Transcription

Building ConnectionsA Newsletter for Resource FamiliesVolume 10, Issue 4My Journey HomeInside this issue:My Journey HomeApril 2017By Jaime Wieland and Wilma Friesema1Understanding Why Foster2Children Act the Way that TheyDoMay is National Foster CareMonth3Prudent Parenting: CommonQuestion3Resource Family Basics3HI H.O.P.E.S. Update: Focusing on Youth Rights, A Plan ofAction4Bake Sale Fundraiser4Grandparents Raising Grandchildren5Who Ya Gonna Call5Ask the Warm Line6Resource Families SupportServices6Adoptive Families NeededThrough WWK7‘Ohana Rewards7Educational Stability for Children in Foster Care8Stress Relief from Laughter?It’s No Joke8Free Summer Reading Program9Resource Caregivers Encouraged to Attend Court Hearings9The 10th Annual Conferencefor Resource Families10Employment Opportunities10PATCH Resources11Calendar of Events11Aloha. I’m both nervous and excited to be telling you my story.Wilma is helping me write it, but the events and perspectives aremy own. My wish is this: if you’re a parent whose children weretaken away by CWS you will find hope, and if you’re a serviceprovider you will find gratitude and inspiration. My journey homehasn’t been an easy one, but it has been showered with kindnessand support. I didn’t always see the kindness or recognize thesupport, but it was there. I just had to be open to it.But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll start my story when I first lostmy home. I was in the 4th grade when I was taken into foster carebecause of abuse. My parents were getting divorced so life wasWieland Familyhard. Once in care, I ran away a lot and bounced between fosterhomes until, at age 13, I was placed with a maternal auntie. I lived with her until I aged out. I didn’t finish HighSchool.I met Gordon, the father of my children, when I was 16. I had our first child, a boy, when I was 18, and our secondchild, a girl, 11 months later. It was after the birth of our second child that I got fired up to go back to school andget my diploma. Gordon was in and out of jail so I knew I had to find a way to take care of myself and my babies.I buckled down and attended Waipahu school for adults. Once I got my diploma, I went on to Leeward CommunityCollege to get my Certified Nursing Assistance (CNA) license.I worked as a CNA for a long time and at a lot of different nursing homes and hospitals. I loved helping patientsand had pride in my work. On the home front though, it was messier. Gordon was still in and out of our lives, aswas drugs and domestic violence. We were both hot-headed and set each other off, but we loved each other too.I was 27 when I had another baby girl. It was hard to handle so many kids and the stress really got to me. I wasoverwhelmed and kept missing work. I started using drugs as a way to cope. Drugs felt like the only way I couldcheck out and get some relief, but, in reality, they didn’t help. Our family life was spiraling down.My youngest was two years old when I got arrested. I spent a week in jail (OCCC) and that’s when CWS firstremoved my children. When I got out of OCCC my kids came home, but CWS monitored us for 14 months. During that time I had to do a lot of services: parenting and anger management classes, drug treatment through HinaMauka outpatient services, and therapy. To be honest, none of those services really worked because I didn’t thinkI had a problem; I was just going through the motions to get my kids back. I thought I was a good mom because Iloved my kids. I saw CWS and the service providers as the real problem.Fast forward: at 32 I have another child, a boy, and all my children are in care because of my drug use. Also, myolder children are using drugs too. Our family has fallen apart. In hindsight I can see how drugs really are a familydisease because your kids start doing what you do. If you use it to cope, they will too.After losing my kids a second time, I decided to do things differently. I entered the inpatient drug treatment program at Hina Mauka where I learned about myself and my triggers. Instead of going through the motions I actuallywanted to learn because I desperately wanted my life to be different. I wanted my kids back and to never losethem again. After two years, my two youngest were returned; my oldest several years after that.It’s been a long, hard journey to get where I am today. I had to admit I had problems and be humble enough toaccept guidance and help. I had to be responsible for myself, be aware of my triggers, and learn to cope withoutdrugs. The Hina Mauka program, along with living in a clean and sober house for a year, taught me so much. Ilearned about boundaries, the downside of enabling, and how to actually live life as a sober adult. It was a lifesaver.But there have been many life savers. My list of services could fill a book – from Drug Court, to Wrap services, toContinued on pg. 3

