The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact every aspect of our lives. This public health emergency has presented unprecedented challenges to our schools and communities. In June, the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) released The Road Back: Restart and Recovery Plan providing necessary information and considerations for a return to in-person instruction to our school district leaders. Since the provision of those guidelines, districts have made difficult decisions regarding the safe reopening of their schools based upon local needs assessments, staffing capacities, current enrollment numbers, and the unique physical structures within each school. New Jersey students and educators returned to school utilizing operational models such as: hybrid learning, remote instruction, or full in-person instruction. While districts have approached the challenge of school reopening in a variety of ways, all school communities are facing the same fundamental reality that their students and staff have endured, and continue to endure, significant stress and trauma as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
Supporting People and Families Across the Lifespan
Respite is a service that offers a short-term break for caregivers that regularly provide support to a child, adult, or senior family member with a disability or chronic health care need.
Respite may be planned, providing scheduled services to allow for intermittent breaks from caregiving, or may be available on an emergency basis in the case of unexpected life events that would negatively impact the individual receiving care. Emergencies could include a personal health crisis, job loss, or housing problem experienced by the caregiver.
Respite can be provided in a variety of settings, including:
In the family’s/individual’s home
In the respite provider’s home
Group homes or supervised apartments
Existing day care centers
Adult day programs
Both inside and outside the child welfare system, the probability that African American children will live in grandfamilies is more than double that of the overall population, with one in five African American children living in grandfamilies at some point during their childhood.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people are in
America’s child welfare and juvenile justice systems in disproportionate numbers.
Like all young people in care, they have the right to be safe and protected. All too
often, however, they are misunderstood and mistreated, leading to an increased risk
of negative outcomes. This tool kit offers practical tips and information to ensure that
LGBTQ young people in care receive the support and services they deserve. Developed
in partnership by the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) and Lambda Legal, the
tool kit gives guidance on an array of issues affecting LGBTQ youth and the adults and
organizations who provide them with out-of-home care.
The purpose of this handbook is to empower individuals with disabilities and their families and professional caregivers by providing information with which they can more effectively advocate for treatments, supports, services and the conditions that promote mental wellness. Individuals with the dual diagnoses of developmental disabilities and mental health disorders face multiple challenges in their daily lives.
Why is it important for teachers to know about adoption
Adoption can be a wonderful outcome for children who are not able to
live with their birth parents. However, when adopted children join their
new family, they bring life experiences that might include maltreatment
and/or trauma. As a result, during the time leading into adoption and
after the adoption is finalized, these children might exhibit some unique
behaviors in the classroom. Therefore, it is important for educators to
understand the reasons underlying the behaviors versus solely focusing
on the behaviors.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth are overrepresented in the homeless population. According to a growing body of research and study, a conservative estimate is
that one out of every five homeless youth (20 percent) is LGBT-identified. This is greatly disproportionate
to the estimated percentage of LGBT youth in the general population which is somewhere between 4 and 10 percent.1 Research indicates that each year, hundreds of thousands
of LGBT youth will experience homelessness. Most LGBT youth become homeless because of
family abuse, neglect, or conflict over their identity. Many homeless LGBT youth were kicked
out of their homes while others ran from foster and group homes because they were mistreated
There is a growing consensus that group care is not beneficial for children except in time-limited therapeutic settings to meet specific treatment needs.
Unfortunately, most communities lack a robust network of foster family homes. Given this reality, many child welfare agencies are redoubling their efforts to identify
and engage kin as foster parents.
Despite the strong value of kinship foster care, major impediments still exist to finding, engaging, and placing children with kin when they must be removed
from their parents’ care. Efforts must be made to help children maintain important family connections and support, and to tailor services and assistance to address
the unique needs of kinship foster families, while still working toward the goal of reunification with parents.
This wikiHow draws on wisdom from the field about the seven steps to creating a kin first culture – one in which child welfare systems consistently promote kinship
placement, help children in foster care maintain connections with their family, and tailor services and supports to the needs of kinship foster families.
Attaining legal permanence is not always about finding a new family.
In some instances, it is about legally re-defining roles of existing family
members or establishing legal relationships with other adults who have a
family-like relationship with children through guardianship. Although
different from adoption, the adjustment to these newly defined responsibilities
can be just as complicated, including the need to address
children’s trauma and the changes in family dynamics. Social service
professionals can better serve guardianship families by learning about the
dynamics of the family’s permanent relationships, factors that influenced
their decision-making in choosing the guardianship option, and how those
decisions might affect the family’s current situation.
Today’s society is recognizing the experiences and needs of transgender people as never before. This trend is most evident in our nation’s schools, where an increasing number of transgender and gender-expansive students live openly as their authentic selves. At the same time, parents, students, educators, administrators and other stakeholders are working together to determine the best ways to support these