Greetings! As the year comes to a close, I wanted to give you an update on our activities in 2023.
We launched our portal www.nurturingourvillage.org one year ago to connect foster and adoptive families with critical resources to help them thrive. After evaluating the first year’s efforts, the site is being redesigned to make it more accessible to those without technological skills. Additionally, we recently decided to expand the site to include a video series, 360° Conversations, which will address difficult topics from a variety of perspectives, and interrupt some of the common narratives which gloss over the reality faced by parents and guardians, children, and organizations operating in these spaces.
Why is this important?
The child welfare system is broken in many key respects. Families which are accused of child neglect are cleared in 80% of cases, but the trauma of the investigation is lasting. There are an insufficient number of foster families to handle the number of children and youth entering the system each year, yet 50% percent of families which step forward to serve as foster parents quit in the first year. Adoption is presented as a “happily ever after” scenario, but it belies the pain and trauma the children have lived through and the grief they have at losing their primary family, even as they gain their “forever family”.
360°Conversations will dissect take these multi-faceted topics, and deliver a rich problem-solving discussion, giving the viewer a 360° perspective and inviting the viewer to become a part of the solution.
Through these conversations, we hope to provide tools to families – biological, foster, and adoptive – so that each can enter their roles better equipped for the challenges they may face, and ultimately that the children in their care can have the best possible outcomes. Here is a sampling of topics we seek to cover in the upcoming months:
Child Welfare System: How does it work, who are mandatory reporters, what are they looking for, when are they mandated to report, what is the process for evaluating case and getting child returned.
Maintaining Relationship with Children While in Foster Care: What do I need to know about maintaining a relationship with my children while they’re in foster care? What if I have concerns about how my children are being treated, or how I’m being represented to my children. What are my legal rights?
Foster Care Parents: What are your rights? How can you protect yourself and your family from charges of abuse?
Intercultural adoption: What is the importance of connecting my child to their culture of origin and how can I do that well?
Grief and adoption: How do we help children deal with the loss of their primary family and integration into their new family?
If you are interested in helping us in this new initiative, please let us know – Can you help research? Do you know families or subject matter experts to contribute to these types of conversations? Do you have technical skills? We have a place for you!
We thank you for your support in being a part of our initial launch, and will keep you posted on our development in 2024.
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Nurturing Our Village has been created to help foster, adoptive and all other parents and children connect to the resources they need to thrive. We also want to connect those wanting to help with opportunities that will make an impact. There is a place for everyone in Our Village.