Page 2B u i ld in g C on n e c t i on sUnderstanding Why Foster ChildrenAct the Way that They DoHUI HO‘OMALUSTATEWIDE RESOURCEADVISORY COMMITTEEThe Hui Ho‘omalu StatewideResource Advisory Committee (RAC)provides support to the resourcefamily community through identifyingongoing needs, facilitatingcommunication and by sharingresources.The Building Connections Newsletteris published four times a year toprovide information regarding fosterand adoptive care to resourcefamilies, service providers, and to thepublic.V o lu me 10, Issu e 4by “Shining Goose”, a former foster youthHave you ever seen turtles hatching from their eggs? It's a beautifulsight; they emerge slowly from the sand by themselves and crawl intothe ocean to start their lives. One interesting thing is noticeable: theparents of these turtles are nowhere to be found. Baby turtles are bornand grow without their parents. That is how turtles have evolved andthey continue to propagate that way successfully. Unlike those littlebaby turtles, we humans are not so independent. In fact, we are complete opposites. For the very first few years of our lives, we are completely incapable of survival; we can't eat by ourselves, we can't defendourselves, and we can't build shelter for ourselves. Even as we beginto talk, walk, and grow, we are still dependent on our parents financiallyand emotionally; the love and affection of a parent is just as important as the food and protection they provide.Parents, with their love and support, are a necessary part of the young human’s survival. However, what if the parents are incapable of supporting their child? How does the child fare in those scenarios?This newsletter may be viewed onthe following websites:There is a very popular theory in psychology called Adult Attachment Theory. Psychologists John Bowlby and MaryAinsworth spent their careers studying the effects of relationships between young children and their parents, theconsequences of a separation1 and how the interaction between child and parent in youth has a significant impacton that child's adult relationships. Bowlby and Ainsworth surmised that there are different attachment styles that aredivided into 4 ices/child s in DevelopmentFoundation2040 Bachelot St.Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96817-2433If you would like to receive thisnewsletter, please call:441-1125 (O‘ahu),888-879-8970 (Toll Free) orE-mail: [email protected] GREEN!Want to help our environment? Contact us todayand request an electroniccopy!"Secure": a child who received unconditional love and had a strong bond with parents."Anxious-Preoccupied": a child who received love and attention in unpredictable intervals, leading to an adultwho is anxious and "clingy" over their relationships, worried those relationships may go away."Dismissive-Avoidant": a child whose emotional needs were not met by parents, thus leading to an adult whovalues independence, avoids intimacy, and avoids commitment."Anxious-Avoidant": an unfortunate mix of #2 and #3, this child is likely to have been abused or heavily neglected by their parents. They yearn for love and relationships, yet are scared by it.Now, what does all of this have to do with the turtles and why foster children behave the way they do? It is becausefoster children are very likely to be between #3 and #4 on the attachment quadrant. Their parents were not able toproperly care for them so they may build an emotional wall of indifference and mistrust around their heart. Or theymay self-sabotage their stable, adult relationships with avoidance or outbursts, as a defensive mechanism againstbeing hurt.When I was in foster care, I never had outbursts. In fact, my resource caregivers would describe me as a lowmaintenance foster child. The truth was that I was hurting deep inside. I kept an online journal when I was 17-18that I recently re-read. I documented all my hate, my insecurity, my loneliness, and my desires to have a normal lifenot in a foster home. The world saw a young man who was quiet and kept to himself. But inside I was a damagedlittle boy who had erected a wall rivaling the Great Wall of China around my heart, to keep myself from the unbearable pain I've experienced since childhood. After being emancipated, I spent many years thinking I was abnormal.Maybe autistic, maybe a psychopath. But my feelings and behaviors were actually very normal for children whogrew up with extreme neglect like I did. Knowing that has helped me to better understand my deficiencies and allowed me to make a concentrated effort towards improving how I relate with people.There is no formula for being a resource caregiver, but knowing the background of your foster children can help yougauge their attachment style and what issues you are likely to see in their behavior now and in the future. Onerecommendation I have for resource caregivers is this: practice "unconditional positive regard" (UPR)2. This is amethod that many psychotherapists use to establish trust with their patients to provide an environment for personalgrowth. UPR involves listening to the person, without judgement and criticism. UPR is not about approval or liking - UPR is about understanding and giving the feeling of acceptance, both of which are powerful feelings that arelikely foreign to your foster children. Examples of when UPR may be useful are when your foster children do sometroublesome things such as running away, yelling at you, using illegal drugs, ditching school, or getting into fights.Your initial reaction may be anger or frustration. But, by addressing your foster children with UPR, you can helpthem with their personal growth.12https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attachment in adults, ://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconditional positive regard

V o lu me 10, Issu e 4B u i ld in g C on n e c t i on sPage 3to Hawai‘i’s Resource Caregiverswho have opened their hearts & homesfor our keiki in foster care &Changed a LifetimeMy Journey Home (cont.)therapy – but through them all it was the providers who really made the difference. I eventually came to see that they weren’t the problem; they were my helpers encouraging me on my journey home. What they did is help me to return to my trueself, to who I really am without the crutch of drugs and the baggage of my past. It’s because of them that I’ve made thisdiscovery: I’m much stronger than I thought. Life still throws me challenges, but I always find my way through them.My faith in God – surrendering, trusting, and leaning on him – has helped me through all this too, and has made trustingothers easier. I’ve found it always helps to seek out an understanding that’s bigger than my own. That’s how I grow, that’show I heal.Now my life is so much easier without drugs. When I eliminated drugs I eliminated chaos, my self-worth grew, I came toknow my own strength, and I became a healthier mom for my kids. And you know what? They copy me in that too. Themore stable and consistent I am, the more they trust me and themselves. My two youngest children live with me, along withmy granddaughter, and all three of them are thriving. I am so proud of the thoughtful, intelligent people they are becoming. Instead of falling apart, ourfamily is now growing closer and stronger. My mom lives with us too, and together we support each other on this continuing journey. Even our dog ishappy!In reflection, I can see my journey home wasn’t about arriving at a place; it was about being true to what I love. My family, my faith, and my aspirationsare what matter, are what give me a home in myself. My derailment from that started years ago, but with a lot of work and a lot of help I truly am back ontrack. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but it has totally been worth it. For all you parents, know this: it’s never too late to make those first important steps.And for all you providers: your help can and does make all the difference. For me, nothing has been more important than this journey of recovery anddiscovery. I am finally truly home in myself, and with my kids. I never want to leave again.Prudent Parenting: Common QuestionThe following is an excerpt from the Don’t Say “NO” Before You “Know” guide, created by the State of Hawai‘i Department of Human Services, ChildWelfare Services. The guide presents common questions and answers for Resource Caregivers on how to provide normalcy for children/young peoplein foster care, so that the children/youth can participate equally with their classmates and peers in age or developmentally appropriate extracurricular,social, and cultural activities. These Q & A’s can be found within the Normalcy Guidelines provided by your DHS licensing worker.Question: Is there funding available through the Department to help pay for some of the costs of extracurricular activities? Example: community football, dance lessons, cheerleading, etc.Answer: YES. Resource Caregivers may ask the child/young person’s social worker for assistance inhelping to pay for the cost of extracurricular activities. The worker will look at availability of funds throughthe Department’s payment system as well as through the *Enhancement funds and *Ho‘ola Na Mana‘o(Friends of Children’s Justice Center) funds. *Limited funding amount available each year.Did you know this about Financial Assistance for Summer Fun & Recreational Activities?Resource caregivers may be reimbursed for group activity fees such as scouts, YMCA, YWCA, Boys and Girls club, soccer or baseball? Tuition waiversfor City and County Summer Fun Programs are available for those who apply. Contact the child’s SSA or SW.You can find this information under the Financial Assistance for Summer Fun & Recreational Activities section on the Resource Family Basics document.This is just one example of the wealth of information you can find in the Resource Family Basics to help resource families! Learn about different financialassistance, services, and resources, that are available and so much more! Go to the website below to see all that it has to ure-082516.pdf

