Articles And News

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…

A Salute To Child Welfare Caseworkers

September 4, 2011

This Labor Day weekend I’m reminded that those who shoulder the responsibility for managing the care of foster children get even less attention than those in their care. With state budgets shrinking the burdens on these workers will only increase. When positions are cut, caseloads increase. The Child Welfare League of America recommends that child…

Data Points

August 1, 2011

Too often we hear bad news from the research on foster youth. In striking contrast, the latest research from the Foster Care Research Group,  based at the University of San Francisco that evaluates the programs of A Home Within, demonstrates that the emotional well-being of foster youth seen by our therapists improves substantially over the time…

Up Against The Clock

July 22, 2011

A policy mandating that children coming into foster care may not be held in offices for more than eight hours certainly seems reasonable. These children are scared, confused, and reeling from the process of being removed from their caregivers. We want them to get settled into a comfortable home quickly—someplace where there are adults to…

The Ostrich Problem

June 29, 2011

Most children who enter the child welfare system have been neglected by their parents—some have also suffered physical or sexual abuse—but, by and large, foster children simply have not received the care they need from their parents or other relatives. Their most basic physical needs have not been met and their emotional needs have received…

People Not Programs

June 20, 2011

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, “service providers” in the mental health field were referred to as “psychiatrists,” “social workers,” “psychologists,” or counselors.” These designations gave some indication of the professional education and training of the people in the field. Referrals were made to people, based on their training, interests, and areas…

Why Not Ask The Children

June 6, 2011

Unfortunately, foster children lose once again to politics. Virginia’s State Board of Social Services voted yesterday (washingtonpost.com) to continue its ban on adoptions by gay couples. It’s hard to know how that vote serves the children who are waiting for a loving family. Through no fault of their own, they have no family to return…