Parenting, Sibling, Foster Care & Adoption Support
to More Resources
The Two Biggest
(PDF) - Dr. Thomas Phelan, of
ParentMagic.com and 1-2-3 Magic, explains
that the two biggest mistakes parents and teachers make in
dealing with children are: Too Much Talking and Too Much Emotion.
Talking is bad because it either doesn't work or takes you through the
Love, Magic and Mudpies:
Raising Your Kids to Feel Loved, Be Kind, and Make a Difference
In this delightful book by Bernie Siegel, MD,
one of America's most beloved and best-selling authors shares new gems of
his trademark wit, wisdom, and thoughtful advice with parents of all ages.
Eurps & Eurpsville - The EURPS are warm and whimsical alphabet letters with
eyes, feet, personalities and phonics-based names. The characters appear in
entertaining and educational children’s storybooks where together with
Bipple, a human boy, they take children on magical
Choose a topic to
Articles and Resources
How Parenting Styles
Shape Our Children - Everybody is familiar
with the concept of helicopter parents, so-called because they hover around
their toddlers. But what happens when kids get a little older and helping
them develop gets more complicated than simply to hover or not to hover?
Persuading Kids to Put a Lid on the Potty Talk -
Your child thinks toilet humor is hilarious, and nothing you've
tried can convince him otherwise. Here are some tips.
A Rise in Efforts to Spot Abuse in
Youth Dating - She was 17 when she met her
boyfriend, and 20 when she died at his hands. In between, Heather Norris tried
several times to leave the relationship, which was fraught with control and
abuse, before she was killed — stabbed, dismembered and discarded in trash bags.
Her death in 2007 in Indianapolis is one of several stemming from abuse in
teenage dating relationships that have spurred states and communities to search
for new ways to impress on adolescents — and their parents and teachers — the
warning signs of dangerous dating behavior and what actions are not acceptable
New Study Shows
Time Spent Online Important for Teen Development - Results
from the most extensive U.S. study on teens and their use of digital media show
that America’s youth are developing important social and technical skills online
– often in ways adults do not understand or value.
Stacking the Deck
for Family Holidays - It’s family holiday
gatherings season. So, do you feel anticipation or anxiety? If you have a child
with an autism spectrum disorder, you might feel a bit of both.
Expecting Longer Lives With Greater Risk, Reward -
Longer lives brings new demands as first generation of kids With disabilities
set to outlive their parents.
New Foster Care Law Seeks To
Increase Stability - Bill provides incentives
for adoption, requires 'reasonable efforts' to keep siblings together.
Western Michigan University Helps
ex-Foster Kids with College; Program Provides Money and Support
- Perhaps it should have been an odd feeling -- being delivered to
your freshman year at college by a caseworker rather than parents. o matter,
said Mike Baker. He had other things on his mind.
Speaking Slowly Helps Children
Learn - The average adult speaks at a rate of
almost 170 words per minute, but the average 5- to 7- year-old processes speech
at a rate of only 120 words per minute. The gap between what a child hears and
what he or she understands can appear to parents and teachers as inattention,
confusion or outright defiance.
Saying what We'd Want to Say -
My wife, Julie, and I lost a close friend recently. Bella died quickly and
unexpectedly of a heart attack. It was a real shock. The kind that makes you
look at your life and how you're living it. Bella and her husband, Mike, were
very close. So much so that it's hard to imagine one without the other. Mike
told us that he only regretted not being able to say goodbye.
Summer Safety Tips
from Toys R Us
New School Year Brings New Class:
Parenting - Sandwiched between lessons on
counting calories and staving off disease, high school health teachers will
offer hefty doses of parenting advice in the next school year.
A new state law requires that parenting and paternity awareness be
included in the high school health curriculum by 2008-09.
The Power of Apology -
When's the last time you apologized to one of your kids? Of course, maybe
you don't ever do anything that requires an apology. If so, you are a very
Get Real - Will next year
be better for you and your kids with special needs? "Gosh, I hope so," I
hear you say. Me too. I want things to get better every year. With two kids
who have special needs, some years have been tough for our family. Recently,
even with new challenges, things have been pretty darn good.
Surviving the Holiday Season
- The holiday season, full of joy and cheer, is just around the
corner. But for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, the class parties,
family get-togethers and other gatherings that so many of us look forward to
at this time of year are fraught with scary social interactions and sensory
Information Handouts - Dozens of handouts containing information on
General Parenting Information, Specific Concerns/Problems,
Discipline/Intervention Strategies, Injury Prevention, Parental Involvement
in Education, and Children’s Development.
RAND Study Finds
Adolescents Who Listen to a Great Deal of Music with Degrading Sexual Lyrics
Have Sex Sooner - A RAND Corporation study
issued today presents the strongest evidence yet that sexually degrading
lyrics in music encourage adolescents to more quickly initiate sexual
intercourse and other sexual activities.
