This month I want to pick up on the points I made last month about the ways that 2N activates best practices in real life and pays serious attention when we know there is injustice and trauma introduced by the system. Here are some current examples.
Breaking down silos:
New partnership: Connect Our Kids. COK software radically increases placements of kids with kin and extended-kin. In this partnership, once children are (re)united with these families, 2N will follow-up to mobilize the new family’s existing community in support of this family, while also reaching out to other members to step up and foster. This way we will support kinship families and re-unifications along with other foster families.
Prioritizing Primary Families:
While seeking paperwork from social services to join a Second Nurture camping weekend, a 2N family learned that the biological father of “Jonah”, their two-year-old foster son, was legally eligible to parent his son. Despite this, Jonah had not ever lived with his father and instead had been moved through several foster families.
With the help of their 2N Family Support Specialist, the foster parents advocated for Jonah's father to be considered for placement. As a step towards this goal, they requested an increase in visits between Jonah and his dad and the transfer of Jonah's services to a more accessible agency in the father's neighborhood. This is still in process.
Strengthening Out of Home Care:
Foster families have challenges like any family, not just in relation to their child/ren. One of our families has an elderly grandparent in the home who has to be cared for 24/7. If outdoor spaces can't accommodate her mobility issues, the family cannot enjoy them and the child has less outdoor time than they want for her. Our Family Support Specialist makes sure that accessible playgrounds are available to our families who need them. And one of our cohort moms is working with the city to ensure more outdoor spaces are accessible to all.
“Best Practices” must not be theoretical—just words and ideas. Families and kids have to benefit in real life. Please, friends, when you read about Best Practices for fostering—ask where and how these are meaningfully implemented. They don’t matter on paper, only in life.
Rabbi Susan Silverman, 2N CEO