Page 4B u i ld in g C on n e c t i on sV o lu me 10, Issu e 4HI H.O.P.E.S. Update: Focusing on Youth Rights, A Plan of ActionBy Keola LimkinAloha mai kākou! My name is Keola Limkin and I am a former foster youth and an advocate for foster youth rightsand well-being. I have been involved with foster youth advocacy and have been serving on the HI HOPES (whichstands for: Hawai‘i Helping Our People Envision Success) Youth Leadership Board since 2011. Till this day, it continues to be one of my life’s greatest passions.The HI HOPES Youth Leadership Board is a group comprised of current and former foster youth between the agesof 14-26. These young leaders span across the Island chain on Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Maui, and West and East Hawaiʻi.HI HOPES serves as the Youth Advisory Council for the Department of Human Services – Child Welfare Services,and provides the youth a voice for the Hawaiʻi Youth Opportunities Initiative (HYOI). Lastly, we pride ourselves inour role which is to educate people on the needs of foster youth, collaborate with community partners, and advocatefor improved outcomes.The HI HOPES board has been focusing on empowering young people in foster care over the last year and will continue to do so this year. In2016, board members participated in efforts to support Normalcy and Prudent Parenting through legislative advocacy, panels, a video and otherpresentations. A bill, which supported extracurricular activity and qualified immunity for caregivers who exercise the prudent parenting standards,was signed into laws on June 29, 2016.HI HOPES board members also worked on foster youth rights. They discussed updating the current bill of rights, or Guiding Principles, at theannual Summit held in January. Several presentations, workshops and meetings with stakeholders were held in 2016 to educate youth and supporters about foster youth rights, and to display the importance of implementing them and updating them.In 2017, the HI HOPES boards will be working with key stakeholders to craft legislation for the 2018 session that will update the Guiding Principles. They will advocate for the proposed changes with testimony. HI HOPES board members will also be working with Child Welfare Servicesand the Deputy Attorney’s office to craft a youth-friendly grievance process for young people in care to utilize if they feel their rights have beenviolated. The “Right For You” campaign will be launched by HI HOPES board members in 2017. This campaign is a continued effort to promoteempowerment and self-advocacy for young people in care through education on the importance of foster youth rights, the creation of a grievanceprocess, encouraging youth participation in case planning and court hearing, and participation in the Youth Leadership Institute, which promoteseducation and self-advocacy for young people and their adult supporters.For anyone interested in applying for the HI HOPES board, applications are available at epicohana.org for current or former foster youth betweenthe ages of 14-26. Other individual supporters are welcome to provide testimony during the 2018’s legislative session. Mahalo piha -- thank youvery much.Bake Sale FundraiserOn February 14, 2017, the Glue Committee had another successful Valentine’s Daythemed Bake Sale fundraiser that included a Silent Auction! All of the money raisedgoes towards supporting statewide events for Hawai‘i’s resource families and youth infoster care.We were very fortunate to once again partner with, and receive an abundance of donations from our Dole Cannery neighbor, Hawai‘i Information Service (HIS). They heldpre-bake sale fundraisers, provided baked goods to sell, helped to spread the word, ANDall funds raised were provided to the Glue Committee!There were so many amazing items to bid on, and of course, delectable goodies! Therewas an array of tantalizing homemade treats such as cookies, brownies, cupcakes, organic popcorn, banana bread, strawberry cake, and lemon bars, all of which drew in thecrowds. The success of this event wouldn’t have been possible without the help, support and donations of many individuals, organizations, and companies!Big City DinerBig Island CandiesCarol Morimoto JewelryCatholic Chari es Hawai‘iDepartment of Human ServicesFamily Programs Hawai‘iFCTC Commi eeGlue Commi eeHAPA Commi eeHawai‘i Informa on ServiceKyo‐ya Hotels & Resorts, LPPartners in Development Founda onPizza HutPono Life CoachingSea Life Park Hawai‘iThe Old Spaghe Factory

