PRIDE 8 - SLIDES - Planning for Change and Informed Decision

Welcome to Session 8!
Planning for Change
Making an Informed Decision
Review of the Core Competencies:
Protecting and Nurturing Children
Meeting Children’s Developmental Needs and
Addressing Developmental Delays
Supporting Relationships Between Children
and Their Families
Connecting Children to Safe, Nurturing
Relationships Intended to Last a Lifetime
Working as a Member of a Professional
What were some of the
highlights from our last
“Parking Lot”
Are there any questions from
previous sessions that we
can answer now?
Supplemental Handouts for This Session
• Class List
• List of Important Phone Numbers/Websites
• Evaluation Form
Safety and Security for
Sexually Abused Children
• Identifying child sexual abuse
• Helping a child feel safe
• Understanding behaviors of children who
have been sexually abused
Safety and Security for
Sexually Abused Children
• It is generally not your role to identify when a
child has been abused or neglected. The
child comes into your home after some form
of abuse or neglect has been substantiated.
• However, instances of sexual abuse may not
be known until the child has entered foster
care and begins to develop a sense of safety
and trust with the foster parents.
Safety and Security for
Sexually Abused Children
Realizing that sexual abuse is a
possibility with any child that may be
placed in your home means that you
need to take steps and safeguards to
ensure their safety and well-being.
Indicators of Child Sexual Abuse
• Resource 8-E on Pages 292-293 in your PRIDEBook
contains a list that may help you identify a child who has
been sexually abused.
• The indicators with an asterisk beside them are most
highly associated with sexual abuse and even one of
these indicators would be cause for concern.
• It is most often a combination of indicators that leads to a
conclusion that a child may have been sexually abused.
The presence of one indicator alone (other than above)
does not mean that a child has been sexually abused.
• If a child reports that he/ she has been sexually abused,
you are REQUIRED to make a report to DYFS.
Characteristics of a “Healing Home”
• Resource 8-F (PRIDEBook p. 294) defines the
characteristics of a “Healing Home”
• Rules, tasks or activities that promote:
– Private space where children can be alone and take
care of developmental needs and personal hygiene
– Boundaries provide rules and patterns that give
children their space
– Respectful nurturing to help children build
relationships but do not include physical touch
ACTIVITY: “Healing Home”
• Using the sticky-notes provided, write something
you can do in your home to promote boundaries,
private space or respectful nurturing
• Try to think of something for two different rooms
in a home
• Stick your notes on the house layout in their
respective rooms
Behavior Problems of Children Who Have
Been Sexually Abused
Children often have intense fears of people,
places, things and events associated with the
sexual abuse.
What might you do in your healing home, when a
child who was sexually abused at night refuses to
sleep in his/her bed?
Behavior Problems of Children Who Have
Been Sexually Abused
• Reassure the child that they will be safe in their
bed. Remind them of the rule that no one gets
into someone else’s bed.
• Allow the child to sleep on the floor.
• Ask the child where or how they might feel safe
sleeping and, if reasonable and allowed by
DYFS, allow this to happen.
Behavior Problems of Children Who Have
Been Sexually Abused
Sexual abuse leads to anger and rage that is quite
understandable. However, the child can rarely
direct the anger toward the proper target and
instead may become angry at those trying to help.
What might you do in your healing home when a
child deliberately destroys property?
Behavior Problems of Children Who Have
Been Sexually Abused
• Talk with the child about his or her anger
• Address the property damage as a disciplinary
• Help the child talk about his/ her anger and ways
to vent the anger less destructively
• If child is in treatment, work with treatment
provider to develop strategies
Behavior Problems of Children Who Have
Been Sexually Abused
Sexually abused children have been exposed to
adult forms of sexuality and may engage in
sexualized play (alone or with other children), use
sexual language or masturbate excessively.
What might you do in your healing home when a
child begins to masturbate while the family is
watching television?
Behavior Problems of Children Who Have
Been Sexually Abused
• Educate the child about masturbation
• Establish a rule that it is only done in private
• Discuss this with child’s therapist
Behavior Problems of Children Who Have
Been Sexually Abused
You CANNOT ignore the behavior problems of
children who have been sexually abused, or the
behaviors are likely to get worse. Likewise,
punishment is not effective because it lowers the
child’s self-esteem.
Addressing these behaviors in a consistent,
confident and understanding way will help the child
build a sense of safety and control.
Risk, Confidentiality and the Community
• A 14-year-old girl who was sexually abused when she
was younger has an unusually high level of sexual
knowledge. She has been with your family for three
weeks when a neighbor asks if she can baby-sit for her
two children, ages 3 and 5.
