The Importance of Respite Care

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Do you feel that you are in need of a break or time alone? While some families have the support of extended family and friends to provide respite care, not every family has a support system in place. Respite care is when families are able to have their children spend time with outside care providers, while parents take a break and the provider can get paid. Respite care can be very beneficial for a variety of reasons. Respite care can help caregivers recharge, rest, attend vacations or different activities that may be difficult for children to attend, or just spend time relaxing by yourself. Families and caregivers should not feel guilty for utilizing respite care. Respite can be utilized for preplanned activities or used in an emergency situation. Respite is not used for ongoing daycare services.

Did you know ND Post Adopt Network now offers a respite program for adoptive and guardianship families? Here is some background information on the respite program. Once you have decided you want to move forward and partake in the respite program that ND Post Adopt Network offers, it is the caregiver’s responsibility to find a respite care provider. Once a respite care provider has been identified and has agreed to provide respite care, your ND Post Adopt coordinator will provide you and the care provider with forms that will need to be completed and returned to your coordinator. ND Post Adopt Network will directly pay the parent and the parent will pay the caregiver once respite has occurred.

If you feel your family would benefit from the ND Post Adopt Network respite grant, contact your Post Adopt coordinator today!

This blog post was written by Post Adopt Coordinator, Jaclyn Stroehl, LBSW

How to Encourage Growth Mindset in your Child

By | Uncategorized | No Comments
  1. Talk about the brain.  
    Talk about how the brain can work like a muscle. The more you use it, just like exercise, the stronger it gets.
  2. Use mistakes as teaching opportunities. 
    Mistakes are okay. In fact, that’s where learning really happens. That mindset is one to model and to speak out loud. When you make a mistake, talk about it and share what you learned. When your child makes a mistake, don’t criticize.  Steer the conversation to what was learned and remind your child that mistakes are opportunities to learn.
  3. Teach your child the power of “yet”.
    Adding one little word on the end of a sentence sends a powerful message. “I don’t know how to do that” is very different than “I don’t know how to do that yet.” “Yet” sends the message that I will be able to do that or that I can learn how to do that.
  4. Praise.
    Instead of praising a general statement such as “you are smart” or “you did a good job”, be specific. “You studied hard for your test.” “You were persistent and kept trying even when it was challenging.”  Specific praise shows that the effort was noticed, not just the result.
  5. Be a role model
    Use growth mindset concepts and language in what you do and say. Our children are watching and listening, and often that can be the easiest way for them to learn these concepts. An added benefit is that a growth mindset is good for you too!
  6. Have your child set S.M.A.R.T. Goals             
  • S = Specific: Think of the who, what, when, where, why
  • M = Measurable: How will I know if I reach my goal?
  • A = Achievable: Is it realistic? Can I accomplish it?
  • R = Relevant: How will it help? What is the benefit?
  • T = Timely: When do I want to be able to do this?
  1. Journaling
    Journaling can be a great tool for growth mindset. Journaling, along with positive affirmations, give a place for learning and practicing growth mindset in children.

This blog post was written by Post Adopt Coordinator, Brittney Engelhard, LBSW

www.hopeconnections.com

Interesting Facts about Adoption

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

I have been a social worker for over 22 years, but I’m no stranger to adoption! I have gained most of my social work experience from long term care, the hospital setting, and hospice. My parents made an adoption plan for one of my older sisters. I also have an older sister that made an adoption plan for two of her own children. As many of you know, there is a wealth of information in books, in articles and on social media around adoption. I thought it would be great to share some fun facts about, adoption, too. Here are just a few:

  • Earliest Known Adoption: The Pharaoh’s daughter adopted baby Moses in the Bible
  • First Modern Adoption Law in the U.S. was enacted by Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1851
  • Prior to the development of infant formula in the 1920s, most adoptees were older children
  • In 2019, around 135,000 children were adopted in the United States. More than half of these children are over the age of six, and there are more boys in the Child Welfare System waiting to be adopted or fostered than girls. (Adoption Network)
  • Only around 2% of people in the United States have actually adopted a child, adoption statistics show. However, one-third of Americans have thought about the possibility of adopting and considered it an option. (Adoption Network)
  • There are around 437,000 children in the United States who are in foster care on any given day. More than 125,000 children in these circumstances are looking to be adopted. The average child in foster care will wait around four years until they are placed into a family that wishes to adopt them. (Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute)
  • In 2015, there were 12,000 international adoptions, with 5,500 children being adopted in the United States. This number is drastically lower than in 2005, when 46,000 children were adopted internationally. Around half of those international adoptions resulted in the child being brought to the United States. This is largely due to certain countries banning international adoption or increasing the difficulty of adopting children from their country, according to international adoption stats. The countries that have banned or cut down on international adoption include China, Ethiopia, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Romania, Russia, and Guatemala. (The Conversation)
  • Nearly 100 million Americans have adoption in their immediate family, whether this includes adopting, placing, or being adopted. (Adoption Research)
  • There are around 2 million LGBTQ people in the United States who want to adopt. That’s a lot of homes and many loving parents for children who desperately deserve them. Current adoption statistics show that around 4% of all adopted children in the United States are living with LGBTQ parents. (Lifelong Adoptions)
  • And at least one fun fact: Famous people who were adopted include Jamie Foxx, Jack Nicholson (by his grandparents), Ray Liotta, Steve Jobs, Frances McDormand, Nancy Reagan, Lance Armstrong, Babe Ruth, Dr. Ruth, Nicole Richie, Dave Thomas (Wendy’s Founder), Eric Clapton, Gary Coleman, Faith Hill, Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon, Melissa Gilbert, and Scott Hamilton. (Huffington Post)

