A reader asks
Is birth family contact after adoption wise?

When reading profiles of waiting children, I’ve noticed there is often a request for the child to maintain contact with a birth family member, such as a sibling or grandparent, after the adoption. What type of contact is allowed? Is that safe for the child and for adoptive families? Each adoption is unique, especially those involving children in the foster

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Things to Do When You Cannot Be with Your Child
Ways to supplement face-to-face visits or when those are not possible

by Rose Marie Wentz • Make a top 10 list of what you like about your child. Send it to them; may be one each day. Send pictures of yourself doing different activities, in different places, making funny faces, etc. Make a video or audiotape of you reading bedtime stories. Send it to your child along with the book. Send

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Children’s Home Society of NC places greater emphasis on shared parenting and reunification

Children’s Home Society of NC (CHS) worked in partnership with Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago to develop a leading-edge practice model to build on the strengths of its Foster Care to Permanency program. A CHS and Chapin Hall team, as well as foster parents, birth parents, and youth with foster care experience, partnered to develop this practice model

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For kinship families, shared parenting can be complicated

by Glenda Clare • Shared parenting was my goal when I decided to assume the custody of my cousin’s youngest child. To be supportive, I accompanied my cousin to Child and Family Team (CFT) meetings and paid for required drug testing. In my head, I was singing Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family.” I knew everything was going to be alright

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Shared parenting in the context of adoption
One family’s story

by Jonathan Rockoff • Shared parenting was their biggest fear about being foster and adoptive parents. But they overcame this fear in an inspiring and remarkable fashion. I met Jonathan and Sally Six of Wake Forest, NC five years ago when they first became licensed foster parents. They already had one child of their own, “Mark,” and wanted to open

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A Birth Mother’s Perspective
Working together to help Darren return home

I visited Darren a lot while he was in foster care and worked hard to get him back. Even though I had two relapses, I went to school full-time and worked part-time. I lived in a shelter some of the time, and I got TANF…. “This story is about Darren, not about us.” After our visits, I always took Darren

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Talking to children and youth about shared parenting

by Donna Foster • One thing children and youth say about being in foster care is that adults talk about their lives and make plans without communicating with them. I have heard many say, “This is my life and I need to know what is going to happen!” I learned this early in my 17 years of fostering and agree

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Foster care as a support to families, not a substitute for parents

The theme of this issue of Fostering Perspectives is “foster care as a support for families, not a substitute for parents.” Foster care is intended to be a short-term intervention that strengthens parents’ protective capacities so they can safely care for their children. The goal is almost always for children and youth to return to their families. One of the

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