Yesterday, Today, are in Different Worlds -
To the best of my recollection, the year before I turned 12, I was 11. My
daughter, who turns 12 in October, is now eleventeen. There's a difference.
Jenna is at an age where she seems to have all the answers. I don't remember
being all-knowing until I was at least 14. And let it be known that none of
her sophisticated knowledge was derived from her super-annoying parents. She
got her hands on a fashion magazine geared toward teen girls.
Clear Signals - Communicating poorly seems
so obviously wrong and annoying when someone does it to us -- and so
innocent when we do it to others. Like my son, I’m in the habit of using my
turn signals, but there have been plenty of times when I could have
communicated my thoughts more clearly.
Edwatch by Julia Steiny:
Education Policies That Bully Don't Attack Root of Problems
- On a visit to my parents' home years ago, I took my
twin boys to a nearby park because everything in my mother's
house was begging to be broken. Along with the makeshift toys
cobbled from the kitchen, I installed their rambunctious bodies
in a large sandbox where they could make roads, hills and sundry
destinations. Other women with kids came, and soon a little peer
group was sharing toys and space.
Can Shyness in Children be
Serious? (PDF) - In a very
general sense you might say there are three kinds of childhood
temperaments: aggressive, normal or anxious. Aggressive children
have serious social skills problems, but, ironically, don’t seem
to be able to appreciate this fact. “Normal” kids get along
reasonably well with others and are easier to like.
First Day of
School Success Tips - Most of
us can remember some wonderful and terrible things about school.
In many ways, the first day of class can set the tone for a
whole school year. If you have a child with special needs, or
one who is new to the school or district, you can help lay the
groundwork for a successful year's launch with some basic
Parenting Teens and Young Adults with Disabilities
- The passage from childhood to adulthood is a passage
for families as well as individuals. As young people with
disabilities move from their teen to adult years, they and their
families experience many growing pains in common with all
families at that stage of life. In addition, there are often
milestones, questions, concerns, needs, and challenges unique to
individuals with disabilities and their families. In this issue
of Impact we explore strategies for families of teens and young
adults with disabilities to consider in navigating the
transition years with their young person, and share stories of
those who are in the middle of it or have come out the other
Parents - I've had a taste of
acclaim a number of times in my life. The first time that stands
out was riding on the bus to an "away" basketball game in junior
high school. The cheerleaders were doing that "Bill, Bill, he's
our man, if he can't do it, David can..." thing where they go
through the names of everyone on the team.
Kids Count on
Consistency - If you're a
parent or a teacher, can your kids or students count on you? I
mean, do you think about being consistent so they know what to
expect? Kids who have Autism Spectrum Disorders, in particular,
often benefit from guidance that's structured and consistent.
Bulletproof Parents - Ever been
frustrated or embarrassed by something one of your kids said or
did in public? The stares of strangers can feel like bullets. If
your child has an Autism Spectrum Disorder, you may sometimes
feel like you've been machine-gunned. Wouldn't it be great to
have a way to deal with these situations that made you
bulletproof? I found something that works sort of like a
protective shield -- and it's basically a matter of perspective.
Care of You - A while back, I wrote an article urging
parents of kids with special needs to deal with stress by taking
breaks and finding other ways to relax. Given that I've been burning
the candle at both ends with a blowtorch recently, I thought it would
be a good time to revisit the subject.
The Comfort of
Limits - True or False?
Self-esteem and creativity both are higher when kids can “do
their own thing” without external limits imposed by adult power
or authority. Believe it or not, this statement is false. Also
included with this article is "Ask Dr. Phelan: Mealtime".
Manual? - If your child is
diagnosed with a significant disability, disorder or condition,
it's pretty common to start a frantic search for answers. Is
there a cure? If there's no cure, where's the manual I can use
to do exactly the right things to help my child make his life as
good as it can possibly be?
Five Ways to Stop
School Behavior Problems Even Before They Start
- There are all sorts of reasons why children
misbehave in school. By the time a student is reacting with
violence, it's too late to institute a quick fix. Newspaper
articles about children whose behavior problems have turned
tragic often talk about missed opportunities and why nobody
helped. Here are five ways to start dealing with problems or
potential problems early, when there is still time to work with
teachers and administrators to make school a tolerable place for
Mothering the Mind and Soul: African American Mothers' Beliefs
and Practices to Ensure Academic and Social Success for Their
Daughters in High School - In
this study by Barbara Morrow Williams, interviews with African
American mothers of successful high school daughters show that
mothers maintain intense interest and direct involvement in
multiple aspects of their daughters' educational lives, but keep
little contact with school officials. Specific suggestions for
ensuring success are proposed.
is a toy rating system and website that provides comprehensive
information on toys for children with special needs so parents,
special educators, therapist and others can make the best
choices for the children in their lives with disabilities.
