May 2017 – Between Families Newsletter

Slow Down And Celebrate The Holidays!

TFI is pleased to join in the National Foster Care Month recognition. Every May, we honor foster parents and foster care workers for the work you do to heal the trauma of abuse, neglect and separation. This month, TFI will focus on thanking you and celebrating your willingness to answer the call to foster. Check out our Facebook page for information throughout the month.

I want to make you aware of some of the resources available to you as a foster parent. In addition to regular support meetings, you have access to multiple training opportunities, both in person and online. Childwelfare.gov has resources for both kinship and tradition foster parents at https://www.childwelfare.gov/fostercaremonth/resources/caregivers/. TFI is also offering training through Envolve (noted here in the newsletter). We also accept training from the http://www.fosterparentcollege.com/info/parents-welcome.jsp. In Oklahoma, foster parents can get training from the Oklahoma Learning Management System at http://bridgelms.oucpm.org/.

Kansas News

Kansas Care Providers of the Month

Heather and Brent are new to fostering within this last year. However, you would not be able to tell as they have opened their home and hearts to the children they are fostering. The Brittain’s have went above and beyond on helping towards reintegration. The family was caring and provided placement for a four year old and a two year old, then took in their newborn sister so they could be placed together. The family helped facilitate a local Church to allow the parents to not have to travel out of town for their visits. As well as, supervising visits every Sunday so the biological family could see their four year old daughter help be a co-conductor in the choir.

The Brittain’s opened their home to foster to provide a home for children in need while giving them the opportunity to feel safe and loved. Everyone that meets Heather, they are impacted at how much she truly cares for the children. When her four year old placement was struggling after her visit with her parents and not understanding why she couldn’t go back home with them; Heather provided her with a baby doll and named it after her mother. This way she could talk to her mother whenever she needed or give the doll a hug for comfort of her mother. She is also a strong advocate for the children who is greatly needed and appreciated.

A quote in which inspires the family- “We Don’t Strut Into Their Stories With A Cape On Our Shoulders; We Crawl In With A Cross On Our Back.” –Jasonjohnsonblog.com

Between Families Recruitment Moment

It’s that time of year where school is winding down and Foster Parents are figuring out what to do with their summer. Remember if you are making travel plans and they involve going out of state that you notify the case worker well ahead of time to get permission.

TFI continues to give out recruitment incentives to Foster Parents across all the states we serve. The best recruiter for new foster homes has always been our current Foster Parents and TFI is now going even farther. If you have a family member or friend who just doesn’t want to Foster yet but believes they can help by recruiting, this is a great opportunity.

TFI will work with your contact to help process their referrals and we’ll issue them an “MOU” Memorandum of Understanding. They will receive a stipend for each family they refer who becomes a certified/ licensed home. If you have someone that is interested please have them contact me at [email protected] and I will give them the details. We look forward to your referrals and thank you for all you do for TFI kids !

Oklahoma News

This month, you will have the opportunity to receive up to 5 hours of training credit for two different trainings. Your worker will complete our Annual Summertime Safety Awareness training with you for 1 credit hour during your May or June visit. In addition, TFI and DHS is encouraging all foster parents to take training related to Placement Stability. When kids are able to stay in one placement, they are able to heal from trauma more quickly. The chance that they will find a permanent home either back with their parents, or through adoption increases significantly. DHS has created a 4 video training over placement stability. These include modeling of the Placement Decision Process, Resource Parent Check-In Call, and the Initial Meeting that occurs between the CPS, PP, and Resource Specialists, as well as the biological and resource parents after the child has been removed from the home. These videos are now online and it is encouraged for all Foster parents to view the videos for 4 hours training credit.

The below steps will assist you in locating the videos:

  1. Visit http://bridgelms.oucpm.org/
  2. From the home screen users can select “Forgot Password” if they forgot their password or “Create Account” if they have never logged in before. If anyone has forgotten their user name they can call the LMS Helpdesk at 405-325-6257 or email them at [email protected]
  3. Once logged in, select “Online Courses”
  4. The courses are listed alphabetically.

Please remember to give your worker your training certificates!

