The New APN Resource Section

Things have been taking a little longer then we had planned with the upgrades on the main website http://adoptiveparentsnetwork.com but, we are excited about the plans!

Our new site will have a wonderful resource sections with this blog as only one part of what will be offered!

At this time of the year we hope to set an example by reminding our members to Put Family First those of us working on this overhaul have our own families and want to encourage our members to set priorities.

We will be here when the Holidays pass and are very excited about the plans for 2009!

If you have a valuable resource to add please be sure to leave a comment or add your link to our link share!

National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health

The National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health is a family-run organization dedicated exclusively to helping children with mental health needs and their families achieve a better quality of life.

The National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health:

  • Provides leadership to develop and sustain a nationwide network of family-run organizations.

  • Focus the passion and cultural diversity of our membership to be a potent force for changing how systems respond to children with mental health needs and their families.

  • Help policy-makers, agencies, and providers become more effective in delivering services and supports that foster healthy emotional development for all children.


National Federation Mission and Vision:

Through a family and youth driven approach, children and youth with emotional, behavioral and mental health challenges and their families obtain needed supports and services so that children grow up healthy and able to maximize their potential.
The FFCMH, a national family-run organization serves to:

  • Provide advocacy at the national level for the rights of children and youth with emotional, behavioral and mental health challenges and their families.

  • Provide leadership and technical assistance to a nation-wide network of family run organizations

  • Collaborate with family run and other child serving organizations to transform mental health care in America.


If you are parenting a child with Mental Health issues be sure to visit The National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health

The National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health hosts an Annual Conference and welcomes all-- Of primary importance to the Federation are families and youth who have personal experience with the mental health service delivery system. The 2oth Annual Conference will be held in November 2008. Click HERE for More Information about the Conference.

SAFE WA is offering Scholarships for Washington Families interested in Attending! Please Read the Post on our Forum for an application or Contact Anna for an application if you are a Washington State Family. Deadline for Application is November 3, 2008

Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center ORPARC

Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center -- ORPARC serves Adoptive and Guardianship families in the state of Oregon.

The Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center (ORPARC), is a division of Northwest Resource Associates, a non-profit program providing services for Oregon DHS adoptive and assisted guardianship families. Founded in April 1999 through a contract with the State of Oregon's Department of Human Services (DHS).

Services are offered by ORPARC to:
  • Oregon families who have adopted children through any state foster care system.
  • Oregon assisted guardianship families
  • Oregon DHS adoption staff
  • Oregon Special Needs Adoption Coalition staff


ORPARC Provides

  • Information, assistance and referral
  • In-depth consultation, advocacy and support
  • Parent education and trainings
  • A Lending library
  • Assistance to families in establishing or connecting to systems of support such as groups, respite and other parents.


The Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center website offers information and access to the services they offer.

1-800-764-8367 Telephone - Toll-free
503-241-0799 Telephone - Portland Metropolitan Area
503-241-0925 Fax

orparc@nwresource.org E-mail

Online Courses for Foster, Adoptive, Birth, and Kinship Parents

Foster Parent College offers online training for foster, adoptive, birth, and kinship parents.

About Foster Parent College (FPC)

Foster Parent College (FPC) The Internet has made it possible to offer interactive website, training whic is affordable and accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In many cases FPC courses can be taken to satisfy training requirements and are accepted by many state agencies. Parents can enroll and complete a course in a single session, and receive a certificate of in-service training.

FPC courses are designed by nationally recognized experts in parenting, pediatrics, psychology, psychiatry, and education. Training is offered for as little as $8 per course. Parents need a personal computer (with sound), and Internet access.

FPC offer two types of in-service courses:

Self-Paced Courses provide



  • Visual instruction.
  • Printable handouts.
  • Question & Answers.
  • Instant Feedback.


Advanced Parenting Workshops offer



  • Extended in-depth three-week courses.
  • 24/7 access for participants for the duration of the course.
  • Community discussion board to interact with the group.
  • Tested problem solving approaches.
Some of the courses offered include:

Parenting Strategies:


  • Children With Autism
  • House Safety
  • Relationships: Strengthening Communications
  • Working with Schools
  • Kinship Care
  • A Three Part Positive Parenting Course.


