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

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