Oklahoma Care Providers of the Month

Casey and Joshua Furrow

This home has been open with TFI for a little bit under a year, in that time they have successfully bridged with biological parents that resulted in their first sibling placement being able to be reunited. There first sibling set went home before Christmas and provided the biological family with enough gifts for the children so they would have a great Christmas. In fact, the biological parents complimented the home by telling the DHS worker that although they were apprehensive about their children going into care, they could have not met better foster parents who truly cared for their children when they could not. The Furrow’s and the biological parents have been contact since reunification occurred and the Furrow’s are happy to report the children are doing well. The Furrow’s have been a support system for the biological parents by providing them guidance and understanding during this process. Even though, the Furrow’s may not always understand why the parents did what they did, they are always willing to encourage the biological parents that they are capable of completing their ISP plan and are capable parents. The home currently has 2 placements ( 2 month old infant and 1 ½ year old) and have been actively bridging during this entire process. When they first started, they knew they wanted to help children and families in need but they have gone above and beyond bridging. The home always stays in contact with the biological parents informing them of doctor’s appointments, developmental milestones, providing supervision and transportation for visitation, etc. The home goes above and beyond caring for the children by teaching them sign language so they can communicate better and taking them to different events that they may not be able to attend with their biological parents. The home has always been eager to take placement of children in need. The home exudes what it means to be a Bridge Resource Family.

Nebraska News

May 2017
Training Opportunities
CEUs are offered for all trainings

Untangling Adoption and Adolescence

Adolescence is a critical age in which young people are trying to figure out who they are and where their life is headed. Adopted adolescents face these normal challenges with an added layer of complexity. The grief and loss inherent in adoption becomes clearly visible as the teenage brain grows and develops. This new understanding leads to new questions at a time when all adolescents are developing an identity. This training is geared at helping parents understand how normal adolescent development and adoption issues fit together and play out for adopted teens and their families. Participants will learn about the ‘Six Stuck Spots’ identified by the Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.) that are common for adopted teens and provide ideas as to how adoptive parents can support their adopted teens.

This training is offered in Omaha, NE on 5/2/17 from 11:30 to 1 and 5/18/17 from 11:30 to 1 in Lincoln.

Please visit http://www.rightturnne.org/ for more information or to register.

Texas News

We hope that many of you attended the All-Day Training on 4/22, and that it was productive. In the next month, your foster care worker will be completing Individualized Training Plans with you focused on what training you need to improve your skills in managing the children in your home.

10 Years

Deanna Burns

5 Years

Russell and Cynthia Reese
Keith and Belinda Egermeier

1 Year

Richard and Christine Grimm
Joseph and Tasha Nuci
Jacob and Shauna Goff
Jason Blevins and Emily Martinez
Amy Glenn and Hannah Mays
James and Lora Crawford
Scott Ryerse and Terry Connelly
Curtis and Dusty Laderer
Judie McDonnell
Michael and Amanda Berg
Warren and Danyelle Geionety
Michael and Laverne Thompson
Mishal Njoku
Joshua and Casey Furrow
Melinda Maples
Jessica Patterson
Steven and Karri Orick
Justin and Amber Thiel
Richard “Rick” Hufferd and Megan Green
Aundrea Odom
Timothy and Sonya Dueck
Michael and Brandy White
Justin and Amanda Doane
Ronnie Hickles and Renee Pierce-Hickles
Darin and Lindsay Kight
DWuane Dale and Veronica Baza
Ricky “Rick” and Karen Anderson
Aletha Rogers
Bryan and Lindsay Pitts
Jerry and Amy Kirk
Wesley and Cara Payton
Jacob Wade (JW) and Brenda Jacobs
Yvonne Morales

TFI has the following grant funding available to assist foster children and foster families. Please speak with your foster care worker for more information:

Derby Community Foundation: gift cards to assist foster youth placed in our Derby, KS foster care homes with basic care items.

Pritchett Trust: Funds available to foster children placed in Crawford County, KS for the purchase of musical instruments and music lessons.

Funds for clothing for Oklahoma foster youth placed in Comanche, Cotton, Jackson, Jefferson, Stephens and Tillman County.

