Creating Family Connections Pursuing Permanence. Don Koenig, Family Preservation Director Vancouver, Clark County, WA Family Search and Engagement Training and Technical Assistance Catholic Community Services of Western Washington. There but for the grace of God…. Valuing the Family.
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Don Koenig, Family Preservation Director
Vancouver, Clark County, WA
Family Search and Engagement
Training and Technical Assistance
Catholic Community Services of
National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice and Permanency Planning, NY, NY
Homebuilders–home based services can strengthen families, reduce risks and increase safety through family connections (CPS)
Wraparound-recognize family strengths, empower and partner with families in solution focused team based process (MH-multi-system)
FAST & Crisis Stabilization Services-treat psychiatric hospitalization like other medical hospitalization. Involve family in emergencies
If FSE can work under extreme circumstances why not with youth in ordinary child welfare services?
The Washington Institute for Mental Health Research & Training (WIMHRT)
Children need their families and families need their children.
What would you want for your own child?
Family resources are
the most culturally
providing access to
ethnic, racial and
Behavioral stabilization, a sense of identity and belonging
Global practices: In times of crises and natural disasters family resources provide stabilization.
International Red Crescent-Family Tracing
International Social Service—USA Branch, Inc.200 E. Lexington Street, 17Th Floor, Suite 1700,Baltimore, MD 21202 (443) 451-1200www.iss-usa.org
Foster care is supposed to be a temporary haven for children living in unsafe conditions. But about one-quarter of the 500,000 children in foster care in the U.S. end up in the system until they become adults.
Two-thirds are unable to function successfully on their own… Mark Courtney, University of Chicago
According to the Child Welfare League of America, 25% become homeless, 56% are unemployed, 27% of male children end up in jail. Less than 5% finish college.
Evaluation of 201,573 children served from 1990 to 2002 and web-survey of 1,191 DCFS and private agency case workers…
Majority of (76%) of prior foster care placements ended because foster parents were “unable or unwilling to continue fostering”.
Statistical analyses found that placement with relatives “almost halved the likelihood that a child will experience a placement change”.
More than 2.5 million children are being raised by grandparents and other relatives because their parents are unable—for a variety of reasons—to care for them.
children in foster care are more likely to live with their siblings if they are placed with kin
Fewer children in kinship care report having changed schools than do children in non-relative foster care or those in group care
Children who reunify with their birth parent(s) after kinship care are less likely to re-enter foster care than those who had been in non-relative foster placements or in group care facilities.
Both teachers and caregivers tend to rate children in kinship care as having fewer behavioral problems than do their peers in other out-of-home placement settings.
Children in kinship care Less likely to report having tried to leave or run away
TX should be completed or the child should be stabilized before we search for or involve family in planning or visits
Some kids would NEVER see their family again if we waited for emotional or behavioral challenges to completely stabilize.
If the current placement is working we should not disrupt it by involving family members.
Placements are easier to access and are more stable than relatives
“Teenagers don’t want or need family”
“This child is not adoptable”
“We tried this before and it didn’t work.”
“We already do this!”
What did we learn from initial family reunification attempts?
How can we support the relative better?
How do we create rest and relief, back-up and crisis plans to support the youth and family?
Belief that behavior is too challenging
for a family
“This child has no family”
Rule them IN before you rule them out.
People change, circumstances change and children grow up. What was once a concern may not be one now.
In six months youth had an average of 6.8 established family connections
Of the youth for which connections were made:
Download free copy of Family Search and Engagement Guide established family connections
National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice and Permanency Planning
Free Search Sites
Helpful Internet Search Hints
Boolean Search Tips
Obituaries Ancestry.com Familysearch.org
Public Records: Virtualgumshoe.com
Other Helpful Search Sites and Resources
Prisoner Locator Services
International Search Sites
Team plans the engagement of new family members
45 ways to support a child in care
Identify opportunities how relatives can contribute
Team with families to create sustainable plans
Uncle’s landscaping business to provide part time work
Cousin to provide tutoring in Spanish class
Grandma to teach piano lessons
Grandpa to provide weekend respite
Aunt to teach driver’s education
Cousins to take youth to church youth group