DCFS Staff Development and Appreciation
Sponsored by the 
Louisiana Child Welfare Comprehensive Workforce Project
at the LSU School of Social Work
www.LCWCWP.Com
Theme for Year Five:


Sponsored by the 
Louisiana Child Welfare Comprehensive Workforce Project
at the LSU School of Social Work
www.LCWCWP.Com
Theme for Year Three:

Meaningful Engagement of the
Legal and Judicial System

Please watch these Digital Stories http://www.nrcpfc.org/digital_stories/_legal/

These stories were created by the Louisiana Task Force on Legal Representation of Children in Child Protection Cases with the support of the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections.
 
The work of the Louisiana Task Force on Legal Representation of Children in Child Protection Cases, a joint effort of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of state government, has resulted in reforming how abused and neglected children and their indigent parents are represented in court.  Our goal was twofold: 1)Recruit and provide specialized training for lawyers representing children in order to move them through the court process more quickly and with better outcomes; and,  2) Distribute taxpayer dollars which support this system in a more fair and equitable manner statewide.  This system has been reformed in law and is currently in the implementation process.

The Task Force utilizes these digital stories to get our message across as we seek support and resources for our statewide implementation efforts.  Further use of digital stories, is to educate legislators, judges, judicial district staff, OCS workers, CASA Volunteers, and other stakeholders throughout the state regarding the reform measures in legal representation in child protections cases.

Human stories bring strategic messages to life and make them easier to understand. The “stars” of our digital stories are: two aged out foster children, a judge, a CASA Volunteer, and a Social Worker.  The digital stories are highly effective and well received.


 

Sponsored by the
Louisiana Child Welfare Comprehensive Workforce Project

at the LSU School of Social Work
www.LCWCWP.com
Theme for Year Two:


Meaningful Family Engagement

Handouts:




Louisiana DCFS Staff Development and Appreciation Day
Sponsored by the
Louisiana Child Welfare Comprehensive Workforce Project at the LSU School of Social Work
www.LCWCWP.org
Theme for Year One:
Appropriate Utilization of Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement – APPLA as a Permanency Goal for Youth
and
Unpacking the “NO!” of Permanency for Youth

 

Facilitating permanency for youth in foster care can be very challenging work.  Many teens that have been in the child welfare system have experienced multiple placements and relationships and are at a challenging crossroad between childhood and adulthood. Adults who work with youth have an ethical and moral responsibility to help them identify caring, committed adults with whom they might want to establish a lifelong connection. The practice and professional literature speaks to the importance of permanence for youth and how continued instability increases the long-term risks for teens, which may continue well into adulthood.

One young woman from the foster care system said it best at a workshop presentation on the importance of permanency for youth, when a participant asked if she would still want to be adopted as a 17-year-old:


Who wouldn’t want a family?  Who wouldn’t want to have a family to spend holidays with, to call when things don’t go right?  Who wouldn’t want that?

So if long term foster care is not the answer (and it isn’t) --the larger question then becomes: How can practitioners best achieve permanence for teens? 

There is no easy answer. In fact, no “one size fits all” fix to this dilemma exists, because permanency and developmental needs of adolescents in foster care are complex and varied. 
As if the main question itself were not complicated enough, two additional questions exists as well.  The first is:

  • How has independent living become viewed as the default plan for most adolescents in foster care?

  • How do states jointly deliver independent-living skills development services while working to achieve permanence for youth?

Contemporary child welfare, despite systemic reform efforts, has held firmly to a crisis orientation that tends to focus especially on younger children, who it views as more vulnerable.  Independent Living as a separate program with a separate funding stream, combined with questions regarding adolescent adoptability and willingness to be adopted, have contributed to the system’s further estrangement from its adolescent population, who often experience long lengths of stay in care. 

All adolescents, even those who live with their birth families, require independent living skills, a set of self-sufficiency skills to assist them in transitioning toward adulthood.  But all youth also need stability and permanence in their lives as well. Even with solid life skills training and practice

 

 
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This website was made possible through a cooperative agreement between the Louisiana State University School of Social Work and US DHHS/ACF Children's Bureau Grant Number 90CT0147 Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the  Children's Bureau.
 
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