Dealing with Behavior

  • Anger
  • Sexualized Behaviors
  • Self Harm
  • Lying
  • Stealing
  • Sleep Problems
  • Eating Disorders


...And so many more! Be sure to visit and consider taking any of these online courses.


Homes4Good -- Texas Resource

Homes4Good Texas Foster Adoption Resource Homes4Good is a wonderful resource for Texas families or to be more accurate Texas foster children waiting to be adopted.

Homes4Good is a private Non-Profit with a Mission to:

  • Secure “forever families” for every child we place. In order to accomplish this, we are committed to do “whatever it takes” to assure both the child and family, receive all the services necessary to make the placement a success. Our focus is on the children in care and custody of the state of Texas.


Adoption
Homes4Good offers a wide range of Adoption Services including training and matching. Homes4Good searches for children needing adoptive homes from all regions in the state of Texas and sharing home studies in an effort to assist in selection of a family for a particular child. Homes4Good does not assist families with exploring adoption registries. Families are free to explore these registries on their own and if they become aware of a child that is not available to be placed by Homes4Good, they will assist the family in any way the state licensing standards and state regulations will allow.

Foster Care
Homes4Good recruits and verifies families with an interest in being a crusader in the effort to find a “forever family” for every waiting child in the state of Texas. Homes4Good offers services for Foster Care training, home study, certification, placement and post placement supervision.

Support Services
Homes4Good provides services designed for at-risk families and children and believes adoptive and foster parents play a crucial role in this task. Families are a catalyst of the Homes4Good mission and are considered a valuable part of the treatment team. They treat treat their families like the true agents of change provide the tools and support necessary to make a difference.
Homes4Good Support services include:

  • Comprehensive Clinical Training

  • 24 hr Support Team & Crisis Intervention

  • Competitive Financial Reimbursement

  • Therapy & Counseling for child and Families

  • Medical, Dental & Mental Health Services


Their websites is filled with a wide range of information and resources. Training and support meetings are well posted including maps and detailed information. The website is updated often and easy to navigate.

To learn more about the services and support offered for foster and adoptive parents and children in the state of Texas be sure to visit Homes4Good

Wrightslaw.com

My pick for the best website resource for information about special education and public schools is Wrightslaw.com!

Founders of Wrightslaw: Pete and Pam Wright

Pete Wright as a child Pete struggled with his own learning disabilities, which include dyslexia, dysgraphia and ADHD. Due to his own difficult educational experiences he was determined to help children.

Pete Wright became an attorney and represents children with special educational needs. In October 1993, he successfully represented Shannon Carter before the United States Supreme Court.

Pam Wright is a psychotherapist who has worked with families since the 1970’s. Her training and experience in clinical psychology and clinical social work. Pam has written extensively about raising, educating and advocating for children with disabilities.

The Wrightslaw.com website was started in 1998 and has become an extensive internet resource including articles, legal decisions, and news items on a wide range of education, special education and legal topics.

At Wrightslaw, the mission statement is
to provide parents, advocates, educators, and attorneys with accurate, up-to-date information about special education law and advocacy so they can be effective catalysts.



Just a Few of the Features and services offered at Wrightslaw.com include:


A New addition to the Wrightslaw is a blog: The Wrightslaw Way to Special Education Law and Advocacy

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: A Family Experience

Here is another YouTube Video which really is a picture into some of the issues families experience while helping children grow up.

I also found two more segments for the Invisible FASD post I apparently overlooked!

FASD A Family Experience:

ED.gov

U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

ED was created in 1980 by combining offices from several federal agencies. ED's mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access. ED's 4,200 employees and $68.6 billion budget are dedicated to:


  • Establishing policies on federal financial aid for education, and distributing as well as monitoring those funds.

  • Collecting data on America's schools and disseminating research.

  • Focusing national attention on key educational issues.

  • Prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal access to education.



This website is very handy and offers special links for:


This site also includes State Contacts and Information where you can find your state department of education, state contacts and organizations, ED press releases for your state, and other state information.

No Child Left Behind, but don't wait too long!

It's that time of the year again! Where children start school, teachers see little problems, parents wonder about little problems and everyone waits to see how things will go?

If your child has any special needs or learning issues that are concerning at all waiting to see how things go could just mean your child doesn't receive special services until Next Year.