Good Parents: Warm
AND Demanding - Research has taught us that good parents
have two important qualities: They are WARM on the one hand, and
they are DEMANDING on the other.
Being Who You
Are - Lots of kids aren't happy being who they are.
Particularly if they have neurobiological conditions that make
them tend to act different from other kids. Conditions like
Asperger Syndrome, Higher Functioning Autism, Pervasive
Developmental Disorder, Semantic-Pragmatic Disorder and others.
Effective Parenting & Building
Your Child’s Self-Esteem - In a sense,
affection is the “I like you” part of parenting. Affection is a self-esteem
builder for kids because it represents a direct confirmation of the young person
and it contributes to the social-competence part of the self-esteem equation.
Praise is the “I like—or I am proud of—what you are doing” part of parenting.
What’s Your Parenting Style?
- Promoting the self-discipline and self-esteem of one’s children
often requires an emotional juggling act by parents. It is not easy to be firm
and demanding one minute, then warm and affectionate the next. In addition, some
adults naturally have personalities or temperaments that predispose them toward
one parenting style or the other.
Getting Behavior in Shape at Home
- Positive behavior support, often called PBS, is not just for
schools. Parents can use the same ideas to create a better environment for the
Will Your Kids Be Of "Good Character"? - At
some point parents wonder what kind of adult their child will grow up to be. Use
this advice and beat the odds.
Benefits of the Dinner Table
Ritual - The family dinner has long been an
example of family togetherness. But recently, scientists have been coming up
with compelling reasons - including a lowered risk of smoking, drinking and
doing illicit drugs among teenagers - for families to pull up a chair around the
Talking To Kids: Kids With Special
Needs - Tony has difficulty breathing and uses
a nebulizer (say: neh-byoo-lie-zer), a treatment device that helps him to
breathe easier. He often runs out of breath when playing sports during recess.
Tony's teachers have mentioned that he has "special needs," which is why he
can't run a lot during gym glass, can't always play outdoors, and has to go to
the emergency department sometimes when his breathing gets bad. Tony has severe
asthma, and when it flares up, it can be hard for him to breathe.
Kids: Anger - Have you ever lost your temper? Did you yell and scream or
want to hit someone? Maybe your little brother got into your room and played
with your toys without permission. Or maybe your teacher gave you too much
homework. Or maybe a friend borrowed your favorite video game and then broke it.
That made you angry!
Body Dysmorphic Disorder
- To your dismay, your daughter has started to complain more and more
about the appearance of her eyelids. She grudgingly compares them to those of
her classmates. You frequently catch her standing before a mirror, scrutinizing
their appearance. When you try to discuss your concerns, she becomes defensive.
To make matters worse, you've observed her reading materials about cosmetic
Feedback For Mothers
- We all want to make a difference. We all crave
feedback. As Mothers' Day gets closer, I'm thinking about moms of kids with
Asperger Syndrome and other Autism Spectrum Disorders who give a lot, but don't
always get a lot of feedback from their kids. The way their kids' brains are
wired sometimes makes it hard for them to express appreciation -- or let mom
know how much impact she's having.
The Need to
Prepare Children and Teens for Parenting - Widescale, early parenting
education is long overdue in our schools and the need becomes more compelling
each year. While the nation's overall crime rate fell 22 percent from 1993 to
1997, reports of child abuse and neglect grew by 8 percent and confirmed cases
by 4 percent.
Mentors Help Other Parents Overcome Challenges -
Mentor Tracy LeBel introduces her mentee Patty White, 24, as "my friend."
Despite the 12-year age difference and the socioeconomic gap between the
stay-at-home mom, LeBel, and the single working one, White, the moms bonded over
parenting kids the same age. The two were paired through Children's Home
Society's Healthy Start Parent Mentor Program for young moms. It's one of a
handful of Seattle-area efforts to mentor parents and families who face
challenges from social isolation, youth or poverty.
Teens’ Risk-taking All in Their
Heads? - NIH study: Part of brain that inhibits
risky behavior isn’t fully formed until age 25.
Dr. Toy's Advice on Choosing the Best Products For Your Child
Right for Baby?
Right for Toddlers?
Right for Preschoolers?
Right for Primary-Grade Children?
Right for Older Children?
Comprehensive Parenting Information and Resources - A site that looks
largely commercial, but which offers a rich list of links to parenting resources
on the web, including specialty sites for parents of teens, sports parents,
parents of infants and toddlers, and new parents.
Click here to see more
articles and resources related to parenting.