2017 April, May and June Evolve Training sponsored by TFI

TFI is excited to offer the below free go-to-meeting trainings. Sign up by clicking on the Registration link noted below each training.

Resiliency – The Art and Science of Healing from Trauma (3 hours)

Goals/Objectives: After completing this training participants will be able to:

  • Identify factors that impact resiliency
  • Identify the human adaptive process and how it impacts resilience
  • List steps to build resilience in times of and after trauma
  • List 12 steps of successful survivors of trauma

Register at https://attendee.gototraining.com/rt/4302697244392434689

April 4 @ 10am or 6pm
April 13 @ 10am

Self-Care: Preventing Compassion Fatigue and Secondary Traumatic Stress (1 to 1.5 hours)

Goals/Objectives: After completing this training participants will be able to:

  • Identify the warning signs of compassion fatigue
  • Describe secondary traumatic stress and its symptoms
  • Identify the consequences of not taking care of oneself
  • Understand the importance of committing to the practice of self-care
  • Develop a self-care plan

Register at https://attendee.gototraining.com/rt/4865196398046546689

April 17 @ 10am or 6pm

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (1.5 hours)

Goals/Objectives: After completing this training participants will be able to:

  • Understand the causes of drinking alcohol during pregnancy
  • Identify possible physical markers and other signs of FASD
  • Identify strategies when working with children with FASD

Register at Register at https://attendee.gototraining.com/rt/5896029231016957441

April 25 @ 10am or 6pm

Substance Use, Abuse and Addiction (1.5 hours)

Goals/Objectives: After completing this training participants will be able to:

  • Identify how trauma experiences can impact drug and alcohol use in teens
  • Identify risk factors for substance abuse
  • List protective factors against substance abuse
  • Discuss treatment for substance abuse and /or addiction

Register at Register at https://attendee.gototraining.com/rt/3780157641843969537

May 2 @ 10am or 6pm

Trauma Informed Care Part I – Caregiver Training (3 hours)

Goals/Objectives: After completing this training participants will be able to:

  • Understand how trauma impacts a child’s behavior, feelings, relationships, and view of world
  • List the impact trauma has on child’s physical and brain development, as well as in their ability to learn
  • Discuss impact of child’s trauma has on caregivers and signs of compassion fatigue
  • Discuss ways to help children manage trauma at home through creating safety, learning to manage emotions and behaviors

Register at Register at https://attendee.gototraining.com/rt/1785938218174351105

May 11 @ 10am or 6pm

Successfully Working with Birth Families (2 to 2.5 hours)

Goals/Objectives: After completing this training participants will be able to:

  • Identify how perception can have negative and positive impacts on relationships with birth parents
  • List 4 Types of permanence in foster care and the impact on the child
  • Discuss the importance of communication in the foster parent/birth parent relationship
  • Identify how Fostering Triangles impact communication within the foster/adoptive system
  • Identify ways to build and maintain relationships with birth parents
  • Understand what it means to be a mentor parent and the skills birth parents may need to be mentored in

Register at Register at https://attendee.gototraining.com/rt/8940913378903262465

May 15 @ 10am
May 16 @ 6pm

Part II – Caregiver: Intro to Trauma Informed Parenting (3 hours)

Goals/Objectives: After completing this training participants will be able to:

  • Identify benefits of trauma-informed parenting practices
  • Describe how long-term trauma can interfere with child’s development, behavior, and relationships
  • Define and give examples of trauma reminders and possible reactions
  • Identify factors that increase resilience in children who have been traumatized
  • Describe the “invisible suitcase” and how to help a child to “re-pack” their suitcase

Register at Register at https://attendee.gototraining.com/rt/299342422328133889

May 23 @ 10am or 6pm

Part III – Caregiver: Advanced Trauma Informed Parenting (3 hours)

Goals/Objectives: After completing this training participants will be able to:

  • Describe ways to help promote the child’s sense of safety
  • Describe ways to be an “Emotional Container” for a child in their care
  • Identify and describe ways to manage potential emotional “hot spots”
  • Identify ways to encourage positive behaviors and support the child’s strengths and interests
  • Identify 3 examples of important connections in a child’s life and ways in which one can support and maintain those connections

