June is Reunification Month!

June is Reunification Month, the perfect time for resource parents to reflect on their role in supporting reunification. There is promising evidence that building a strong relationship between parents and resource parents increases the likelihood of reunification. “When foster parents support or mentor birth parents, they can enhance the ability of birth parents to stay informed about their children’s development

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It’s the everyday things resource parents do

by Jamie Bazemore • We all know resource parents provide love, nurturing, and care to meet the immediate needs of young people in foster care. But their support for the child’s permanent plan is just as important. In this article, I’d like to highlight some of the ways resource parents take action every day to support permanence. The Permanent Plan

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Paths to permanence for NC children & youth in foster care

What is “permanence” and how is it achieved in the context of North Carolina’s child welfare system? Legal Permanence The courts and child welfare system focus a great deal on achieving legal permanence for children and youth in foster care. Legal permanence occurs when the young person has a lasting, legally secure relationship with at least one adult. This adult

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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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How Agencies Can (and Should) Support Children and Resource Families When Placements End

Foster care placements are temporary—they are meant to end. This is made abundantly clear in recruiting materials and in foster parent pre-service training. In court and in ongoing meetings there are frequent reminders of this fact. Nevertheless, the ending of a placement can be particularly hard for the children and resource family. Fortunately, there are things child welfare professionals can

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Overlapping and Continuity of Families Are the Keys to Positive, Stress-Free Transitions for Children

by Donna Foster • News flash! After 17 years as a foster parent and 37 years as a trainer in foster care and adoption, I finally realized what the focus should be for foster parents: transitions! So Many Opportunities for Loss Think for a moment about the transitions a child in foster care goes through. The child is taken from

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Making a difference by maintaining connections
Family ties are "permanent ink"

by Donna Gillespie Foster When they’re in foster care, one of the greatest gifts we can give young people is to help maintain—or strengthen—their connections to their families. To do this well, it really helps if we have good relationships with the birth families as well. This isn’t always easy. Working with birth parents and maintaining children’s connections to them

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A reader asks . . .
What to tell our friends when children reunify?

We’re members of a tight-knit community and many people know we are foster parents. The children in our home are transitioning back to their birth parents. We know we’ll get questions from the community about where the children went. How do we explain? Social workers and their agencies often encourage resource parents to use their natural supports and resources while

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