Information & Resources (Click
here for Foster Care)
Adoption: Where Do I Start?
- This fact sheet is a "gateway" to the many possible paths to
building your family through adoption. It will help give you an
understanding of the basic steps in any adoption process and guide you
to resources at each step.
MyDNATest is now
available at Walgreens. "It's the most accurate test on the market,
and can save people hundreds if not thousands of dollars in lab
DNA Diagnostics offers DNA
testing for all stages of the adoption process, including
relinquishment and potential reunification. They can verify
paternity, maternity, siblingship, and granparentage as needed.
Adoption Glossaries, Definitions
of Terms - Definitions of words
and terms used in connection with adoption and foster care, and
adoptive and foster families.
of Terms - From the California
Association of Adoption Agencies.
Special Needs Adoption FAQ
- Part 1: What
Prospective Adoptive Parents Need to Know
- About 134,000
children are waiting to be adopted right now out of the half million
US children in foster care. The rest will eventually be reunited with
birth families or will "age out" of the system while waiting to be
Eight frequently asked
Here is a special needs adoption FAQ, and
some brief answers.
Special Needs Adoption
Advocacy Resources -
This listing contains adoption-related
resources with an emphasis on legal issues, advocacy, parent support,
adoption links, and much more.
The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute
The website of this non-profit
organization provides a current and fairly comprehensive record of
government policy. Because of its focus, it's not the best site for
people who are just getting started in the adoption process. It is,
however, a great place to become familiar with the latest in adoption
research and practice. The bottom line: Great for education, but not
The Adoption Guide
This site, though tricky to navigate,
addresses an issue on everyone's mind in the wake of the recent case
of the Internet adoption twins: adoption fraud. Here you'll find
information on adoption laws in the U.S. and a link to the U.S. State
Department's site on international adoption. You'll also learn how to
report instances of fraud or wrongful adoption. A special tool allows
you to search for complaints filed against specific agencies or
Spaulding for Children - the
National Resource Center for Special Needs Adoption. 16250 Northland
Drive, Suite 120, Southfield, MI 48075.
248-443-0300 or 248-443-7080. Fax 248-443-7099.
Spaulding for Children finds permanent homes for children that have
been in the foster care and adoption system the longest. It was one of
the first agencies in the country that specialized in finding and
training adoptive families for the placement of special needs
children. Spaulding offers support and training for adoptive and
North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) maintains
a listing of adoptive parent support groups and other sources of
information about special needs adoption. Contact NACAC, 970 Raymond
Avenue, Suite 106, St. Paul, MN 55114-1149.
Phone: 651-644-3036; Fax: 651-644-9848; e-mail:
web site: www.nacac.org.
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption - offers information and
education including the excellent "A Child is Waiting: A Beginner's
Guide to Adoption." 4288 W. Dublin-Granville Road, Dublin, OH 43017.
Phone: 614-764-3009; Fax: 614-764--6707; website:
Fire Safety - Informative resource focused on fire safety for
families and educators.
Home Hazards - Fun interactive resource that allows kids to get
a visual understanding of hazards in the house.
Family Watch Dog - On
this website you can enter your address and a map will pop up with
your house as the small icon of a house. Red, blue, and green
dots are shown surrounding your entire neighborhood. These dots
represent different types of crimes. When you click on these
dots a picture of a person will appear with an address and the
description of the crime he or she had committed. Another tool to
help us keep our kids safe.
How to Keep Your Child Safe from Abduction - Just warning your
children about "stranger danger" isn't enough anymore. Find out how to
update the advice you give your kids to keep them safe.
All Terrain Vehicle Safety (PDF) - The season is here for
outdoor recreation. This includes the use of All Terrain Vehicles
(ATVs). Michigan is number four in the country for ATV sales and
unfortunately is also number four in the nation for ATV related
crashes and deaths having 600 crashes and 15 deaths in 2002 (2003 data
not yet available.) ATV sales in Michigan are on the rise and have
continued to increase by nearly 25% each year since 1999. Safety
training for the youthful operators is mandated by law. Most are
unaware of this requirement and also do not know where to get
training. The Michigan ATV Association website is available at
www.michiganatv.com or call
The Following Might Save Your Home
or Your Life: Fire Chief
Sanders Reveals Most Common Causes of Household Fires - The
most common causes of household fires and how to prevent them...
Worldwide SAFE KIDS Campaign - Promoting child safety to prevent
When to Call the Doctor: 8
Symptoms You Shouldn't Ignore - Making the decision to call
your pediatrician can sometimes be a tricky one, especially late at
night. On one hand, you don't want to cry wolf -- bothering your
doctor every time your child sneezes. On the other hand, you certainly
don't want to miss any critical symptoms.