• A 13-year-old boy placed adoptively with you witnessed
the murder of his mother when he was only 5. You notice
that he is really rough on his younger brother. All the
neighborhood kids want to see a movie that you know
contains some scenes of violence. The child insists on
going because “all the kids are going”.
Risk, Confidentiality and the Community
As adults, we need to anticipate hazards in our
children’s lives and protect them from situations
that will require a level of behavior or maturity
beyond their abilities.
Remember that children who have been abused
or neglected may be at one age chronologically,
but at a much different age emotionally, socially
and sexually.
• Resource parents are sometimes accused of
abusing the children in their care. Unfortunately,
sometimes this is true.
• In many circumstances, the child or another
person makes an accusation that is not based
on fact.
• Knowledge, skills and teamwork are your best
preventative tools and your best defense!
A child had been consistently sexually abused by her
stepfather over a period of four years. The abuse always
began with him pulling her onto his lap and tickling her. He
would then pick her up and take her to the bedroom, telling
the mom that he was putting her to bed and reading a
story. In her bedroom, the child was sexually abused. As
a result, when the resource father asks the child if she
wants him to read her a story, she becomes hysterical. She
then tells the social worker that the resource father tried to
hurt her. In her mind, this is true.
A nine-year-old girl who was sexually abused by her
mother’s boyfriend is placed with an adoptive mother who
is single. The child tells her teacher that she likes to play
“being married.” She says that she learned the game from
her mother’s boyfriend. The child gives the teacher a
graphic description of sexual intercourse. The teacher
doesn’t realize that the child is talking about her situation
with her birth mother and reports that this is occurring in
her current home.
How to Protect Your Family
• Be observant. All of the patterns of a child’s abuse
may not be known.
• Innocent and caring behaviors by the resource parent
may be interpreted very differently by the child.
• Behaviors that are appropriate with birth children may
not be appropriate with children in foster care.
• Efforts to protect children may lead teachers, social
workers or others to ask questions that may seem
intrusive and make you feel uncomfortable.
This material has been kind of
scary and difficult to digest, so
let’s take a quick break…
Imagine …
Your son, who is away at college, calls you to say
that he is in love and has just become engaged to
the wonderful young woman he started dating
three months ago. You are happy your son is so in
love, but you have a lot of questions.
What would you want to know?
You may want to know…
How did they meet?
Where is she from?
What kind of family does she come from?
Why are you doing this so soon?
How will you afford this?
Is there something else you want to tell me?
As adults and parents you know that…
• Marriage is a big decision
• It is a lifetime change
• Even though you’ve never met this girl, you
already have feelings about her
• You may want to save your son and family
any future heartaches
As Resource Parents, You Know…
• Children in out-of-home placement have
experienced tragedies of abuse/neglect and
experienced loss and multiple placements
• That these children should not be subjected
to any more disruptions and your decision to
become a resource parent is critical
• You can’t say, “Well, let’s give this a try”…
you need to be ready to make a commitment
Areas To Explore Prior To Placement
Physical health
Emotional health
Developmental issues
Abuse/neglect and placement
Daily life/cultural issues
Parental/sibling situation
Legal status/permanent plan
Physical Health
General condition
Specific health problems
Pediatrician’s name and location
Emotional Health
Overall functioning
Mental health diagnosis/medications
Coping style
Behavioral challenges
What’s worked and not worked in past
Child’s therapist/services currently in
place for the child
Developmental Issues
• Advances or delays (special needs or
• Sexual development
• Behavioral concerns
• Discipline issues
Where child will attend school
Past attendance record
Status of Individual Education Plan (IEP)
History of in-school behavioral problems
Special help or assistance needed
Abuse/Neglect and Placement
Nature of the abuse or neglect
When and where it occurred
How child is handling what has happened
Impact of abuse on child
Specific services in place to address abuse
Prior instances of abuse
History of any prior placements
Daily life/ cultural issues
Child’s activities or hobbies
Favorite foods
Daily schedule or routines
Special hair or skin care
Need for clothing or other personal items
Native language
Religious practices
Cultural needs
Parental/Sibling Situation
Child’s reaction to separation
Family members involved
Visiting plan and schedule
Degree family is cooperating with services
Legal Status/Permanent Plan
• Type of custody (usually legal custody
through court-ordered placement)
• Child’s permanent plan
• Next court date
• Contact information for child’s law guardian
• Special legal problems (juvenile
delinquency, truancy, probation)
Getting Ready for Annie to Arrive
Uncertainty … It Comes with the Territory
• As resource parents, you need to be comfortable
with a certain degree of uncertainty
• All of the information you want will rarely be
available when you want it
• Children coming into care for emergency
reasons usually come with little information
• It may be up to you to find out the missing
The Past is an Ingredient of the Present,
