Mental Health Month

By A Home Within | May 10, 2016

Last month, settling into my seat for the flight home from a conference, the young man seated next to me briefly recounted the many delays he’d endured in trying to escape the cold of the lingering Midwest winter for a week on the beach with friends. When he asked about my travels I said that…

Child Abuse Prevention Month

By Toni Heineman | April 22, 2016

  Although spring officially begins near the end of March, it is often the longer days of April and the transformation of buds into blossoming trees and flowers that make us feel that spring has really arrived. It is fitting that we turn our attention to the prevention of child abuse in the spring, with…

FOSTERING ART REINCARNATED

By Toni Heineman | March 7, 2016

For eight years we ran a very successful program in San Francisco for current and former foster teens and young adults. Classes met once a week through the school year to focus on photography and creative writing. At first they met in a community center and moved from classroom to darkroom. When digital photography became…

SEX AND THE SUPER BOWL

By Toni Heineman | February 23, 2016

Among those coming for the festivities will be some whose reason for travel is not for their own pleasure but for the amusement of others. These are the young girls and boys who have been caught in the web of sex trafficking. Their presence among the fans and partygoers may not be obvious; in fact,…

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

By Toni Heineman | December 23, 2015

For better or worse, holidays highlight the unique dynamics, traditions, and culture of a family.  For many, getting together to prepare or share a meal is the centerpiece of holiday traditions. For others, the holiday wouldn’t be complete without the traditional athletic activity—whether everyone gathers in the outdoor air to play or inside, in front…

UNABLE TO SERVE

By Toni Heineman | November 11, 2015

Over two hundred retired generals and admirals have banded together to call attention to the alarming consequences of our failure to care adequately for this nation’s children. Mission: Readiness reports that 75% of the young adults who, in the past, have been the most likely to join the military are “unfit to serve” because of poor…

THE NEW KID AT SCHOOL

By Toni Heineman | September 30, 2015

It’s hard being the new kid at school. You don’t know what to wear or how to find your way to the cafeteria or the restroom. You don’t know which teachers have a reputation for kindness and which for meanness. You don’t know who will be your friend or who will make fun of you.…

BACK TO SCHOOL

By Toni Heineman | September 1, 2015

Facebook is filling up with photos of kids heading off to the first day of a new school year. Some proudly sport a new uniform indicating that they have moved from lower to upper school or from middle school to high school. Others are beaming in outfits we assume have been chosen for the occasion.…

WHEN THE FAMILIAR IS RADICALLY UNFAMILIAR

By Toni Heineman | August 13, 2015

Life cannot be lived without loss. We know that, but many of us don’t have to think about the implications of that truism on a daily basis until circumstances, either within or beyond our control, compel us to attend to it. If, for example, we are fired or choose new employment—whether with anxiety or excitement—we…

POUND FOOLISH AND NOT PENNY WISE

By Toni Heineman | July 22, 2015

Illinois Governor Bruce  Rauner is counting on foster youth to help solve the state’s financial crisis. By eliminating the three years of transitional care that currently supports foster youth until the age of 21 the state expects to save approximately $5 million annually. While the state’s child welfare agency is expected to absorb a 12.5%…