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By Adoptions Together on 6/19/2012 8:50 AM
All of us at POP are especially concerned about youth who are at risk of ‘aging out’ of the foster care system without a permanent resource. Every year, between 150 and 200 youth in the District of Columbia “age out” of foster care without a permanent, legal family. These young men and women face an uphill battle and many challenges as they strive for a stable, healthy young adulthood. We work with youth to ensure that even if an adoptive resource cannot be found, ‘Life-Long Connections’ or people dedicated to supporting the youth are put in place and will create a network of caring, responsible adults to help guide and care for youth as they struggle to find their place in the world. (Read More)
By Adoptions Together on 5/15/2012 9:02 AM
As the end of the school year draws near, thoughts turn to more carefree days and summer vacation plans.  Foster families often ask me if they should include foster children in their family vacation plans, or if it is better for foster children to stay home.  Children in foster care should be considered part of the family, and as such, it is a good idea to take them on family vacations when feasible and appropriate.  At the same time, there might be special circumstances where taking a foster child on a family vacation may not be in the best interest of the child or the foster family.  If you are in the midst of vacation planning and are not sure what to do, here are some factors to consider....
By Adoptions Together on 2/28/2012 4:06 PM
Living in a diverse society, families come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and experiences.  Being an adoptee can bring up identity issues for children and teens. Transracial adoption is when an adoptee is of a different cultural and/or racial heritage from their adoptive parents.  With transracial adoption, an adoptee’s identity formation can become more complex.  With that in mind, how can parents honor, support and connect with cultural and ethnic experiences for their child and family?  This may seem like a challenge so let’s explore some ideas and strategies.
By Adoptions Together on 2/14/2012 9:27 AM
Anyone who has taken the required training, when pursuing the adoption of an older child, will tell you that they heard a lot of references to the “honeymoon period” during their training.  So what is this honeymoon period anyway?  How long does it last, and what happens when it is over?

As most of you know, older children who are adopted either from U.S. foster care or from an overseas orphanage were in those settings after experiencing severe trauma in the form of physical abuse, sexual abuse and/or significant neglect, as well as multiple losses in their young lives.  As a result, these children learned from those experiences that adults do not keep them safe, and that they really can’t rely on anyone but themselves to meet their needs.  When these children are placed with a family for adoption, based on their life experiences, they do not have any reason to think that these new parents will be any different from every other adult who has been in their lives up to that point.  Therefore, when they first meet, visit with, and are initially placed with their new adoptive family they are usually on their best behavior, while they are carefully assessing these new people and their new surroundings.  They watch closely for any sign that either someone may hurt them in some way, or else they will “get rid of them”, just as they have experienced every other adult having done to them.
By Adoptions Together on 1/31/2012 10:05 AM
Each year, approximately 20,000 youth age out of the foster care system (Courtney, 2005).  Many of these youth lack a permanent connection to an adult.  Family Finding is an innovative practice model that can create permanency for youth in care.  Below is the story of how a simple phone call led one youth who was in foster care home to his family.
By Adoptions Together on 12/1/2011 2:10 PM
Children in foster care waiting for permanent homes are just like all children – they have hobbies, friends, quirks, challenges, and strengths. They like sports, music, movies and video games, have favorite (and not so favorite) subjects in school, and have goals and dreams for the future. They are each unique individuals, caught in a system through no fault of their own. Some may have clinical diagnoses and behavioral issues, although a supportive and healthy environment often can decrease these. Many of them have lived through trauma and loss, but they can be very resilient and, like any of us, would feel happiest in a home that is loving, stable, and forever.
By Adoptions Together on 11/8/2011 9:15 AM
The Adoptions Together Work of Heart Super Saturday event is held the first Saturday of each month at a confidential location.  At the event, foster parents drop off their foster children to enjoy a number of activities like bowling, board games, computer time, playing basketball or football and watching movies.  They are also provided breakfast, lunch and a snack.  Super Saturday is intended to be fun for foster children while allowing their foster parents time to run errands and enjoy a child free day.
By Adoptions Together on 9/6/2011 8:50 AM
Joyce Trimuel has been a part of the Adoptions Together Work of Heart Program for ten months.  Joyce has provided respite care to several children and given generous Christmas presents to over 25 children in the program.  Most recently, she donated backpacks and school supplies to all of the children who attended our Super Saturdays event.  We asked Joyce what motivated her to be an active giver:
By Adoptions Together on 8/23/2011 12:07 PM
My husband and I became therapeutic foster parents in 2003.  We initially provided care to teenage boys ages 15 and up.  I believe the sweetest children we provided foster care to were our teenage boys.
By Adoptions Together on 5/20/2011 9:21 AM
Did you know that foster parents in DC have to provide twenty four hour care to children in foster care?  Only another foster parent can provide care to foster children and when care is provided, the primary foster parent has to pay the respite foster parents for services.
By Adoptions Together on 5/16/2011 8:31 AM
After one year in the foster care system, a child’s probability of being adopted drops by 50%, and continues to steadily drop the longer a child waits. Teens in foster care have a very high risk of aging out of foster care without ever having the opportunity to be adopted. This means that they will never have that sense of belonging within a family that every young person deserves to have. They may never have anyone to go to with a problem, in a crisis, or with whom to celebrate a holiday or their birthday.