Articles And News

Starting At The Beginning: Trauma During Infancy

April 29, 2015

May 2015 is both Foster Care Month AND Mental Health Awareness Month. This spring we’ve seen a lot of attention to the mental health needs and well-being of foster youth, whether talking about ways to safely reduce the use of psychotropic medications (as I discussed in a previous post), or about the related need to…

National Social Work Month

April 11, 2015

During the month of March we are invited to honor social workers, many of whom are the lynchpins of the foster care system—caseworkers. These are the people who have the day-to-day responsibility for ensuring the safety and well-being of children who have come to the attention of the child welfare system. Most children enter foster…

Measuring A Child’s Worth

April 11, 2015

The news of the relationship between foster care and the sex trade has made its way to the Capitol. In recent testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee former foster child, Withelma “T” Ortiz Walker Pettigrew, cogently outlined the multiple ways in which the structure and function of the child welfare system create a smooth pathway from foster care to…

Never Talk To Stranger

April 11, 2015

“Never talk to strangers.” This important lesson in personal safety often involves a period of confusion and anxiety as young children try to understand who is a stranger and why it’s okay to talk to some strangers and not others. From the point of view of a child who has just been admonished not to talk to strangers, parents…

Sex For Sale

April 11, 2015

People talk about the sex trade and sex trafficking. The problem is that it’s not sex that’s being sold—it’s people. Poor people. Young people. Poor young people. It should not surprise us that the most vulnerable among us are the most likely to fall prey to sex traffickers. Some of these are people who are so impoverished that they…

Why Won’t She Tell Me What She Wants?

April 11, 2015

This question came from a friend who had opened her home to a young woman I’ll call Anna, who was attending a summer program in her community. My friend wanted her guest to be comfortable; she wanted to make sure that some of Anna’s favorite foods were on hand, that she had the information she needed to navigate the…

Caseworkers Matter

April 11, 2015

For children who have to leave parents behind and enter foster care the caseworker is one person who can bring stability to their lives. As Alexus Colbert writes about her time in foster care, caseworkers who are can and do make an important difference for children whose lives are filled and uncertainty and loss. Alexus…

Holiday Sadness

April 11, 2015

We know that holidays are not always merry and bright. Certainly, we are acutely aware of that this year, with the tragedy of Sandy Hook still fresh in our minds as thoughts of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy had barely been absorbed. For many, the holidays will provide a distraction from the enormity of…

What Is The Sound Of Unmet Need

April 11, 2015

All too frequently, the Referral Coordinator at A Home Within receives calls like this one from Sam*. He has aged out of our foster care system and is now homeless and struggling with drug and alcohol use. Sam:  You told me to call you if anything changed in my situation. I’m having a really hard time right now. I…

There Is No Poverty So Great As Child Withoug A Family*

April 11, 2015

The hunger of parentless children is palpable, as a visitor to a Haitian orphanage captured so eloquently in her blog. Unfortunately, we do not have to travel to watch children who live without families beg to be held—both physically and emotionally. Children in our foster care system, who have been separated from parents who are…