Register at Register at https://attendee.gototraining.com/rt/8459415246867654657

May 31 @ 10am or 6pm

Suicide Prevention (1 to 1.5 hours)

Goals/Objectives: After completing this training participants will be able to:

  • Understand who is at risk for suicide
  • Identify risk factors, warning signs, and protective factors
  • Identify strategies to assist at-risk youth

Register at Register at https://attendee.gototraining.com/rt/2885958919834750466

June 1 @ 10am or 6pm

A Team Approach to Trauma Informed Care (2 hours)

Goals/Objectives: After completing this training participants will be able to:

  • Identify the various team players in child welfare
  • Discuss ways to improve communication in team meetings
  • List steps to improve team functioning

Register at Register at https://attendee.gototraining.com/rt/1900804197928961026

June 8 @ 10am or 6pm

May Training

Positive Parenting

“Where did we ever get the crazy idea that in order to make children do better, first we have to make them feel worse? Think of the last time you felt humiliated or treated unfairly. Did you feel like cooperating or doing better?”
― Jane Nelsen

Positive discipline emphasizes mutual respect and utilizes positive instructions. It focuses on learning (for the future) instead of punishing (of the past). Studies consistently show that using positive discipline yields better outcome in terms of the child’s behavior, emotional growth, academic performance and mental health.

Here are 8 tips on practicing positive discipline.

Tip 1: Focus On The Reasons Behind The Action

There is always a reason why children misbehave even though the reason may seem silly to the parents. It is reasonable to the child and that’s why they behave that way. If parents can address the cause directly, even if they don’t get what they want, children would feel that their needs are acknowledged. They can then move on without the need to misbehave. They may still be grumpy, but they do not need to act out once they feel understood.

Tip 2: Kind And Firm Discipline

Be kind to model how to be kind and respectful to others. Children learn by mimicking others and parents are their primary role models. When a parent yells, humiliates or calls a child names, the child learns to do the same when he’s upset. The converse is also true. When a parent is kind and respectful despite being upset, the child learns to deal with difficulties with composure and respect. Being kind also helps a child to calm down, be receptive to reasoning and more likely to cooperate.
Being kind is not the same as giving in. Many parents mistakenly equate kindness to permissiveness. This is simply not true. You can firmly and kindly tell a child that she cannot have what she wants. There is no need for yelling, using a mean tone or talking in a stern voice. A firm and calm NO is as good as, if not better than, a loud and mean NO.

Also, be firm in setting limits and enforcing consequences so that the child knows what to expect and what to base his future decisions on. Practicing decision making this way helps children grow their cognitive thinking.

Tip 3: Time Out Yourself

Yes, you heard that right. You need to take a time-out yourself when needed. It is inevitable that sometimes parents are just exhausted and angered by children’s unruly behavior. But this is the true do-as-I-say-AND-as-I-do moment if you can calm yourself down and speak in a respectful and firm way. Think about this, if something doesn’t go your child’s way, do you want him to blow up, or do you want him to have the ability to control his own emotion and remain respectful?

For me, this time-out strategy works very well. When I feel that I’m about to lose it, I tell my child that I need a moment by myself because I am upset and then go into another room. Walking away allows me to cool down and remind myself about my goal in disciplining which is to teach. While there, I take a few deep breaths and clear my mind for a second. This time-out-myself technique also gives me more time and some breathing room to think of ways to deal with the issue at hand. When I return, I am refreshed and ready to tackle the challenge again.

Tip 4: Be Non-Punitive. Be Creative.

According to Positive Discipline: The First Three Years by Dr. Jane Nelson, punitive punishment produces Four R’s that do not help a child learn – Resentment, Rebellion, Revenge, and Retreat. Oftentimes, punishment cannot stop bad behavior and it also won’t teach good ones.

A positive, non-punitive response is much better at settling an overstimulated child and engaging her in learning new behavior. One such response is to use positive time-out. Positive time-out differs from conventional time-out because it is non-punitive. It is not a punishment. The child is removed from stimuli that creates or aggravates the misbehavior and put into a place to cool off and feel safe.

