Giving Voice to Children: Empowering Parents

Posted by Heidi Bruegel Cox on 9/24/21 8:30 AM

Part 2 of a 2-part Reflection on Adoption and Foster Care:

Empowering Parents on Behalf of Their Young Children

Part 1 of the reflection on adoption and foster care addressed how to give older children a voice, when the court has determined that the child cannot be safely returned to their home. [Part One] Part 2 considers how to empower parents with young children in decision-making, in particular mothers who have struggled with drug dependency, when the state is ready to step in and remove the child. The parent may be continuing to have significant struggles with parenting a young child or may have delivered a drug-exposed infant. Often, this mother is overwhelmed and living a chaotic life, because of a chaotic childhood. People charged with helping the parent in establishing a safety plan may need to consider additional tools to help empower her, in conjunction with the usual state-system-safety-toolkit. This parent might be able to reflect on her own life, for answers in making decisions for her child. By helping her overlay her own childhood experiences and current situation onto her child’s future and allowing the parent to look at options outside of foster care, we can give the child a voice through the parent.

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Topics: Foster Care System, Parenting, Older Child Adoption

Expectations

Posted by Mark Melson on 9/22/21 10:00 AM

The excitement builds as you anticipate that special day … the day you meet your child. 

After years of discussion, my wife and I decided to adopt. Because I work for Gladney, the seed was already planted, but it took us a while to take that next step. Our daughters were a little older, so we thought introducing a new child, a son, into the mix probably wouldn’t be too distressing. We completed all the trainings that parents go through when adopting from foster care, and we sat through many discussions with other parents sharing how rewarding and how challenging adoption can be. My wife and I smiled at each other thinking, “Of course, there will be challenging days, but we’re super parents … just look at our two perfect daughters.” 

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Topics: Foster Adoption, Gladney Leadership, Foster Care System, Older Child Adoption

Giving Voice to Children: The Older Waiting Child

Posted by Heidi Bruegel Cox on 9/21/21 12:15 AM

Part 1 of a 2-part Reflection on Adoption and Foster Care:  

The Older Waiting Child 

How would you define “family?” People who are related by blood or marriage is the typical first definition. But we all know that being biologically related may never lead to being in a true family relationship. How many distant relatives can you imagine currently having whom you have never met?  How many of us have discovered “new” relatives after sending a genetic sample to an online DNA registry? There is an adage that states, “You can’t choose your family.” Today, I hope to challenge that notion. This is part one of a 2-part reflection on how we can more effectively give children in foster care a voice in the choice about what is in the child’s best interest. 

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Topics: Foster Care System, Older Child Adoption

More Texas Children Now Leaving Foster Care Than Entering

Posted by Jennifer Lanter on 12/4/19 5:00 PM

Have you heard the wonderful news?! The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services announced that "new state figures show more children are leaving foster care for safe, permanent homes than are entering the child welfare system, as adoptions surged past 6,000 for the first time."

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Topics: Texas Foster Children, Foster Care System

Grief & Transitions

Posted by Emily Morehead, MA, LPC on 9/17/19 12:44 PM

As Gladney’s staff reviews a case file for a child who has been in the Foster Care System we see that the average child in foster care has moved on average about 8 times before they find permanency through adoption.

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Topics: Foster Care System, Gladney University, Grief & Loss

The Stigma of Trash Bags and Foster Kids

Posted by Brynn Obermeier, LMSW on 9/9/19 8:53 AM

Sometimes life is out of our control. When you are a child in Foster Care, that "sometimes" is most of the time. If you came into foster care with a suitcase or bag, it's gone after your first home. The majority of the time, the substitute is black garbage bags to carry your belongings in when you are moved to another home. Close your eyes and visualize your meager belongings stuffed into trash bags.

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Topics: Texas Foster Children, Foster Adoption, Foster Care System

Tools and Resources to Help Children In Foster Care

Posted by Emily Morehead, MA, LPC on 6/12/19 3:34 PM

With the majority of children entering the Foster Care System before the age of 2 years old there is a great need for foster parents, adoptive parents, teachers, clinicians and medical providers to have tools and resources. Recently I read a harrowing statistic that in the state of Texas there were 4,310 children removed from their parents before or at the age of one years old. Helping the tiniest of our people understand their story, hurt and incorporate emotional and physical wellness should be all of our priority. Recently Sesame Street announced that they were releasing a new resource connection for children who are or have been in foster care and the adults in their lives.

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Topics: Foster Care System, Gladney University, Tools & Resources

What We're Reading: Pipeline to Homelessness

Posted by Jennifer Lanter on 5/1/19 10:01 AM

Like most people I love to peruse social media for news of the day or for interesting insights on subjects I care about.  Recently I read a very compelling and honest article titled, “Pipeline to Homelessness: Aging out of the Foster Care System.”   The article details the challenges teens face as they age out of the foster care system. 

Read   "Pipeline to Homelessness:  Aging Out of the  Foster Care System"

Because of my work at Gladney, I was familiar with the very bleak outcomes associated with teens aging of foster care.  Outcomes including, homelessness, trauma and mental illness, unplanned pregnancy and criminal activity, but what I liked about the article was the call to action for hope.  And this is where I see Gladney.  We can work together and be the hope for these kids.  Because there is a surprisingly simple answer.  Find homes for children who need them.  Gladney believes every child deserves a loving and caring home.  I am very proud and excited about the focus Gladney is giving this issue.  New initiatives include:

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Topics: Suggested Reading, Foster Care System

Addressing The Orphan & Foster Care Crisis

Posted by Bill Porter, M.Ed. on 5/28/18 2:00 AM

CAFO Summit

Last week I had the wonderful opportunity of attending the Christian Alliance for Children (CAFO) Summit in Frisco, Texas.  While I was there, it was great to see the Christian churches’ response to the problem of child welfare around the world. 

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Topics: New Beginnings, Foster Care System, Intercountry Adoption

Donate, Volunteer, Foster, Adopt | National Foster Care Month

Posted by Gladney Center for Adoption on 5/22/18 2:19 PM

This May is National Foster Care Month, in celebration we are sharing some strategies you can use to show support for foster children and families in the Fort Worth Area.

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Topics: Adoption, Support, Foster Care System

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