V o lu me 10, Issu e 4B u i ld in g C on n e c t i on sPage 5Grandparents Raising GrandchildrenBy Shane Taylor, Catholic Charities Hawai‘iThe information in this article can be found in: Grandparents as Parents: A survival Guide for Raising a Second Family, Sylvie de Toledo & DeborahEdler Brown, 1991.Sometimes the call comes at night, sometimes on a bright morning. It may be your child, the police, or child protective services. ‘Mama, I’ve messedup .’ ‘We’re sorry. There has been an accident .’ ‘Mrs. Smith, we have your grandchild. Can you take him?’ Sometimes you make the call yourself –reporting your own child to the authorities in a desperate attempt to protect your grandchild from abuse or neglect. Often the change is gradual. At firstyour grandchild is with you for a day, then four days, a month, and then two months.You are no longer watching your grandchildren, you are raising them.The Reasons for GrandparentingThere are many complicated reasons why grandchildren need grandparents to care for them the reasons you take them in are straightforward and simple: love, duty, and the bonds of family.(A Child’s Quote):“I live with my grandma because my mom left me on a hotel bench to go get a cup of coffee. You’re not supposed to leave babies by theirselves.” - Erica,age sevenTaking Immediate ActionWhile each family has different needs, there are a few things that every grandparent should look into as soon as possible: Consider other options. Some grandparents don’t have the health or resources to raise a second family. If you have family members who canhelp out, you might consider letting them step in or at least sharing the responsibility with them. Keep records. One of the most important things you can do when your grandchildren arrive is to start taking notes. You will be the one trying toprotect your grandchildren’s rights – in court, in school, and in the welfare system. Look into financial aid. Raising children is expensive. Keep medical records. Accurate medical records can be critical when you raise a child. Few children arrive with records of any kind, but if youcan somehow acquire them, they will make your life easier. Find your own emotional support. Look around at your resources. Who can be your emotional support? Whom can you turn to for help?How to CopeAs you move into a life with your grandchild, here are a few key points to remember: Prioritize. Decide what is most important and handle that first. Childcare is primary. Think about after-school care. Don’t just take one day at a time; take one thing at a time. Get the children ready for school, then make your shopping list and schedule yourafternoon. Plan for small increments. Take time for yourself. Structure your life in a way that works for you; find a routine that gives you downtime. What can you do to refuel? Is it amovie? Reading the paper? Make time for it. Make life easy. Try lightening your load. Set limits with your grandchildren. Setting rules and limits, like private time or a regular bedtime (earlier thanyours!), will give you a little time here and there for yourself. Ask for help. Look for people support. If you have supportive friends, use them. Also, find other people who havegone through what you are going through. It’s important to know you’re not alone. Get into a support group. Therapy and support groups are a safe second family. You may also find resources in agroup. Consider your religious community. Many people get strength from their faith. Focus on the positive. Keep in mind why you are doing this and what you have accomplished. In spite of all thestress, there are rewards.Moments of Pure JoyGrandparents sacrifice a lot to raise grandchildren, but there are rewards: the relief of knowing that the grandchildren are safeand happy, the wonder of watching them grow, the pride of their accomplishments.There may be times when you, as a resource caregiver, have a question or concern and are not sure where to go for help. We will be presentingscenarios in each newsletter as a way to highlight different situations and suggestions on “Who Ya Gonna Call?”Another happy day the foster youth in your home was reunified with her birth parents! Even after20 years of being a resource caregiver, you can’t imagine doing anything else. As you’re sittingwith your cup of coffee reminiscing of all the children who have come and gone from your home, thephone rings. After telling your daughter the happy news and that you currently don’t have any youthin your home, she states, “This is the perfect time for you to jump on a plane and visit me!” You’rethrilled at the idea but you’re not exactly sure who to inform that you’ll be taking a short break fromfostering. Pull out your handy dandy “Who Ya Gonna Call” list that was also in the January 2017Building Connections Newsletter. Look under Time off needed before accepting another childwhere you’ll find that your Licensing Social Worker is the person to call.

