Tuesday, March 22, 2011



From March Gateway newsletter - e-lert
2011 National Child Abuse Prevention Website From: e-lert_admin@childwelfare.gov

Visit the 2011 National Child Abuse Prevention Month website to help you prepare for Prevention Month in April.

The site features:

  • Strengthening Families and Communities: 2011 Resource Guide Tip sheets that address particular parenting concerns and questions—in English and Spanish—to distribute to parents and caregivers.
  • A calendar for April full of activities that relate to the Five Protective Factors.
  • Child Abuse Prevention Month widgets to post on your website.
  • A video that shows how Child Welfare Information Gateway connects professionals with information and resources on preventing child abuse and neglect www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/preventionmonth

Adoption Web Sections

We have made additions to the Adoption section of our website. Find updated resources and materials throughout the section, including:

Ethical Issues in Adoption: www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/adopt_ethics
Postplacement Adoption Casework Practice: www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/postplacement
Social Media in Adoption Recruitment: www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/preplacement/social_media.cfm

Factually Speaking

This week marks the first anniversary of the signing of the landmark legislation known as the Affordable Care Act. This law was nearly a century in the making and, when fully implemented, will provide millions of Americans access to health care coverage that was not previously available to them.

In its first year, the Affordable Care Act has made a difference in the lives of thousands of Michiganians. To celebrate, the Michigan Consumers for Healthcare Advancement Coalition is hosting celebrations around the state to highlight the benefits gained by residents during the first year. The “birthday celebrations” began in Grand Rapids on Monday, move to Kalamazoo on Tuesday, the State Capitol on Wednesday, Saginaw on Thursday, and culminate in Dearborn on Friday, with the attendance of U.S. Rep. John Dingell, a long-time advocate for health care for all Americans.

Here’s what we’re celebrating during this week:
• Children cannot be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions, such as asthma.
• Adults with pre-existing conditions who have been uninsured for six months can purchase federally subsidized, comprehensive coverage for conditions such as cancer or diabetes. Individuals with cancer diagnoses have been able to access life-saving treatments. Information is available at http://www.HIPMichigan.org .
• Young adults, up to age 26, can remain on or re-enroll in their parents’ employer-sponsored insurance without being a student or an IRS-defined dependent. This provision allows comprehensive coverage for young adults who might otherwise be uninsured as they work to establish themselves in their careers, or begin working in jobs that do not offer health care coverage.
• Senior citizens are enjoying several new provisions under the law. In 2010, those who entered the Medicare Part D “donut hole” received a cash payment of $250 to help with their drug costs. In 2011, seniors who enter the “donut hole,” will receive a 50 percent discount on their brand name drugs. In addition, all seniors on Medicare can now receive recommended preventive service screenings at no cost.
• Health insurance companies for the first time have required percentages (80 percent to 85 percent) of the premiums they collect that must be spent on medical care and quality improvements. If the requirement is not met, companies must provide rebates to their customers.
• Lifetime limits on benefits cannot be imposed, and coverage cannot be cancelled just because a person gets sick.

These are just of few of the benefits available now because of the Affordable Care Act. There are many others with more to be implemented over the next three years. One of the key future benefits of the law is the expansion of Medicaid to individuals with incomes up to 133 percent of poverty ($14,500 per year for an individual). This future benefit will provide new coverage to an estimated 400,000 – 500,000 individuals.

Another future benefit is the creation of a health insurance exchange, sometimes called an “Expedia of health insurance,” in which individuals will be able to compare and purchase affordable coverage with possible subsidies (depending on family income), limits on out-of-pocket costs, as well as guaranteed coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions for adults. There is much to look forward to.
Please join us in celebrating this historic law.
– Jan Hudson

Thanks to Luanne for these important items:
Luanne Beaudry, MS, CPC-RParenting Awareness Michigan Coordinator, Prevention Network517.393.6890 ext 12, www.preventionnetwork.orgwww.facebook.com/pages/Parenting-Awareness-Michigan/344643609571
Recently I humbly accepted a friend's offer to read her memoir of a childhood in foster care. Though I have known her for years and knew many of the incidents in her foster care life, I was deeply reminded of the impact such childhood experiences have had on the many decisions and directions in the rest of her life. Her foster care experiences varied considerably from devestating to kindness. Devestating included humiliation, intimidation and sometimes brutal beatings. She was separated from siblings who were also in varied situations in their own foster care. She was full of questions that were never taken seriously and grew up trying desperately to understand the cause of all this chaos.

What effect can we expect from such extremes in the critical development of children into adults? You guessed it - when children are brutalized, terrorized, or constantly intimidated - they have a strong likelihood of growing up angry. For some of her brothers, very angry. Next month, April, is Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to really reflect and take some action on how we, as a society, look at the miracle of childhood and how it affects our collective future. We want to prevent (costly) crime? Prevent child abuse.

When I first took the job in Child Abuse Prevention many years ago, the concept was mind boggling. I had to put a note in front of my desk - "How can we prevent child abuse?" - and made myself try to answer the question. Child abuse, child neglect, are often brought on by other painful social concerns such as substance abuse, which is often brought on by childhood damage to those magnificent little brains - it's a vicious circle. We have to look at the bigger picture of our society. And as witnessed by the excellent manuscript I just read, we have to stop complicating the issue by placing children from one harm to another. We can fix this. We have to.

