Presenting the Practice — December SWAN Units of Service Meeting
Sue Wandolowski from KidsPeace shared a recent child-specific recruitment (CSR) case that reminds us we must do all we can to make sure youth who age out of care have connections, even though they often deny this need. KidsPeace was working with a 19-year-old youth who went back into care after a failed adoption. The youth “was successful and on the straight and narrow and looked to be in a good position to age out.” He appeared to have the skills to succeed after placement and thought that was all he needed. His CSR worker knew that was not good enough—he needed to be connected to people. Through CSR, the youth began to understand the importance of having people in his life and agreed to consider possible connections for him. The CSR worker ultimately connected him with two biological sisters, with whom he is getting reacquainted.
Amy Holmes from Children’s Choice shared a CSR case that demonstrates the relentless pursuit of permanency. The agency worked with a 17-year-old who was in care for the last eight years, during which the youth had numerous placements and several hospitalizations. CSR and Child Preparation were referred over and over again. Because they never gave up, the teenager was adopted through the most recent CSR efforts.
Trish Menszak from Juvenile Justice Center Family Services of Philadelphia discovered a disturbing trend in sibling visitation while reviewing child profiles completed by her agency. The profiles reported that resource parents were court-ordered to coordinate sibling visits; however, the visits were not occurring because the court did not directly order an agency to be involved. Often the siblings did not live far from each other, but no one was holding the parents accountable, and the visits were not happening. Trish reached out to the children’s caseworkers and asked them to assist the resource parents with complying with court-ordered visitation.