We all want to hope our children can shake off the summer and do well in school. The truth is that without all the Red-Tape, hoops and mandates what could be a simple delay or mild disability today won't matter until the "Paper" with the order to "CARE" is written, witnessed and documented by all parties involved.

School isn't like it was when we were children. Heck, it isn't even like it was when my older children were in grade school during the 1990's. Due to the fact that mandates have been made, funding connected and jobs for administrators created the only way a Teacher can CARE about a students needs is to have a Legal Document.

Without that special paper waiting to see how a child does is like expecting one pig to wait for another. If there is Any Question in your mind right now about a child who may need some special education services then NOW is the time to request the evaluations... In Writing.

It's time to request an evaluation for an Individual Education Plan if your child is at any risk of needing special education services. Stay tuned to the Adoptive Parents Network for new resources and information about Education this week!

Invisible FASD

The Invisible Children and Families of FASD

This is a great series of videos on YouTube

Part 1: Discover, Denial, and Dedication



Part 2: Symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder including:

  • Behvaiors

  • Disability

  • Spectrum

  • Facial Features





Part 3: Invisible and misunderstood by:

  • Doctors

  • Schools

  • County Mental Health

  • Social Workers

  • Society


With visible costs to:

  • Society

  • Schools

  • Criminal

  • Mental Health and

  • Justice systems


Foster and Adoptive parents may actually be told, "you should give the child back" but, many of us just don't give up....




Part 4: If Only the Schools would Understand...



Part 5: The System of Services...



Part 6: Getting Help

FASCETS.org

Trying Differently Rather Than Harder By Diane Malbin, MSW was the piece of information we needed in order to recognize our daughter's true issues and understand that trying harder wasn't going to be what would make the difference.

I originally received a copy of the booklet Trying Differently Rather Than Harder from the Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center. I overlooked the nice little booklet for sometime as we faced our daughter's issue believing it was all about Reactive Attachment Disorder -- RAD. When I did open it and read it--everything fell right into place and we started new journey--trying differently rather than harder.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Consultation, Education and Training Services, Inc.-- FASCETS.org

Provides An Alternative Paradigm for Understanding Behaviors

FASCETS offers Services Designed to:

  • Increase understanding

  • build on strengths

  • Expand options for developing effective parenting and professional techniques

  • Enhance existing programs and support the development of new programs.


With the short term goals include:

  • Increased effectiveness

  • Reduced frustration

  • And attainment of improved outcomes, including burnout prevention in professionals.


With the long term goal of FASCETS work to contribute to the prevention of FASD.

FASCETS supports the development of a family-centered, community-based, multidisciplinary continuum of care. This collaborative design has been found to be effective in enhancing communication among parents and professionals for their mutual benefit.

Two of my favorite links on the FASCETS.org website are:

FASD Resources added to APN Resource Network Links List

Several of my favorite Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder -- FASD or Fetal Alcohol Syndrome -- FAS resource and information websites have been added to our Resource Links.

  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is the lead Federal agency addressing substance abuse and mental health services. SAMHSA's mission is to build resilience and facilitate recovery for people with or at risk for substance abuse and mental illness. SAMHSA was established as a services agency in 1992, though its predecessors have existed within the Public Health Service since 1930.

    The SAMHSA FASD Center for Excellence was launched in 2001. Congress authorized the Center in Section 519D of the Children's Health Act of 2000, which included six mandates (Section b of 42 USC 290bb-25d or Public Law 106-310). The mandates focus on exploring innovative service delivery strategies, developing comprehensive systems of care for FASD prevention and treatment, training service system staff, families, and individuals with an FASD, and preventing alcohol use among women of childbearing age.


  • FASSTAR.com FASSTAR ENTERPRISES. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Support, Training, Advocacy, and Resources.

    Teresa and her son John offer a unique workshop experience tailored to meet your needs. Training is available on all aspects of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, including community awareness, prevention, and intervention. Kellerman has designed presentations for a wide array of audiences, including parents, teachers, counselors, medical professionals, child protective services professionals, early intervention specialists, court system personnel, mental health workers, law enforcement personnel, therapists, and treatment providers. Teresa has a unique workshop designed for teens and adults with FASD and their mentors/caregivers to help maximize success in life.