You wonderful kinship caregivers and service providers may be interested in some of these good resources to help make the place a better one in which to grow up healthy.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. April 12 in Michigan is Prevention Awareness Day. www.childrenstrustfund.org

May 3 is National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day. Lots of activities check http://www.samhsa.gov/children/national.aspx
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is offering the Road to Recovery Program: Preventind and Early Interventionf or Substance Use and Mental Health Problems. Excellent presentations on helping teens.

Highly recommended websites on early intervention: http://timetoact.drugfree.org/?tr=y&auid=7875375
http://timetogethelp.drugfree.org/?tr=y&auid=7875376 (this one got a A+++ from Barb Schwartz, Relatives Raising Children Program, Illinois - thanks, Barb)

Relative Caregiving: what you need to know from the Michigan Department of Human Services available online at http://michigan.gov/documents/dhs/DHS-Pub-114_346655_7.pdf
That from Kinship Care Education Center of Michigan in their wonderful eKinnections newsletter, kinship@msu.edu

Also from eKinnections:
Michigan Association for Foster, Adoptive, and Kinship Families (MAFAK) annual conference April 29-May 2 in Lansing. More info at www.mafak.msu.edu

Area Agency on Aging Association's annual conference May 25 and 26 in East Lansing on the challenges faced by kinship families and what AAA's can do to support kinship families in their communities. More info http://mi-seniors.net/annual_conference.html

Resources for public education on kinship care from Penn State University Extension:
http://www.extension.org/pages/Conducting_a_Kinship_Family_Retreat and http://www.extension.org/pages/Grandparents_Raising_Grandchildren_-_Doubly_Stressed_Triply_Blessed

Head Start in Mid-Michigan is starting a Proud Parents 6-week interactive learning experiences for couples on child raising issues in Lansing Michigan, April 11. For more info Sharon Rogers at 517-999-2730, ext. 114 or Derrick Gilliam, Fatherhood specialist, 517-999-2730.

Calendars fill up fast so you Florida folks may want to flip those pages and mark the calendar now for the annual excellent Mid-Florida conference from Kids Central Inc in Ocala for Kinship caregivers and service providers - September 30 - October 1. We will update you with more information in the summer, www.kidscentralinc.org .

Other conferences or resources in your area please contact us at info@chicagoroadpublishing.com

And of course you can pick up A Kinship Guide to Rescuing Children for Grandparents and Other Relatives Raising Children at www.chicagoroadpublish.com or through Amazon.com . Thank you to all who respond to this blog, www.kincare.blogspot.com If you check often and spread the word, the resources will be available to more and more families.

Be kind to each other.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Grandparents, Relatives Check these resources

Think 2020. What kind of country do we want to have as we move more deeply into the millenium? We could have greater struggles with our social problems because in the early years of the millenium we refused to take care of business.Or we could have a bright future because we know the importance of a healthy society with physically and mentally healthy children. Our economic troubles today unfortunately were borne out of a greed that permeated the first decade. Sadly to correct the problems we seem to be bent on denying the health of the future. The key word these days is cut. Cut spending, cut social programs, cut until we bleed to death.
It doesn't have to be this way. A collaborative focus on priorities with a vision to a designated future, say 2020, might just prove to be far more productive than slashing ourselves in a bloody self-flagellation.

Some of the resources and events following are an excellent place to help cure our vision problem. Please check out these possibilities for kinship programs, and especially support for the children - all of the children.

CWLA Conference
The Child Welfare League of America will confer with service providers and caregivers on March 27 through March 30 in the U.S. Capitol area (Hyatt Regency in Arlington VA to be specific). Over 60 workshops and many events including a pre conference Kinship Summit Sunday March 27. Register on line at state2011@cwla.org or check out the website, www.cwla.org. If you register by this Friday, March 4 you can be entered for a free airline ticket drawing.

Generations United, www.gu.org
The Generations United alerts are providing up to date information on what's at stake for children, youth and grandfamilies, especially on the current assault on the Social Security program. GU tells us that 6.5 million children are protected by social security, the largest service program to children in the country. Go to the website to sign up for alerts.

e-Adolescence Newsletter
VALUABLE RESOURCE: the State Adolesence Health Resource Center currently centered at the University of Minnesota serving the country provided a valuable list of resources in their February 2011 newsletter. Such items as - A Portrait of 4 Generations, 2010; Juvenile justice systems reports; After school research/resources; Teen families; Teens in school - a New York State response to chronic absences; tons of health resources and research for teens; Children in low-income and the impact on their school success; mentoring. Please, please check this terrific list of resources. Ask for an online copy from boche001@umn.edu .

As always Thanks for some of those contacts from Luanne Beaudry of Prevention Network/Parenting Awareness Month (PAM), pamcampaign@prenventionnetwork.org or call for materials 517-393-6890 .

Parenting Tip Sheets
Thanks to Barb Schwartz, Illinois Relatives Rasing children Program for the following resource: Tip Sheets such as Bonding with baby, Dealing with Temper Tantrums, Teen parents, Raising your grandchild, Military families free from http://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/preventionmonth.

Northern Ohio Kinship Tips
The Kinship Navigator Program Newsletter from Northern Ohio always has excellent tips on an aspect of relative care. Check http://areaofficeonaging.com/kinship.pdf.

And as always there is a great deal of information in the book, A Kinship Guide to Rescuing Children for Grandparents and Other Relatives As Parents, www.chicagoroadpublishing.com or from Amazon.com

That's it from here. Live in the present, but keep your eye on the future.