” Postcard Project
  • Resilience and Relationships Foster Care Alumni of America’s “Culture of Foster Care” Postcard Project
  • Best Practice Tip #2 Help foster youth maintain a sense of continuity with their culture and prior positive connections in their lives. • They have valid, real-life concerns about their own safety and the safety of loved ones (i.e. siblings) 11 11
  • Adjusting to a new foster care placement Foster Care Alumni of America’s “Culture of Foster Care” Postcard Project
  • Best Practice Tip #3 Provide opportunities for a young person to express themselves. • The more a child feels known and understood by the people around them, the less they will feel like a stranger among strangers. 13 13
  • Don’t Take Behavior at Face Value
  • Earning trust gradually Foster Care Alumni of America’s “Culture of Foster Care” Postcard Project
  • Best Practice Tip #4 Understand that building trust takes time and patience. Actions of others can either increase or undermine the building of that trust. 16 • Take time out to listen to the young person. Ask questions about what matters to them, and the reasons behind their behavior. Help them process their thoughts and feelings. 16
  • Understanding Emotions in the Moment Foster Care Alumni of America’s “Culture of Foster Care” Postcard Project
  • Most Helpful Ways to Handle Emotions in the Moment Foster Care Alumni of America’s “Culture of Foster Care” Postcard Project
  • Emotional Hot Spots 1. Food and Mealtime 2. Sleep and Bedtime 3. Physical Boundaries: privacy, personal grooming, medical care
  • Best Practice Tip #5 Train foster parents, and be role models ourselves when it comes to the handling of potential emotional triggers. • Be aware of a child’s history. By our actions, we have the power to send positive safety messages to youth. 20 20
  • Building Positive Relationships After Foster Care Foster Care Alumni of America’s “Culture of Foster Care” Postcard Project
  • Building A Family After Foster Care Foster Care Alumni of America’s “Culture of Foster Care” Postcard Project
  • Questions and Answers