Flame Retardant Seen as Threat - Toxic chemicals used as flame
retardants are rapidly building up in the bodies of people and
wildlife around the world, approaching levels in American women and
their babies that could harm developing brains, new research shows.
Michigan's Sex Offenders List -
& Child Support
"I have a support group for Michigan
custodial parents who are not receiving court ordered child support.
Information can be found at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MiCSHelp/. The group is relatively
new, but ultimately I hope to obtain non-profit status and offer
financial assistance and free or reduced legal advice to our
members. At the current time we offer emotional support and advice
based on our own personal experiences." - Kathleen Cain
The Secret Sacrifice -
To get help for their mentally ill children, some parents have to give
Information & Articles
Autism, Asperger Syndrome
and Siblings - During the past seven
months, my wife and I have met an amazing group of people. In
producing two videos about brothers and sisters of kids on the autism
spectrum, we’ve conducted 57 interviews with siblings and
parents. People were incredibly open about their lives. About their
hopes, fears, and challenges. Most of all, about the ways they’ve
found to make things better for their families. We went into these
videos looking for “best practices” about siblings that we could share
with other families. We got that and more.
Talking To Kids:
Getting Along With Siblings - In a house with more than one
kid, there are bound to be some problems. Brothers and sisters borrow
stuff, and don't always return it in top condition. Younger kids
sometimes feel like the older kids get to do whatever they want. Older
brothers and sisters think that the baby of the family gets more
attention. These are typical problems found throughout the ages,
everywhere in the world.
Our Special Siblings: A
Sister Explains - Often we as adults try to imagine what
it must be like for our children who have a brother or sister
with autism. We read books to help them, we send them to support
groups, and we go out of our way to keep life as normal as
possible for our kids. But hearing it from a child who has a
brother with autism sheds an interesting light.
Parenting On The Go:
When Siblings Battle
Parents Age or Die, More People Are Assuming Care of Disabled Siblings
Back in 1996, Pat Carver of Falls
Church was not her brother's keeper -- not
Care Support Information and Articles
Raising Kids Of Relatives Could Bring Federal Funds - A new federal law
would steer monthly financial support to people who take in children their
relatives have abused or neglected. The law is among the most sweeping reforms
of the U.S. foster care system since President Bill Clinton overhauled federal
law to streamline the adoption process in 1997. It also increases the rewards
for placement of older children and gives states money to allow children to stay
in foster care until age 21 instead of 18.
Care Falls Short on Basics - The Michigan Department of Human Services
failed to follow its own policies and to meet basic standards for care of foster
children, according to court-appointed experts who reviewed hundreds of case
Against State Foster Care Delivers Another Blow - State record keeping is
so shoddy and investigations are so superficial that children in Michigan's
foster care system face continuing danger of physical abuse, according to a
report compiled as part of a class action against the Michigan Department of
Legal Center for Foster Care and
Education - A new collaboration between Casey Family Programs and the ABA
Center on Children and the Law. The Center serves as a national technical
assistance resource and information clearinghouse on legal and policy matters
affecting the education of children and youth in the foster care system.
Michigan Foster Education Resource Network
New Report Shows 35,000 Fewer Abused and Neglected Children Eligible for Federal
Foster Care Support in 2005, Increasing Burden on States - Thousands of
foster children and the states responsible for them are losing the critical help
they need from the federal government. In 1998, more than half of the children
in foster care were eligible for federal support, but, by 2005, less than half
were-an estimated 35,000 fewer eligible foster children. The number is projected
to continue to decline by approximately 5,000 children each year, according to a
new analysis released today by the Kids Are Waiting: Fix Foster Care Now
campaign, led by The Pew Charitable Trusts. This decrease is due in part to an
antiquated eligibility provision known as the "lookback".
Featured Website: Kids
Are Waiting: Fix Foster Care Now -
A national, nonpartisan campaign dedicated to
ensuring that all children in foster care have the safe, permanent families
they deserve by reforming the federal financing structure that governs our
nation's foster care program.
Outlines Proposals for 'Aging' Foster Care Youth - A
plan to provide Medicaid health care coverage and immediate access to job
training to young people who "age out" of the foster care system at age 18 was
unveiled Monday by the Department of Human Services.
Foster Youth Discuss Issues of Foster Care (PDF) -
Fifteen Statements from the Youth Board; Today, more than half a million
children in America live in foster care. This year alone, 20,000 of us will "age
out" of foster care, typically at age 18.
American Bar Association Issues New Booklet Explaining How to Obtain Educational
Services and Help for Foster Care Youth:
Mythbusting: Breaking Down Confidentiality and Decision-Making Barriers to Meet
the Education Needs of Children in Foster Care (PDF) - Ever struggle to
gain access to education records? Are you ever unsure what education information
can be shared, and with whom, when a child is in foster care? Ever tried to
determine who in a child's life was responsible for making education decisions?
