Articles And News

Memories That Gound Us

November 3, 2014

Very young children do not know who they are. They learn about themselves from those who care for them—those who narrate their days for them, who describe their likes and dislikes, who tell them what makes them laugh and what makes them cry.  Photo credit: rcvnl / Foter Parents hold children’s memories for them until…

Failure To Protect

October 3, 2014

The child welfare system is mandated to ensure the safety of the children in its care. For a variety of complex reasons, this is not an easy task, with sobering potentially horrific consequences if and when the system fails to meet this responsibility. Although statistics are elusive, some estimates suggest that children in foster care…

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

January 1, 2014

“I’m not a therapist, but I’d like to help.” When we get calls and emails like this throughout the year, I often find myself stumped, not wanting to give the lame response, “Well, you could make a donation,” figuring that most people didn’t reach out in order to be told that they could give money. To…

Adverse Childhood Experiences Revisited

October 2, 2012

Over the last twenty years we have been amassing evidence that negative experiences in early childhood have life long deleterious effects on physical and emotional health. Early maltreatment results in years of emotional pain, chronic illness, and, too often, premature death. As David Brooks reminds us the multiple lenses through which we have been able…

Why We Love Our Therapists

February 29, 2012

Clinicians who offer pro bono therapy through A Home Within bring not only their skills, but also their hearts to their work. Because they understand the crucial importance of stable, lasting, loving relationships, they very frequently find creative ways of maintaining the connection to a child they see in therapy. Nora’s therapist reached out to…

Too Many Losses

February 1, 2012

On the day that eight-year-old Joey* learned that he would never be returning to live with his biological mother, he explained to his therapist that she hadn’t been coming to visit as often because he hadn’t been obeying his foster mom. It took Joey over two years to feel safe enough to share ideas like this with his therapist. She…

Towards A Brighter Future

December 2, 2011

Envisioning a brighter future for children and youth in foster care does not require much imagination. The current system of care allows so many youth to leave care facing years of hardship that are likely to include unemployment or underemployment, homelessness, poverty and multiple brushes with law enforcement that it’s easy to identify room for…

“I just wanted to talk to someone.”

December 1, 2011

“I just wanted to talk to someone.” We hear this time and again from young people in the foster care system. These children and adolescents have a lot on their minds. For whatever reason, their parents were unable to care for them. That fact alone contributes to the unusually high levels of depression and anxiety…

Uneven Odds

October 1, 2011

Being a parent is hard. Being a single parent is harder. Being a teen parent is even harder still. Being a single teen parent who grew up in foster care is nearly impossible. And yet some of these young parents – overwhelmingly mothers – manage to raise physically and emotionally healthy children, while simultaneously finding…

We Live In Hope

September 9, 2011

This week’s settlement marks the end of a hard-fought battle to improve mental health services for California’s foster youth. We should applaud the work of the advocates and state agencies that struggled for over nine years to craft an agreement designed to improve the emotional well being of foster children and youth. I am always…