  • FAS Community Resource Center For a ton of Information about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Serving the World Supported by Fasstar Enterprises www.fasstar.com


  • Fasaholics Anonymous! This is a place for those pitiful people who are addicted
    to alcohol affected children and/or FAS mail lists. I just love this site and visit often for comic relief most often and a good cry other times!



If you have any other great resources to add to the APN Resource Network be sure to add them to our List of Links!

Internataional FASD Awareness Day -- September 9

September 9, 2008 marks the 10th annual International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder -- FASD, Awareness Day established in order to increase the awareness and importance of FASD as a public health issue.

Two primary goals of the International FASD Awareness Day are:

  • To education and remind the public, about how to prevent the birth of children prenatally exposed to alcohol and decrease the incidence of FASD.

  • To improve the quality of life among individuals and families who have been effected by FASD.


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day is observed around the world as a global issues as the affects are felt by families and society in many countries around the world.

September 9 at 9:09 a.m. many groups and communities around the world host events at this moment -- The 9th minute of the 9th hour of the 9th day of the 9th month of the year, in order to remind women not to drink during the 9 months of pregnancy.

The Facts about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder -- FASD:



During the Month of September the focus of the APN Resource Center will be Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder -- FASD information, websites and links. Please be sure to add your links to our Resource Directory.

APN Amazon Resources

The Adoptive Parents Network Amazon Resources not only features a variety of stores and tools for busy parents but, also includes spcifically selected books and merchansise for adoptive, foster and special needs parents.

Using and Adoptive Parents Network Amazon store is simple for anyone with an Amazon Account to use. At APN visitors can search, order and pay for anything Amazon has to sell!

In this time of hectic family times and high gas prices internet ordering is one way to cut some costs from the family budget. Amazon is a reliable and convenient tool for busy families and offers some amazing sales and incentives.

Look for our Amazon Search box on the pages of the Adoptive Parents Network website and blogs. Anything your might be looking for is as simple as a quick search and accessing or registering for your own Amazon Account.

APN Stores feature several categories of books covering a variety of issues. And, you can look forward to several new Stores which will be added as a part of the Adoptive Parents Network in the future!

The Goal is to make life simple where we can, save money and time. By shopping on the APN Amazon store links you also help support the Adoptive Parents Network website, forums and blogs. If you are planning to purchase anything from Amazon.com be sure to come to the Adoptive Parents Network and go to Amazon from one of our links!

Do you have a store of your own, or a small business? Be sure to let everyone know about it and leave a comment here! The more you connect the better your bottom line may be as well!

Related Links:

AdoptUsKids.org

*
The mission of AdoptUsKids.org is simple: Recruit and connect foster and adoptive families with waiting children throughout the United States.

AdoptUsKids works hard to offer Training & Technical Assistance

By participating in the National Training and Technical Assistance Network
Consultation which addresses States’ and Tribes’ priority issues as they relate to recruitment and retention.

The adoptuskids.org and adopte1.org websites feature:

  • National photo listing of children waiting in foster care for adoptive families.


  • Information about foster care and adoption issues for families, professionals and the media.


  • With thousands United States adoptive families licensed, and registered as members of the adoptuskids.org website.



Answering the Call Publications

AdoptUsKids promotes a National Recruitment multi-media campaign designed to recruit families for waiting children including a public relations outreach Recruitment Response Teams in every state to respond to prospective foster and adoptive families

A Parent Respite Program offering an annual mini-grant award to parent support groups and the development of national respite model to support foster and adoptive families.

The AdoptUsKids.org website is a tool used to connect foster and adoptive families with waiting children throughout the United States. Adoptive parents with a completed and certified home study can register and participate on the Free site as well as foster adoption professionals.

Interested Adoptive Families who do not have a home study are referred to the RRT registration where an adoption specialist from their state will be able to help guide them through the adoption process.

When families register as approved home study certified they are asked to provide a profile including adoption preferences, and a written narrative about their family. All of this information is confidential and can only be viewed by registered professionals.

Once the registration process is complete interested adoptive families have access to several useful features including personalized search, note keeping, list building, and the ability to notify a case manager about a specific child or sibling group. Photos and profiles of the children are supplied by the child’s case manager or agency.

