Child welfare

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Fostercare and the stigma of mental illness

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

I’ve certainly benefitted from the care of some very supportive foster parents over the years, since my placement in goverment care at the age of 15. My need for care was determined by the presence of serious mental illness in the family. My beautiful and brilliant mother was a professor of linguistics at the University of Victoria, when she experienced the onset of schizophrenia. It certainly doesn’t discriminate. All of the degrees, merits and accomplishments did not matter, in the slow decline of her beautiful mind.

I am not a negative statistic

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Despite being in 10 different foster homes in five years, how did I manage to not let instability take over my life?

The stereotype of foster children is that they will age out of care and enter a life filled with poverty, unstable relationships, and overall instability. I did not - well poverty maybe - but what student who supports herself doesn’t carry the label “starving student?”

Why we embraced our kids' regression

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

“Daaaddyyy... I reddy for waaaiipe...!” My recently adopted child yelled out. “Coming!” I sang back. I look back now, years later, to those daily routines of officially being a bum wiper for my children as precious moments. They were opportunities for each of my children to know that I am dependable and committed, and that I love each one. In our adoption journey, those days of behavioural regression manifested by our adopted children were truly blessings in disguise which needed to be seized as the ticket to trust, bonding, and relationship building.

Institutionalization

Source: 
AFABC Special Needs Database

Definition
The placement of a child in an institution, such as an orphanage or group home, usually characterized by a large number of children and few caregivers. Unfortunately there is commonly a lack of financial resources, and caregivers, which leads to a number of problems for the children in their care.

Causes
A lack of staff, resources, and money creates a situation in which the children do not receive the type of care they need to thrive.

Ask the Expert: Adoptees on identity

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

A new report reminds us of the challenges some adoptees have in forming their identity, and what could make it easier.

A major new study finds adoption has a profound and enduring impact on the identity of adoptees. Based on input from the experts on the subject - adults who were adopted as children, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute released a major study on identity formation for adopted persons: Beyond Culture Camp: Promoting Healthy Identity Formation in Adoption (2009).

Diary of an Adoptive Mom #34

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In the 34th of our series, our mom of three kids finds it frustrating that her son’s teacher thinks he needs even more medication.

What is up with the push for Grant to be so heavily medicated? His teacher is driving me insane with her insistence that he’s not medicated enough.

High school and my older adopted child

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Gayla was adopted from Russia at age 11. Here, Gayla's mom describes how the family navigated teh academic challenges of high school.

Galya spent three solid years at elementary school and, though she was older than her friends and classmates, she neither felt nor behaved out of place. How would the move to high school go?

You know your child. Be an advocate.

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Galya was adopted from Russia at age 11. Her new parents quickly learned ways to help their child with this momentous transition. They also fought the school system, which so often fails to acknowledge the challenges faced by an internationally adopted child.

Galya was almost 12 years old when we brought her home from Novosibirsk. It was just three weeks before a new school year began.

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