This publication answers common questions by individuals involved with the child
welfare system, including judges, children's attorneys, parents, foster parents,
youth, caseworkers, and court appointed special advocates (CASAs).
publication online and benefit from the interactive functions, including links
between sections and to additional outside resources or download and print a
copy of the document to use offline.
MI Updated Fact
Sheet Explains Education Training Vouchers (ETV) Available for Foster Care Youth
- Michigan’s ETV Program has a new fact sheet and a new contact person. ETV
provides $5000 per year for two years for foster care youth to attend school
past high school/GED. Ann Rossi with Lutheran Social Services of Michigan, based
in Jackson, is the new contact person. The new updated fact sheet explains the
program and contains Ann’s contact information. Ann is interested in discussing
the ETV program with anyone interested in learning about resources for children.
You may also call the ETV Program toll free number at 877-660-6388.
States Underserve Disabled Foster Kids, Study Says - State foster-care
systems neglect the needs of disabled children--and the foster parents who care
for them--according to a national analysis of the child-welfare system. More
than one-third of the more than 500,000 children in America's child-welfare
system have disabilities, according to the report, the first of its kind. NPR's
Rachel Jones reports. Click "Listen" to hear the audio from NPR's All Things
for NGA Foster Care Academy - In
an effort to better transition foster care children to
adulthood, senior state officials will participate in the
National Governors Association's Best Practices Policy Academy
on Youth Transitioning Out of Foster Care, Department of Human
Services officials announced Wednesday.
Michigan Foster Education Resource
Network 2005-2006 Student Guide to Higher Education (PDF) - This valuable
resource guide contains information on high school classes, standardized tests,
extra-curriculars, college prep, financial aid, creating a budget, student
rights and responsibilities, online resources and institutions of higher ed.
Suitcases For Kids
- This organization donates suitcases to foster children who move from
home to home and usually carry their belongings in plastic garbage bags. They
seek donations of suitcases, but will also accept large duffel bags and
Youth In Transition Program Provides
Financial Assistance to Foster Care Youth (a PowerPoint presentation from
Michigan's Department of Human Services)
Coercive Restraint Therapies: A
Dangerous Alternative Mental Health Intervention -
Physicians caring for adopted or foster children should be aware of the use
of coercive restraint therapy (CRT) practices by
parents and mental health practitioners. CRT is defined
as a mental health intervention involving physical restraint and is used
in adoptive or foster families with the intention of
increasing emotional attachment to parents. Coercive restraint
therapy parenting (CRTP) is a set of child care practices adjuvant to
CRT. CRT and CRTP have been associated with child
deaths and poor growth.
Foster Care System Lacks
Oversight -The Department of Human Services has
not been providing the oversight needed in the foster care system, nor has it
met federal goals for the system, said Auditor General Thomas McTavish in a
sharply critical report released Wednesday.
Road Map for Learning: Improving Educational Outcomes in Foster Care -
The book provides a modular framework for achieving collaboration across the
federal, state, and local legal, educational, and child welfare systems.
Emphasizing the needs of K–12 students, it contains resources for parents,
caregivers, teachers, and child welfare professionals.
Education Needs to be a Priority for U.S. Foster Kids -
Although foster children test far behind their peers, are more likely
to drop out, repeat grades, be placed in special-ed classes, and be suspended or
expelled, education has often been a low priority for child-welfare agencies,
most of which are more concerned with a child's safety and placement. But, when
kids age out of the system, college, a high-school diploma, or basic job skills
can mean the difference between achieving self-sufficiency and returning to a
cycle of disadvantage.
Featured Website: Children's Rights
- The nation’s leading organization promoting and protecting
the rights of abused and neglected children in failing foster care systems,
using policy analysis, public education and the power of the courts.
U.S. District Court Finds Children
Have a Right to Counsel in Dependency Cases (PDF) -
The U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division
issued an order on February 8, 2005 in a class action lawsuit brought by
Children's Rights, Inc. against the Georgia state child welfare agencies and
officials regarding children in Georgia's foster care system. Among other
things, plaintiffs allege the defendants have failed to provide adequate and
effective legal representation for children in dependency proceedings. In its
order the court stated that children in dependency cases have a constitutional
right to counsel that may be violated by excessive caseloads. The question of
the excessive nature of the caseloads will now go to trial. Thanks to the
National Association of Counsel for Children for sharing this news.
Juvenile Law Center Leads
Amicus Effort for Foster Youth in College -
The Juvenile Law Center has taken the lead in advocating for
state support for foster care youth enrolled in college by drafting an
amicus brief to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. The brief is on
behalf of S.J., a college student petitioning for the legal right to
remain in the foster care system while she earns her degree. KidsVoice,
a child advocacy organization based in Pittsburgh, represents S.J.