Hundreds of thousands of children are adopted around the world each year. And with that, new loving and happy families are created. The above adoption statistics show, with some insight, how adoption in the United States and international adoption work, as well as how prominent adoption is within the LGBTQ community.

This blog post was written by Post Adopt Coordinator, Kim Waswick, LBSW

To Tell or Not to Tell?

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Let’s face it, trauma is difficult.  It’s difficult knowing our kiddos have a trauma history they had no control over.  It’s difficult knowing that you cannot take away the trauma they’ve experienced, and you cannot wish it away.  It can be difficult deciphering when to address these difficult pieces of your child’s history with them.  You may have wondered what to share and when to share your child’s history with them. You may have even found yourself contemplating whether it’s necessary to share all of the details of their trauma history with them.

These worries and concerns that you may struggle with are valid.  Parents, you may find yourself wanting to protect your child.  You may want to guard them and worry if bringing up their history may re-traumatize them.  This fear comes from the deep love you have for your child.  It’s no fault to you for wanting the absolute best for your child.  The truth is, your child needs to know their trauma history.  Talking with your child about the truths of their trauma history allows your child to grow in their identity of who they are. When determining when and how to have these conversations, consider the age and developmental stage of your child, ensure you’re familiar with your child’s trauma story, and plan what you are going to say.

It’s important to consider your child’s age and where they are developmentally and their readiness when deciding when to talk about their trauma history.   Natural instinct may be to talk with your child when they are a teen.  However, it may be more beneficial to share the difficult points of your child’s trauma history when they are younger, and here’s why.  Teens are trying to figure out what their identity is, which is based on what they know up to this point.  Teens are trying to decipher who they are in relation to what they know of their world up to this point and how they fit in.  Adding their trauma history at a point where there is already so much questioning and deciphering, which can be seen in adolescent years, can become problematic and adds an entirely new layer to sort through.  Because of the large amount of change that does happen during adolescent years, it may be beneficial to tell your child their history prior to adolescence.  You may have conversations throughout the early childhood years, which is great.  It’s never too early to share this information, as long as the information is developmentally appropriate.  Holly van Gulden, author of Real Parents, Real Children and an adoption counselor, has encouraged parents to share a child’s full trauma history between the ages of 9 – 12 years of age, so children can address issues, feelings, and concerns before the changes that occur during adolescence.  Children in this age group may be more open to receive support from their parents, as opposed to children in their adolescent years.  There is also more time to mull through this history with parents, instead of trying to make sense before transitioning to the next chapter of their life.  Evaluating your child’s readiness is necessary to also consider.  Decipher where your child’s sense of self image is and their ability to process information cognitively and emotionally.  Determining where your child may be and how they’re able to process information may help navigate what pieces you’re able to share, as well as the language you’re able to use while sharing their trauma history with your child.

Become familiar with your child’s trauma history and the language that surrounds it.  Read through the documents that were provided to you during the adoption process.  If you have any questions regarding what you’ve read, reach out to the adoption agency you worked through for more clarification.  Understand that you might not be able to gather all the pieces from your child’s history.

Plan what you’re going to share with your child and plan to use words and concepts that are developmentally appropriate.  Be open and honest, sharing information you know to be true. Reverting to an earlier point, you may not know all pieces of information regarding their history.  It’s better for your child to hear that you do not know the entirety of their history instead of filling in gaps that you’re unsure of.   Your child may have questions right away, or need time to process and may come with questions at a later time.  Explain they can ask questions at any time, even if it’s long into the future.  If you need assistance in planning what or how to share, reach out to your Post Adopt Coordinator – we are here to support you through this process!

Navigating through this tough subject can be difficult and filled with emotion.  Finding the best time, the best approach, and the right words to say can be difficult.  It’s ok for you as a parent and for your child to process through this with a therapist with specialized training in working through these tough situations.  Reach out to your Post Adopt Coordinator for assistance for this as well.  We are always happy and ready to help!

Resources that may be valuable in this subject matter include:

https://amaraputskidsfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Talking-with-Children-about-Difficult-History.pdf

https://adoptionsupport.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/05-Talking-with-Children-Difficult.pdf

This blog post was written by Post Adopt Coordinator, Darcy Solem, LBSW

 

X