The full name of time-out is Time Out From Reinforcement invented by behavioral psychologists, Arthur Staats, when he was raising his own children. The idea is to take the child out of the environment where the problematic behavior occurs to remove the reinforcer. Eventually, the child calms down and learns to diminish or stop the undesired behavior. Unfortunately, many parents use it incorrectly as a form of punishment. They isolate and restrict the child’s movement during the time-out and add a secondary punishment by chastising and lecturing the child afterwards.

To use time-out properly, here are the key points:

  • State your expectation (no hitting the dog) and consequence (time-out) clearly ahead of time. The child needs to know that he can choose the consequence by his own action. This process helps him learn to make choices and develop cognitive thinking.
  • If the child continues to choose to carry out the unwanted behavior, calmly tell them or take them to a quiet, safe place. Don’t call him names (you’re a bad boy), scold him, look hatefully, or be mean to him. That is, be kind and firm when using time-out.

Positive time-out doesn’t work in every situation. It is not easy to come up with a positive response to every situation. Positive Discipline A-Z: 1001 Solutions to Everyday Parenting Problems, also by Nelsen is full of good advice and recommendations on how to discipline positively. In all reality it is likely that you remember all 1001 solutions or always have the book handy when you need it. So it’s important to be creative and flexible.

Tip 5: Be Clear, Be Consistent And Follow Through

Decide and explain the consequences of violating limits clearly before being enforced. In addition, parents need to be consistent and follow through on them. If a parent is not consistent, there will be confusion. The child may keep testing or challenging the limits to see what else can happen.

To follow through means do not say something unless you mean it. For instance, do not make empty threats to cancel the ball game if he misbehaves unless you are willing to carry it out when that happens.

Tip 6: Understand Brain Development and Age-appropriate Behavior

Children under the age of three cannot reason because the part of their brain prefrontal cortex responsible for understanding consequences and making sound judgment has not yet developed. So for children in this age group, redirection instead of reasoning or giving consequences should be used.

For older children, you can help their cognitive development by reasoning and giving them choices.

Tip 7: Make It A Learning Opportunity

When children are old enough to reason (older than three), every misbehaving episode can be turned into an invaluable life lesson.
For instance, what is the lesson of breaking a toy? It means the child cannot play with it any more. If he didn’t like the toy, he should have given it to a friend or donate it so that others could enjoy it. If he broke a toy out of frustration, help him find other outlets to release the anger such as punching a pillow. It is also a good opportunity to give him vocabularies to explain his feelings (“I am angry because…”) rather than acting out. You are helping him develop his communication skills at the same time.

Tip 8: Be Patient And Don’t Despair

Positive discipline most likely won’t produce the behavioral change parents want overnight. It is not about getting fast results. It is about teaching behavior that parents want their children to emulate over time. It will take longer to see real changes because children need repetitions to learn. It can be weeks or even months before your child starts to get it. But when that happens, it will be very rewarding and the benefits will last a lifetime.

Questions

  1. You need to take a ____________ yourself when needed.
  2. Children under the age of ____________ cannot reason because the part of their brain prefrontal cortex responsible for understanding consequences and making sound judgment has not yet.
  3. A positive, non-punitive response is much better at settling an _____________ child and engaging her in learning new behavior.
  4. Children learn by mimicking others and _________________ are their primary role models.
  5. For older children, you cannot help their cognitive development by reasoning and giving them choices.
    1. True
    2. False
  6. Tip 8 is how to be kind and respectful to others.
    1. True
    2. False
  7. State your expectation and consequence clearly ahead of time. The child needs to know that he can choose the consequence by his own action. This process helps him learn to make choices and develop cognitive thinking.
    1. True
    2. False
  8. Effective parenting is being consistent and following through with consequences.
    1. True
    2. False
  9. Children over the age of three cannot reason because the part of their brain prefrontal cortex responsible for understanding consequences and making sound judgment has not yet developed.
    1. True
    2. False
  10. Children need repetition to learn.
    1. True
    2. False