LOCAL COMMENT: Let's All
Help the Youth 'Aging Out' of Foster Care -
Imagine this: It's your 19th birthday. Your few
belongings are packed. The adults you have been living with
say goodbye. The door shuts behind you; you are on your own - and very
much alone. You have no job, no family and no idea how to handle your new
independence. That scene is taking place all over the state
for hundreds of young adults who must leave the foster care system and venture
out on their own.
Kids Exiting Foster Care Lose Out on State's Help -
Foster children in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and 21 other states are
benefiting because the Michigan Department of Human Services turned down more than
$1.2 million offered by the federal government to help children aging out of
foster care. "It's an outrage," said Sharon Peters, president of Michigan's
Children, a nonprofit advocacy group.
Dependent Youth Aging Out of Foster Care: A Guide for Judges (PDF) - The
Juvenile Law Center announces a new publication to guide judicial
decision-making in cases involving older youth in foster care. This 8-page
publication includes analysis of the Foster Care Independence Act, the Adoption
and Safe Families Act, and special concerns affecting older foster children. It
shows how judges, child welfare agencies and children's lawyers can ensure that
youth have safe passage to adulthood by ensuring their access to education,
physical and behavioral health care, housing, and other services. Includes
checklists for ensuring comprehensive decision-making in these areas:
Permanency; Independent Living Skills; Education and Vocational Training;
Physical Health, Mental Health and Other Needs; Youth With Disabilities; and
Discharge of Youth On or After Age 18.
Supreme Court Justices Suggest
Juvenile Code Changes - In an effort to avoid heavy federal penalties to
state trial courts, Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Maura Corrigan and
Justice Elizabeth Weaver offered proposed technical amendments to the state's
juvenile code concerning foster childcare at two committee meetings Tuesday. One
revision would include the parent of the biological father as a child's relative
in cases where the child does not have a legal father. The revision would be
consistent with the definition used by the Temporary Assistance to Needy
Families Act, making the grandparent eligible to receive aid if he or she is
caring for and living with the child.
Thousands Stranded in Foster Care - Broken system leaves Michigan kids vulnerable. State
foster care systems across the nation, including in Michigan,
are crippled by inadequate funding, poorly trained case
workers and a lack of good foster homes. The fallout includes
children stranded in foster care for years and, in some cases,
at risk of further abuse and neglect in foster homes that
receive little state oversight, the report found.
Retaining a Voice in City Foster Model -
Kristal Johnson nestled deep into the sofa between her mother and her foster
mother and listened to the two women laugh about how she used to try playing one
against the other. There was the time when Kristal, now a poised 18-year-old,
skipped chores at the home of her foster mother, Janet Stevens, and was told
that she could not go to a party her boyfriend was having.
Foster Care Needs Major Redo, Pew Panel Says - A nonpartisan report being
released to Congress today makes sweeping recommendations to improve the lives
of abused and neglected children by simplifying the nation's complex foster care
Foster Care System Fails
Kids' Relatives - The Michigan Family
Independence Agency and the state's courts are failing hundreds of children in
foster care, partly because not enough is being done to find relatives of the
kids who might make suitable parents, a report to the Michigan Supreme Court
Legislature Passes Bill Providing for Pilot Foster Parent Resource
Information from Michigan.gov
Questions & Answers
Procedure Picture Story Books: Going To Get Blood Drawn and Going To
The Doctors - Parents can download these e-books at no cost.
HANS is currently developing a series of these stories including:
Getting an X-Ray, Getting a cast, Getting an Intravenous drip,
Visiting the ER Getting stitches, etc.
What's earwax? Why do I have a belly
button? What's a burp? You asked and we answered! Check out the
answers to all your health questions -
for an Infant
After the Bottle:
Preventing Food Allergies - Preventing food allergies may be possible,
especially if your child is at high risk of having a food allergy, including
already having an allergy to another food or formula, having other family
members with food allergies, or having other 'allergic' type conditions or
family members with these conditions, such as eczema, allergic rhinitis (hayfever)
No-Brainers For New Parents - As a new parent you'll be
faced with many decisions. Some are more clear cut than others. Fortunately
for you there are a few decisions that are real no-brainers.
