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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  ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Purpose of Study ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Overview of Presentation ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
A Journey Through 4 Countries ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],Bol Riiny’s Journey :: Google Earth
Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM) ,[object Object],[object Object]
Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Foster Care Program ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Population and Sample ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Recruiting Foster Families ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Number of Placements ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Current Relationship with Foster Parents ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Eventual Appreciation for Parents ,[object Object]
Success among youth and foster families ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
The Sudanese Youths’ Perspective
Youths’ Descriptions of the 29 Relationships ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Youths’ Descriptions of the 29 Relationships ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Youths’ Descriptions of 29 Relationships ,[object Object],[object Object]
Adaptation: Youths’ Perspective ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Adaptation: Youths’ Perspective ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Adaptation: Youths’ Perspective ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Adaptation: Youths’ Perspective ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Foster Parents’ Perspective:  Fostering Sudanese Refugee Youth
Parental Help in Adjustment ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Parental Help in Adjustment ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Motivation to Become  Foster Parents
Motivation for Becoming a Parent ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Motivation for Becoming a Parent ,[object Object],[object Object]
Parent’s Description of Relationship
Parent’s Description of Relationship ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Current Relationships ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
FP Perspective: Challenges ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
FP Perspective: Challenges ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Conclusions and Implications ,[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object],[object Object]
Conclusions and Implications ,[object Object]
Acknowledgements ,[object Object],[object Object]
Dedication Dr. Tom Luster :: 1953--March 15, 2009 Tom Luster and Sisimayo Henry  Sisimayo becomes a US citizen -- November 2006

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SRCD 2009 - Lost Boys

Editor's Notes

  1. Adaptation of youth in context of parent-child relationship from 2 perspectives: youth and FPs
  2. Child Welfare:: Can develop attachment very similar to bio parents Vietnamese boat people, WWII Kindertransport
  3. Put research questions here?? From both perspectives Been very successful
  4. 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.
  5. War claimed lives of over 2 million Sudanese
  6. Interviewed by State Department in camps, Significantly decreased after 9/11
  7. Interviewed by State Department in camps, Significantly decreased after 9/11
  8. 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
  9. 89 youth… how to place all of them
  10. 40-50% of Vietnamese and Cambodian URMs changed placements as well
  11. 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).”
  12. 29 total parent-child relationships First description
  13. 29 total parent-child relationships First description
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. More than just the ones that talked about positive relationship with instrumental
  17. 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
  18. Use the FP perspective on the relationship as a backdrop on how the youth adjusted
  19. 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
  20. Lots of time management things
  21. 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
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. First quote, affective tie really contributed to helping with adjustment
  25. This is with any one child who was in their home
  26. 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
  27. Still parents occasionally felt it was necessary to establish a measure of respect in the home.
  28. 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
  29. 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
  30. 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.