Monday, December 22, 2014

I Support Adoption from Foster Care

AdoptUSKidsI am sharing this on behalf of a Bloggin' Mamas Social Good Campaign. Bloggin' Mamas and Element Associates are donating a toy to a child in foster care for every blog post sharing this information, up to 25.

Today, 402,000 children are in the foster care system in the United States. Nearly 102,000 children (under 18 years of age) waiting for adoption. During this holiday season, there’s an extra push to help them find homes.

 The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, AdoptUSKids and the Ad Council recently unveiled a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) designed to continue to encourage the adoption of children from foster care with an emphasis on the importance of keeping siblings together. Check out this PSA video from the Ad Council:

   

Since the launch of the campaign in 2004, more than 22,000 children who were once photo-listed on the AdoptUSKids website are now with their adoptive families and over 35,000 families have registered to adopt through AdoptUSKids. Many times, there are siblings also listed. Approximately 23% of children and youth actively photolisted on the AdoptUSKids website and waiting for placement in adoptive homes were registered with one or more siblings. Sibling relationships are often the longest-lasting relationships for children in foster care.

 For more information about adoption, or about becoming an adoptive parent to a child from foster care, please visit www.AdoptUSKids.org or visit the campaign’s communities on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclosure: Foster Ducklings has not been compensated for this post. I am donating this space towards sharing this message. Bloggin' Mamas and Element Associates will be donating a toy to a foster child in exchange for my post, in support of AdoptUSKids

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Hint:
It has recently come to my attention that not all of my readers can easily tell when I'm being sarcastic. That is truly unfortunate, so finding a solution was imperative. ^Obviously, the easiest answer is to assume that if something can be read with sarcasm, it should be;^; but that's not really workable, I guess. After reviewing several options for a "sarcasm font", I've come up up with my own system. Whenever you see italics inside carrots (^snark^), that is my "sarcasm font".


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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Transforming Foster Care: Quality Parenting Initiative

In June, I attended the National Foster Parent Association Conference and walked away from it with a new focus - advocating for and educating foster parents. I wrote a post about the importance of recruiting and retaining quality foster parents. And I promised to come back and share some things that our local agency is doing right - and that every foster parent should be asking their agency or county to implement.

I certainly didn't plan to wait this long to revisit the issue, but such is my life.

First, a brief reminder:
Child welfare in Florida is privatized. The Department of Children and Families (DCF) subcontracts with a statewide network of Community-Based Care agencies (CBCs). My CBC, Community Partnership for Children (CPC), covers Volusia, Flagler, and Putnam counties in East Central Florida. 
(if you'd like a more detailed explanation, you can find that here or here

Community Partnership for Children follows the Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI) model. We'll go over specifics over the next few weeks and months. For now I want to give you a high-level overview and some general examples.

QPI is about ensuring that excellent out-of-home care is provided to children in the child welfare system by recruiting, educating, supporting and retaining quality foster families and kinship caregivers who are committed to providing the highest level of love, nurturing, advocacy and support to the children in their care. QPI places some non-traditional requirements on foster and kinship families, but also provides for a higher level of support for and partnership with these families. Possibly the very best thing you can do to improve how foster families are viewed and treated in your area is to check into the Quality Parenting Initiative.

Under the QPI model, I am considered to be truly part of the team. I am not only entitled to notice of all hearings and staffings, I am expected to attend and I am encouraged to speak up and offer my insights. Now, I am still the foster parent, so my thoughts don't always carry the weight that I think they should, but I am ENTITLED to a seat at the table. I am considered to be a partner in ensuring the best outcomes for the children in my care. I am expected to be their advocate, and my opinion matters.

I am expected to treat any child in my home as though they were my own forever child. It is my responsibility to arrange medical and therapeutic treatment - and to transport my kids to their appointments and participate in treatment in whatever manner I would if the child were legally mine.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Please help me tell Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society this is not ok!


Please help me tell Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society that it's not okay to imply that teenagers are not worthy of adoption and affection!

This morning, Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society posted a very ill-considered "joke" about adopting teenagers. This upset a great number of foster and adoptive parents who immediately let the Humane Society know that the "joke" was not appreciated. Rather than apologize, the Humane Society first attempted to delete the negative comments and then ultimately deleted the offensive graphic. But social media is forever.

I am originally from the Texas Panhandle, When this "joke" was brought to my attention via a foster/adoptive parent Facebook group to which I belong, I was embarrased. 

Working from the assumption that the Humane Society was a small, but well-meaning organization that didn't realize that social media is forever, I attempted to contact them and respectfully request an actual apology.




They're HERE!! Jillycakes Orlando is a reality!! Grand Opening THIS WEEKEND!!

Ok, so full disclosure: I have ^the tiniest^ fan-girl crush on Jillian Hopke, winner of Food Network's Cupcake Wars and owner of 
The Grand Opening starts on Saturday, December 13th at 12pm. And you MUST be there. Go support a local business/celebrity and tell her Foster Ducklings sent ya!

Giveaway: Snug Organics Sherpa Pajamas

Baby, it's cold outside! But your Duckling can be snug as a bug in their very own set of:

snugorganics 
  Giveaway Hosted by: 
  Co-Hosted by: Joyful Gifts by Julie 
  Sponsored by: Snug Organics 

blue-sleeper-300x293
These pajamas are sherpa, pure organic cotton sherpa, doesn’t it just sound warm and cozy and delicious. No worries about being too cold, heavy blankets, or having your heater too high, these are the answer. They are organic and contain no chemicals to make them fire retardant so you do not have to worry about that being close to your baby's skin. These are just so wonderful.

You can get your own pair of Snug Organic Pj’s at their website, and they even offer free shipping for $75.00 orders. They are giving away a pair of these PJ's to one of our readers.

Enter below, Good Luck and Happy Holidays!