Intimate Understanding of America's Teenagers: Shaking Hands with
Aliens by Bruce J. Gevirtzman -
Alicia is so obsessed with being popular, she does things that would
shock her parents, if they knew. Hector is aware the gang that wants
him to join may be the death of him, but he will not decline. Sam
was a baseball star, but can't play the sport he loves anymore
because he is wracked from football injuries, a sport his father
will not let him quit. These are just a few of the teenagers readers
will "meet," in this candid book authored by a 34-year veteran high
school teacher. Voted Teacher of the Year and Coach of the Year,
Bruce Gevirtzman shares with us the results of his years spent
talking with teenagers about topics from life and lust to depression
and death. Revealing honest, poignant words shared in conversations,
classroom talk, interviews, surveys, and journals, Gevirtzman takes
us inside the minds of today's youths, and also contrasts them with
teenagers of decades past. Also, read his article
"Nose Buddies" - the ultimate behavior
modifier for siblings
When my kids insisted on getting in each others face
(we have 6
kids and ran out of separate corners to send them to...) I made them
"nose buddies." The two in discord had to stand facing each other with
only their noses touching for up to a minute...a very long minute. To
this day all I have to do is mention "nose buddies" and the squabbling
stops. Hint: the first time you use this method, you really have to
stand over them so that it is just noses touching and no sly jabs to
the ribs. You also have to tell them that they can't trash talk
(except to say the other has stinky breath in hopes to get the
offender to brush more often.) Once the rules were set it really did
turn out to be THE behavior modifier in our house.
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
How Extended Family Can
Enhance the Lives of Kids on the Autism Spectrum - If you're a
grandparent of a child with a disability and you're close to the
family and providing lots of support, bless your heart! You're
probably already tuned in to what we're talking about here. If you're
a grandparent who's been separated by distance or other factors and
you'd like to be closer, here are some steps you can take to build
bonds with your grandkids.
Outlines Benefits for Grandparent Caregivers: The AARP Foundation
Grandparent Information Center (GIC) offers a publication to inform
grandparent caregivers about public benefits that may be available to
them and the grandchildren they are raising. Entitled Guide to Public
Benefits for Grandfamilies, it presents information about cash
assistance, health, nutrition and tax credit programs that could help
these families make ends meet. It provides useful information for
grandparents or other relatives raising grandchildren who live on
limited, fixed incomes that make it difficult for them to care
adequately for the children. The GIC also suggests that these
grandparent caregivers go to
http://www.benefitscheckup.org to determine if they are eligible
for cash assistance, health, food or home energy services. For more
information, call 202/434-2218 or e-mail to
George’s Place - Autism swept him off to a secret world. Could his
grandmother find a way to meet him halfway?
Sign up for AARP's Free Newsletter for Grandparents Raising
Grandchildren - In this newsletter
from the AARP Grandparent Information Center you'll get: Practical
information to help you raise your grandchild, Resources and
information, News about programs that support grandparents and their
grandchildren, and Practical tips on how to deal with challenges such
as legal and financial matters, education, housing, health, respite,
child-rearing, grief, loss, and stress. The newsletter is sent through
the U.S. Post Office (snail mail).
Nearby, Faraway, and Raising Grandchildren -
Whether it’s “grandma,” “granny,” “nana,” “bubbe,” “abuela,”
or “gramps,“ “pop-pop,” or “g-pa,” a grandparent can make a real
difference in a child’s life. In all ethnicities, cultures, and walks
of life, grandparents are the link to a family’s culture, history, and
traditions. Children fortunate enough to have loving grandparents in
their lives have a powerful emotional bond to nurture and sustain
Letter of Intent
- A lengthy but very important document that families and their
loved ones fill out. Should be updated at least yearly.
Safe and Secure: Six
Steps to Creating a Good Life for People with Disabilities - The
authors of Safe and Secure: Six Steps to Creating a Good Life for
People with Disabilities went to great lengths to make sure that
parents are fully informed of the options and many steps involved in
planning for the future of a loved one with disabilities.
Needs Trust Administration Manual: A Guide for Trustees - The
Special Needs Trust Administration Manual is an invaluable guide for
anyone who is managing a Special Needs Trust for a person with
for the Future: Providing a Meaningful Life for a Child with a
Disability After Your Death - The completely revised and
greatly expanded 5th edition of Planning for the Future: Providing a
Meaningful Life for a Child with a Disability After Your Death
discusses all the steps that parents should take to assure a secure
and happy life for their disabled son or daughter.
Planners' Newsletter: Planning for your disabled child's future is
easier than you think. You can learn to write a Life Plan (also called
a Letter of Intent) for your child or adult person with disabilities.
Find out what a Life Plan is and subscribe to the free Life Planners
newsletter. Life Planners is a free newsletter for parents and
caregivers of a disabled person. Get help planning for the future.
For the definition of a Life Planner, visit
the current newsletter, visit
Planning Attorneys - Find Estate Planning Lawyers or Law Firms
specializing in Estate Planning law. Cases including Trusts, Wills,
Uniform Probate Code, Gift Tax, Dynasty Trust, Joint Tendency. Also,
www.yellowpagesforkids.com for a list of all types of resources,
including some estate planning services.