But Not a Recipe for Future Behavior
• Changes in a child’s environment can result
in new behaviors
• Example: A child who has never been
aggressive may start acting aggressively
toward other children in your family
Thinking Ahead
• Resource families need to think about their
strengths and needs, and their willingness to
deal with different or unexpected situations
• If you feel that your family could not deal with
a child who may have been sexually abused,
you need to consider whether fostering or
adopting is right for your family
• DYFS cannot guarantee that a child placed
with you has not been sexually abused
Getting Ready for Annie to Arrive
• DYFS will share with you only what you need
to know to care for the child
• You are NOT to discuss the details of a
child’s case with anyone who does not have a
need to know
• DYFS will respect your anonymity from the
birth family
• You cannot consent to public disclosure of a
child’s personal information
Preparing for a Child’s Placement
What YOU May Need To Do …
• Inform the school
• Inform medical/dental providers
• Inform extended family, friends and neighbors
(as appropriate)
• Have some basic supplies ready to meet the
developmental needs of the child you are
expecting to be placed with you
• Understand the expectations of your employer
• We can reduce much of life down to routines
• Routines are not inherently good or bad, but
different people will have different routines
• Routines can be a part of culture
• Routines become accepted by families and save
them from endless negotiations about how to run
life on a day-to-day basis
• Change can be difficult and may disrupt our
normal, regular ways of doing things
• Bringing a child into your family will almost
certainly bring about change
• Some changes will be immediate while others
will occur over time.
Some Changes That Are Likely To
Occur Immediately
Less privacy
Routines disrupted
Communication patterns
Personal space
Family rules
Less free time
Activity: PRIDEBook Resource 8-D
• 5AM to 9AM
• 3PM to 7PM
• 7PM to 11PM
• Identify routines/tasks before placement
• Identify how routines/tasks may change after
Some Changes That Are Likely To
Occur Over Time
• Relationships among family members,
communication, decision making, problem
• Some of these changes will be positive while
others may be negative
Strategies for Responding to
Changes Within the Family
• Set up family meetings to discuss changes, rules
and family roles and expectations
• Make time for marital relationship
• Nurture relationships with birth children
• Include entire family in decision making
• Establish clear household rules/expectations
• Model positive attitude in responding to change
• Take care of personal needs, including medical,
fitness and emotional needs
Changes Over Time
• The family system and the outside world
(remember before/after Ecomaps)
• Relationships with your friends (this includes
making new friends)
• Relationships with your extended family
• Existing relationships with the school, your
church, or other organizations
• Your family’s privacy (likely to be compromised)
Strategies For Handling These Changes
• Speak with extended family and friends about
your decision to become resource parents; take
the opportunity to educate them
• Be more conscious of time management
• Seek to build on your existing relationships with
community resources such as your church or
local school
• Explore your need for family privacy and modify
family routines to ensure everyone’s privacy
What Routines, Traditions and Patterns
of Behavior With Your Family …
… could you change to accommodate a
new child?
… might a new child find unusual or hard to
get used to?
… would you be willing to modify?
Consider the Following When a Child
Placed Seems to Have Trouble Adjusting
• Does the child’s routine, tradition or pattern of
behavior offer comfort to the child?
• Is the child’s routine, tradition or pattern harmful
or dangerous to the child or others?
• Does the child’s routine, tradition or pattern need
to change now or can there be time to adjust?
• Is there someone who knows the child’s
background who could provide you with helpful
Transitions are especially stressful for children
who are entering care because there may not be
much time to assist them with the transition. When
a child is placed in your home, you can work with
the team to help ensure that future transitions are
adequately planned and the child is prepared!
Ways to support transitions and
minimize risk of disruptions
Recognize that change takes time
Respect child’s history
Learn child’s routine, traditions, patterns
Don’t place a lot of demands on child
Help the child to be comfortable
Help the child to understand expectations, rules
and how things operate
Ways to support transitions and
minimize risk of disruptions
• Acknowledge positive experiences the child may
have had in prior placements (Lifebook)
• Make immediate changes only to the routines,
traditions and patterns that threaten the safety of
the child or others
• Make a plan that involves your entire family in
the change process
Conflicting Emotions
A child who will be placed with you may not
think of “home” as a comfortable and safe
place where people are supportive.
When confronted with becoming part of your
family, the child may become confused,
fearful or even want to run away.
Examples of Behaviors That Children
With Conflicting Feelings May Exhibit
• 13-year-old Robert is screaming with joy when
riding bikes with his new brothers. The next day
he says he can’t ride a bike and it’s stupid for 13year-olds to ride bikes anyway.
• You give 8-year-old Tonya a hug to reassure her
that you know how hard she is trying in school.
