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Healing the trauma that predisposes youth offending Jill Worrall

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1 Healing the trauma that predisposes youth offending Jill Worrall
Foster and Kin Care Healing the trauma that predisposes youth offending Jill Worrall

2 My Experience Foster Parent Foster Care Social worker
Foster Care Programme Manager University Lecturer and Researcher Board Member Youth Horizons Trust Board Member Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust

3 International Crisis in Care of troubled children and Youth
Increasing number of children and young people needing care Caregivers increasingly difficult to recruit and retain Increasingly complex needs of young people Need for higher level of caregiver skill Increasing costs to maintain care system.

4 Consequences of Crisis
Placements made in terms of expedience High level of caregiver burnout and turnover Children and young people experiencing multiple placements and peer contamination Increasing number of Abuse Allegations against caregivers Problem recruiting and maintaining carers International move to placing within Family

5 Current Practice Trends
Inclusive Holistic Foster Care Models - continuity of family relationships - parenting education in foster care - re-integration support – (pre & post) Supplemental Care vs Substitute Care Focus on Attachment Histories Therapeutic/Treatment Foster Care Flexible discharge dates for young people.

6 Current Practice Trends
Care support responsibility of NGO’s (foster and kin) Growth in ‘For-Profit’ agencies Retainer Fees Peer supervision and support projects Increase in Family care targets

7 New Zealand Children Young Persons and their Families Act 1989 S208c
‘The principle that, any measures for dealing with offending by children and young persons should be designed : i) to strengthen the family, whanau, hapu, iwi and family group of the child/young person concerned ii) to foster the ability of families, whanau, hapu, iwi and family groups to develop their own means of dealing with offending by their children and young persons

8 CYF Foster Care Statistics as at June 2008
Foster Care Kin Care Maori % (n 406) 53% (n 970) Pacific Is 41% (n 47) 59% (n 137) NZ Pakeha 69% (n 1307 ) 31% (n 937 ) (Worrall 2008)

9 Allegations in Care Ohio 1-10 chance – after 5 years 50% chance
New Zealand – increasing number (NZFFCF report 08). Causes Lack of training Inadequate carer assessments Burnout Over use

10 Multi-systemic Causality Youth Offending
Individual characteristics Family Characteristics Peer relations School Factors Community Factors Therefore, A Need for: Rigorous Family and Child Assessments Multi-Systemic Treatment Foster Care

11 Professionalisation Tiered Frameworks Compulsory Education/training
Training currency /making it count Younger age set Shorter duration (3-5 years) Specific field of care (youth, disability, fragile infants) Some philosophical resistance from NGO’s

12 Alternative Approach Tiered Structure

13 Level One Standard Care giving Family Assessment
Compulsory pre-placement Training Compulsory Inservice Foster Care Training programme Completion of Certificate in Foster Care Standard Board Payments Attendance at Foster Care Support Group

14 Level Two Completion of Foster Care Certificate
Enhanced Board Payments according to child’s level of difficulties On-going in-service training Peer Supervision/Group Supervision Ability to work with child’s parents if appropriate

15 Level Three (Therapeutic Foster Care)
Salaried according to level of expertise Diploma in Foster Care or higher Board payments according to child’s needs Intensive on-going training High level of support/supervision Ability to team work with other professionals (eg therapists, psychologists, teachers). Ability to implement treatment plans Ability to work with child’s family –(guardians) Mentor/trainer of other foster carers

16 Whanau/Kin Care study (Worrall 2005)
Issues identified by caregivers: COMMITMENT! -in spite of: The difficulty of managing the behaviour of traumatized children The difficulties of dealing with the children’s parents particularly those with drug and alcohol dependence. The struggle to manage financially when income has decreased and family needs have significantly increased

17 Research Issues (cont)
The isolation of the caregivers and alienation from their families, in some instances, and their former social communities and supports. The complexities of the legal system and the drain on finances and stress levels when having to achieve legal permanence for the children Affect of Age - Weariness and need for respite, day care and after school care.

18 Web-Site The complete report of the GRG study and the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Handbook can be downloaded from:


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