Youth Voices: Why Family Matters
Older youth wait longer to be adopted than younger children, but having a family is just as important for them. Older youth in foster care deserve permanency. Feeling connected and having a sense of belonging are fundamental human needs. Additionally, being part of a stable and committed family can help the healing process for young people who have experienced separation and loss. While older youth might initially be resistant to the idea of permanency, it is vital that professionals continue to talk to them about what family means and how positive relationships will benefit them even into adulthood. This year, National Adoption Month focuses on finding adoptive families for older youth and highlights the importance of empowering the voice of young people in conversations about permanency, planning for their future, and the value of relationships. Youth have ideas about what they want and need for their life and likely have questions and concerns they must discuss in order to move forward.
This year's National Adoption Month microsite includes resources and tips to help child welfare and legal professionals engage youth, prepare them for adoption, and convey the urgent need for legal and emotional permanency for young people in care. This year's website also contains resources designed specifically for youth to explore permanency and better understand how past trauma and loss may affect relationships.
Use the resources below to engage youth in their own case planning as a means of preparing them for permanency.
3 Resources on engaging youth for permanency
For more information, visit at https://www.childwelfare.gov.
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