She pulls away and runs into her room. An hour
later, she is hanging onto you while you try to fix
Remember that a child’s feelings and
resulting behaviors can surface after
months, or even years of being placed
with you!
Creating new traditions…
• Some resource families create special traditions
as ways to help children transition home or to
other families
• You may want to think about how you can build
these traditions into your family as a way to help
children transition and to help you and your
family say goodbye.
Saying Goodbye to Annie
Fantasies of Children in Transition
When transitioning between families, children
sometimes get confused about their past and may
make up stories about their family life experiences
• A young boy fantasizes about a friend who never
yells at him and always wants to play
• A three year old believes that her stuffed bear
talks to her and she tells you that “Snuggles” told
her to draw on the wall with crayons
• The youngest child imagines a younger sibling
who will listen to what “big brother’ says
More Examples of Fantasies
• Mom wouldn’t hit us if her boss wasn’t so hard
on her.
• Mom really loves me. She just can’t visit
because it’s too far away.
• Dad wants me to live with him starting next
month and he’s buying me a bike.
Fantasies of Adopted Children
Children who have been adopted sometimes
create phantom birth families that possess none of
the qualities that the child may dislike in the
adoptive family.
• My real mother is a rich lady who would give me
new clothes and never punish me!
Fantasies of Resource Parents
• Children are not the only ones who have fantasy
families. Sometimes resource parents also have
“fantasy” children pictured in their minds.
• How could holding onto a fantasy child interfere
with your ability to meet the needs of a real
It Could Interfere Because …
• You may not be able to identify the child’s
real needs
• You may have unrealistic expectations of the
child and their behaviors
• You may feel disappointed and angry when
the “real” child exhibits behavioral problems
or does not live up to your expectations
Making an Informed Decision
We do not want to frighten you unnecessarily
as prospective or current resource parents, but
we do have to be realistic about the risks
involved and the supports you may need.
Being prepared for the worst behaviors our
children may exhibit will ensure the best
possible chance that placements will succeed
and that you and the children will be SAFE.
Choco was a little bird, who lived all alone. He wished
he had a mother, but who could his mother be? One
day, he set off to find her.
First Choco met Mrs.
“Oh, Mrs. Giraffe!” he
cried. “You are yellow
just like me! Are you
my mother?”
“I’m sorry,” sighed
Mrs. Giraffe. “But I
don’t have wings like
Next Choco met Mrs.
“Oh, Mrs. Penguin!” he
cried. “You have wings
just like me! Are you
my mother?”
“I’m sorry,” sighed Mrs.
Penguin. “But I don’t
have big, round cheeks
like you.”
Then Choco met Mrs. Walrus.
“Oh, Mrs. Walrus!” he cried. “You have big,
round cheeks like me! Are you my mother?”
“Now look,” grumped Mrs. Walrus. “I don’t
have striped feet like you, so don’t bother me!”
No matter where Choco
searched, he couldn’t
find a mother who
looked just like him.
When Choco saw Mrs. Bear
picking apples, he knew she
couldn’t be his mother. Mrs.
Bear didn’t look like him at all.
Choco was so sad he started to
cry. “Mommy, mommy! I need a
Mrs. Bear came running to see
what was the matter. As she
listened to Choco’s story, she
sighed. “Oh, dear. If you had a
mommy, what would she do?”
“Oh, I’m sure she
would hold me,”
sobbed Choco.
“Like this?” asked
Mrs. Bear. And she
held Choco very tight.
“Yes … and I’m sure
she would kiss me,
too!” said Choco.
“Like this?” asked Mrs.
Bear. And she lifted
Choco and gave him a
big kiss.
Yes, and I’m sure she would sing and dance
with me to cheer me up,” said Choco.
“Like this?” asked Mrs. Bear. And they sang
and danced together.
When they stopped to rest, Mrs. Bear turned to Choco
and said, “Choco, maybe I could be your mother.”
“You?” Choco cried.
“But you aren’t yellow.
And you don’t have
wings, or big, round
cheeks, or striped feet
like me!”
“My goodness!” said Mrs. Bear. “That would
make me look very funny!” Choco thought it
was funny, too.
“Well,” said Mrs. Bear,
“my other children are
waiting for me at
home. Why don’t you
join us for apple pie,
Apple pie sounded
wonderful to Choco,
so off they went.
When they arrived, Mrs. Bear’s other children rushed
out to greet her. “Choco,” said Mrs. Bear. “Meet
Hippy, Ally, and Piggy. I am their mother, too!”
The sweet smell of apple pie and the sound of laughter
soon filled Mrs. Bear’s home.
After their delicious
treat, Mrs. Bear gave
all her children a big,
warm bear hug.
And Choco was very
happy that his new
mommy looked just
the way she did.
You have completed your
PRIDE training!

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