Independent Living Checklist Employment experience A resume An alarm clockA photo ID Copy of birth certificateSocial security card Info on health insuranceA hobby High school graduationA place to live or GEDAn adult connection
Education Compared to those who did not experience foster care, these young people were: over three times as likely not to have a high school diploma or GED half as likely to have completed any college one-fifth as likely to have a college degree. and more likely to be enrolled in a 2-year college rather than 4-year college or graduate school if they were pursuing postsecondary education.
Employment Leaving foster care, only 48 percent were currently employed(compared with 76% of other youth) Of those with jobs, they worked an average of three hours less per week and earned $4 less per hour than other youth Median earnings were just $8,000.
Living Arrangements Over two-thirds of the young adults had lived in at least three different places, including 30 percent who had lived in five or more places. 24 percent of these young adults had been homeless One-half of the young people who had been homeless had been homeless more than once.
Permanency In VT In 2008, the Transformation Plan was created and we began to shift our practice. Changes were put in place to reinforce earlier involvement, use of non-court involved strategies and engagement with families.
What Our Data Tells Us Our data reflects the results: –the number of Child Safety Interventions has increased; –the number of open family cases has increased; and –the number of children in custody has declined.
Child Safety Interventions Year Number of Child Safety Interventions 20072938 20083526 20094490 20104601
Open Family Cases Year Number of Open Family Cases 1/1/200886 1/1/200988 1/1/2010458 1/1/2011451
Children In Care Quarter/ Year Number of children in care 1 st Quarter 20081315 1 st Quarter 20091182 1 st Quarter 20101041 1 st Quarter 2011985
Length of Stay In Care – 3+ Years YearChildren in Care # in Care 3+ years % in care 3+ years 2008131530123% 2009118226522% 2010104122522% 201198520221%
Length of Stay In Care – 2+ Years YearChildren in Care # in Care 2+ years % in care 2+ years 2008131549438% 2009118243537% 2010104139138% 201198533134%
The Data Suggests…. We have not transformed our practice for children who enter custody sufficiently to guard against long lengths of stays. The longer a child / youth remains in care, the more likely they are to experience placement changes which are connected to poorer outcomes for children.
Permanency Round Tables How They Fit Provide an opportunity for focused discussions / consideration of situations to either address or avoid long lengths of stay. Offer a venue to open up our practice to elevate the issue of permanency for youth in our care.
Permanency Roundtables Purpose To develop a permanency action plan for each child/youth that will expedite legal permanency To stimulate thinking and learning about pathways to permanency for these and other children To identify and address barriers to expedited permanency through professional development, policy change, resource development, and the engagement of system partners
How is a Permanency Roundtable Different? Structure Length & depth Sense of urgency “Fresh eyes” Strengths-based Solution-focused
Roles of Roundtable Participants Everyone- creative thinking that results in an effective Permanency action plan Master Practitioners & Permanency specialists internal consultation Caseworkers Case Presentation; response to questions Supervisors supplemental information; Response to questions Permanency consultants Facilitation and consultation
Permanency Roundtable Phases I.Welcome and overview II.Present the case III.Clarify and explore IV.Brainstorm V.Create permanency action plan VI.Debrief
Welcome and Overview (5 minutes) Facilitator welcomes team Team members introduce themselves Facilitator overviews purpose and process Facilitator overviews ground rules
II. Present the Case (20 Minutes) Caseworker presents oral case summary Facilitator invites additional comments on the case from other case-related team members (supervisor, others)
III. Clarify and Explore (15 Minutes) Team members ask questions to clarify and expand upon information presented Team members ask questions to explore other aspects of the case Team members rate the child’s current permanency status
IV. Brainstorm (25 Minutes) What will it take to achieve permanency? What can we try that has been tried before? What can we try that has NEVER been tried? How many things can we do concurrently? How can we engage the youth in planning for permanence?
V. Create Permanency Action Plan (35 Minutes) Review and combine strategies developed during brainstorming Prioritize strategies Discuss strengths of each prioritized strategy Finalize strategies and timelines Discuss what it will take to successfully implement each strategy in the plan.
VI. Debrief (10 minutes) Are there any unanswered questions or concerns? If so, how should we address them? What did we learn in this discussion that could be applied to other cases?
Summary of Key Points No child should ever grow up in foster care ~ Permanency is vital for healthy development and well-being in all children and youth. Permanency is possible and achievable for all children and youth. Meaningful, effective engagement of the youth, parents, caregivers and other significant people is the key to successful permanency outcomes. Using a team approach improves engagement opportunities and permanency outcomes There are skills, strategies and specific casework behaviors that, when consistently applied, can enhance practice and improve outcomes.
When a Youth Says “NO” I am ready for independence, I don’t need more adults telling me what to do! I don’t want to get dragged down by my crazy family and their issues Adoption is for babies – I am not a baby! I am happy where I am – I don’t want to move I don’t want to lose important connections to my siblings, grandparents, birth parents, former foster parents I need to protect myself from being hurt again! I don’t want to change my name No one will want me
When we Give the Youth the “POWER of the NO” – we say You are not lovable No one would want you anyway There is no hope for your future You are not important enough for me to exert myself trying to find you a family
Permanency Roundtable Role within the Youth’s Full Team “ Pitchers & Catchers clinic” Roundtable: Full Permanency Team: SupervisorsYouth Master PractitionersFamily Permanency ConsultantsCourt (Judges, Attorneys, Caseworkers CASA) Tribal leaders/members Youth Network Others Designated by Youth & Family
Desired Results Expediting permanence Increasing staff competencies (attitudes, knowledge skills) related to expediting permanence Gathering data to address systemic and cross-system barriers to permanency (policies, protocols, procedures, training needs)
Next Steps Following our first two weeks of Permanency Roundtables, we will take time to reflect on the experience to determine what worked, what we want to replicate, what elements we believe should be carried forward in each district and how this should be accomplished.