Foster-adoption professionals register with AdoptUsKids.org website and have the ability to list child cases for viewing by potential adoptive families from all over the United States. The member caseworkers are also able to search for families in order to find the best placement match for a child they may be trying to place. The member professionals have access to potential adoptive parents contact information including the family’s caseworker and adoption agency.

If you are interested or in the process of adopting a child from the United States foster care system this resource is one to consider taking the steps to become a registered member of AdoptUsKids.org in order to have access to waiting children from not only your own state but, any state in the US.

Child Welfare Information Gateway

Child Welfare Information Gateway Logo The Child Welfare Information Gateway is a service of the Children's Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Child Welfare Information Gateway website is a wonderful resource that provides access to information to help protect children and strengthen families. Covering a wide range of issues with topics including:

  • Family-Centered Practice

    Resources to support and preserve families through a respectful, strengths-based approach that views the family as central to the child's well-being. Includes information on specific family-centered practice approaches, such as family group decision-making. Also includes resources on cultural competence, casework practice, and providing and evaluating family-centered services.


  • Child Abuse & Neglect

    Resources about child maltreatment, including definitions, signs and symptoms, statistics and prevalence, types of child abuse and neglect, risk and protective factors, the impact on individuals and society, and child fatalities.


  • Supporting & Preserving Families

    All families can benefit from information, guidance, and help in connecting with resources as they meet the challenges of parenthood and family life. Find resources and information on family support and family preservation services.


  • Out-of-Home Care

    Resources and information about out-of-home care (also called foster care), including family foster care, kinship care, treatment foster care, and residential and group care. Includes information on working with children and youth in out-of-home care; working with birth families; recruiting, preparing, and supporting resource families (i.e., foster, adoptive, and kinship families); independent living services; placement decisions and stability; and system wide issues.


  • Achieving & Maintaining Permanency

    Resources to support professionals in ensuring a legally permanent, nurturing family for every child in out-of-home care through family reunification, adoption from foster care, guardianship, and permanent placements with relatives. Includes information on legal and court issues, preparing and supporting children and youth, interjurisdictional placements, post permanency services, and special issues in achieving permanency for older youth, children from minority groups, and children with disabilities.


  • Adoption

    Resources on all aspects of domestic and intercountry adoption, including adoption from foster care. Includes information for prospective and adoptive parents; information about searching for birth relatives; and resources for professionals on recruiting adoptive families, preparing children and youth, supporting birth parents, and providing post adoption services.


The Child Welfare Information Gateway is an important resource for all families and offers Foster and Adoptive Parents access to a wealth of information, resources and contacts. The APN Resource Network will highlight many of the tools, services and information links offered at the Child Welfare Information Gateway and considers this website to be one of the single most important places to bookmark, visit and go to when any information about the welfare of a child or family is in need!

APN Resource Network: Link Share

One of the unique features of the Adoptive Parents Network is the fact that our visitors and members have a variety of tools and services designed to share information and resources.

Today we introduce a new tool designed to allow any visitor or member to Add a Link to our Network Resource Link Share.

Anyone with a helpful, supportive or information website link is invited to add it to our listing. Including visitors who are not registered members but, may have something they would like to share with the Adoptive Parents Network.

APN looks forward to expanding our Network Resource section and this service is offered as just one part of our commitment of connecting parents with information and services designed to support Foster, Adoptive and Special Needs parents.

Our Network Resource Link Share opens Today and invites visitors and members to feel free to start adding their Resource Links to our directory! For you ease you will find a direct link located in the RED Bar of the APN Resource Network Section.

About the APN Resource Network

Welcome to the New Adoptive Parents Network Resources connection! This is an interactive area where members will be able to find important information and resources including such things as:

Website Information about the adoption process
Website Information for Federal and State regulations, contacts and information.
Services for Families including post adoption support, regional and local support groups, therapy, and mental health services.

Like most other services and tools offered this resource section is an interactive feature and members are encouraged to add what they have to share with the other members of the Network.

Please feel free to add your resources to the Adoptive Parents Network here by leaving a comment. Or you may want to add a Link to our Resource Link List. There are also links on the Forum for each State which can be used to post Support Group Meeting notices, trainings or services offered in your state or local area.

As this section grows our members will find it simple to share the resources they have found with each other as well as find the information they are looking for with Ease!

Please check back often as this part of APN is just starting to grow!