COVID’s Impact on the Transition to Adulthood

by Jonathan Rockoff • Youth coming out of foster care face many challenges as they transition into adulthood. That’s in normal times. Has the uncertainty of COVID added to the difficulty of this transition? To learn about COVID’s impact on youth transitioning from foster care to independence, I reached out to Michelle Blackmon, Program Coordinator at Fostering Bright Futures. Based

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Foster home licensing in NC during COVID-19

by Jodi Franck • Our entire world changed drastically and quickly with the emergence of COVID-19 in the United States and North Carolina. Licensing of foster homes had to change and adjust, too. After Governor Cooper declared a state of emergency in March 2020, foster care agencies and the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) began identifying

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Guardians ad Litem Respond Creatively

by Jennifer Nehlsen • Guardians ad litem serve as the voice of the abused and neglected children in their community while the court works to determine the most appropriate permanent plan. Guardians ad litem (GALs) should have direct and sufficient contact with the child-client to carry out an independent and valid investigation of the child-client’s circumstances and to know the

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Social Worker Perspectives on COVID-19

by Jonathan Rockoff • During the pandemic, child welfare agencies have worked hard to ensure the safety of children and families. To get an inside view of this effort, I spoke with two North Carolina child welfare professionals. Myca Jeter, Foster Care Director for Access Family Services, says after the pandemic hit her immediate concern was for resource families and

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Pandemic Struggles and Lessons of Foster Care Alumni

by Shanita Dildy-Goings • Every generation has their challenges, their life altering events and lessons learned. Every lifetime comes fraught with trials and tribulations that seem insurmountable at first, unforgiving at best, and at times without end. Somehow though, time after time we manage to pull through and come out stronger, wiser, and more prepared for the next game changer.

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Innovation in North Carolina’s Child Welfare System During COVID-19

by Jamie Bazemore • The pandemic has brought loss and hardship to so many of us. But for me it has also been a reminder of how adaptable and creative humans can be. Even when faced with disruption and challenges, we somehow find a way to innovate and move forward. I hope when COVID is behind us we will continue

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Telehealth Therapy: The New Normal

by Amy Huntsman • Therapy is an important tool for helping youth in foster care develop coping mechanisms and process trauma. It can be so helpful to have a safe place and an unbiased person to be honest with. Telehealth therapy, also called “teletherapy,” is mental health treatment in which patients receive counseling from licensed therapists online, usually with a

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COVID-19 Resources for Resource Parents

Foster and adoptive parents and kinship caregivers in North Carolina may find the following pandemic-related resources helpful. NC Resources COVID-19 North Carolina Dashboard General Child Welfare COVID-19 Guidance (May 1, 2020) Promotional Toolkit to inform and educate North Carolinians about COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and preventative measures they can take to protect themselves and their loved ones COVID-19 Video Playlist

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Supporting Children’s Emotional Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Jessica Dym Bartlett, Jessica Griffin, Dana Thomson • The following guidance, recommendations, and resources are provided by child trauma experts at Child Trends and the Child Trauma Training Center at the University of Massachusetts. The Center is housed at the University of Massachusetts with Child Trends as the lead evaluating agency, with funding from SAMHSA and the National Child

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