Page 6B u i ld in g C on n e c t i on sV o lu me 10, Issu e 4By Salome Bala, RFSS Warm Line Family Resource SpecialistResource Family Support Services (RFSS) is funded by the Department of Human ServicesAloha, my name is Salome Bala and I would like to introduce myself as the new Family Resource Specialist at Family ProgramsHawai‘i, where I will be happily assisting you on the Warm Line. I feel a special passion when it comes to Hawai‘i’s Resource Caregivers because I myself was one! I feel that I have come full circle in my life as a social worker because I started out as a case manager for DHS Child Welfare Services, became a Resource Caregiver after I left DHS, became an adoptive parent, and now havelanded here at the Warm Line. I look forward to being a support for all of you and hearing from you soon!Salome BalaThank you to all of the Statewide resource caregivers who call the Warm Line to inquire about trainings, Care to Share, support, andreferrals. It’s always a pleasure to talk with you and help you navigate through the process of being a resource caregiver! I recentlyhad a question about what are the various ways of contacting the Warm Line. Unfortunately the 808-545-1130 Warm Line number aswell as the toll free 1-866-545-0882 Warm Line number is currently not working.Q:A:Is there another phone number that I can call to reach the Warm Line?Yes, the Warm Line can also be contacted at 808-348-1255. Please feel free to call this number during regular Warm Line hours from 8:30am-5:00pm. If you are calling outside of the operating hours, you can also leave a voice message. This is a cell phone so you can also send me a text message on this number!Q:A:Can I email the Warm Line?Yes, you can also email the Warm Line with any questions or concerns. You can email the Warm Line at the following email address: [email protected]:A:Can the Warm Line be reached via any social media outlets?Yes! Family Programs Hawai‘i RFSS has a page on Facebook! You can direct message us there as well. If you are on Facebook, look up F a m i l yPrograms Hawai‘i RFSS and you will find us there.Thank you all for your patience and understanding while we are having technical difficulties with the Warm Line number.Also, if you are a Resource Caregiver looking for training hours, our Annual Conference is coming up during the last week of April. Please be on the lookout for the flyer coming soon to your mailbox!Resource Families Support ServicesGet to know your resources!Resource Families Support Services, or RFSS for short, offers different programs aimed to support you and yourfamily as you open your home and your heart to a child who is or has been involved in the Child Welfare System.The services we provide include the Warm Line, Quarterly Trainings, and Support Groups, not to mention theAnnual Conferences and the Care to Share Program.What makes the Warm Line so great?You can get access to resources and services that you never even knew existed! We have a dedicated FamilyResource Specialist to answer phone calls and emails to the Warm Line, who can provide support and information about being a resource family. The Warm Line can get you connected to trainings, support groups, childcare, and giveaways through the Care to Share Program. The Warm Line can also provide you with resources and referrals in the community. Just giveus a call, Monday through Friday 8:30 am-5:00 pm, and we can provide you with one to one support.Why should you attend a Quarterly Training or the Annual Conference?Our quarterly trainings and conferences are planned with you and your needs in mind. We seek out knowledgeable trainers and professionals for topicsthat are important for caregivers. We rely on your feedback to make things as convenient and comfortable as possible for resource caregivers! Theseare some of the things that other resource families liked best from past trainings: “ the skills she [the trainer] talked about, I did with my 6 foster children – and it worked!!” “The information shared by Dr. Kealoha will help me in understanding the wants and needs of foster children.”– Understanding and Responding to Youth’s Challenging Behaviors presented by Dr. Chanel Kealoha “Applies to resource parents on skills for self as well as kids.”– Mindfulness: How to Support Youth that Display Challenging Behaviors presented by JoYi Rhyss “Trainer had compassion and sensitivity to the individual perspective.”– Giving Grief Guidance: Navigating Loss and Trauma presented by Cynthia Rollo-Carlson, MSW, MA, LCSW, LADC, CT “The knowledge and meeting more caregivers and people from the agencies that help.”– Overmedication and Children in Foster Care presented by Colin FukunagaContinued on pg. 7

V o lu me 10, Issu e 4B u i ld in g C on n e c t i on sPage 7Resource Families Support Services (cont.)What do resource families get out of attending Support Groups?We could tell you why we think you should come to our support groups, but we thought other resource families would do a better job. When we asked them to tell us what they got out of attendingsupport groups, they said: “It’s helpful to hear from other families how they deal with different situations. Also to getanswers about adopting, since so many have gone [through] it or are struggling [through] theprocess.” Central O‘ahu Support Group – 6 Groups Attended.“Since you can share or listen

College to get my Certified Nursing Assistance (CNA) license. . (OCCC) and that's when CWS first removed my children. When I got out of OCCC my kids came home, but CWS monitored us for 14 months. Dur- . The Hina Mauka program, along with living in a clean and sober house for a year, taught me so much. .