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Six core perspectives with principles and practices

Develop and maintain positive permanent connections between youth and caring adults.

Guiding Principles:

·        The development of positive, meaningful relationships that foster a sense of belonging and connectedness over time is encouraged and supported.

·        Adults and youth are consistently and actively engaged together in activities and experiences.

·        Cooperative experiences that build trust and foster honest and open communication are developed and supported.

Practices:

·        Provide youth with opportunities to create, maintain and strengthen supportive and sustaining relationships with birth families including siblings, fictive kin, foster and adoptive families and significant others.

·        Provide opportunities for youth to develop connections to peers and mentors.

·        Provide opportunities for youth to be engaged in youth/adult partnerships.

·        Provide intentional recruitment for permanent adult connections.

·        Utilize family finding techniques to locate family members.

Supervisory Competencies:  

·        Appreciates that developing and maintaining positive permanent connections for youth is critical to preparing them for productive and successful adulthood.

·        Knows and understands the definition of permanency and corresponding practices for achieving permanence for youth.

·        Knows and understands the polices and procedures set forth by the Department that govern the range of permanency options available to youth in foster care.

·        Knows how to support the development of youth and adult partnerships and their maximize their potential for achieving permanency for youth.

·        Knows how (to support staff) in providing opportunities and experiences that build relationships between youth and adults.

·        Can and is able to (support staff in) working with youth and their birth, fictive, foster and adoptive families to create, maintain and sustain relationships.

·        Can and is able to utilize a range of techniques, including family finding, to support the intentional development of relationships that result in positive permanent connections for youth. 

Adapted from: Michigan 4-H Youth Development, University of Minnesota Extension Service, CWLA Standards Transition Independent Living and Self Sufficiency Service, NRCFCPP Youth Permanency Framework, and Promising Practices: Supporting Transition of Youth Served by the Foster Care System.



Actively engage youth in developing life skills that will prepare them for successful adulthood.

Guiding Principles:

·        Youth identify, develop, and practice life skills through “real world” experiences.

·        Development of a holistic approach to life skill assessment.

·        Youth have opportunities to make decisions and take responsibility for their choices.

·        Youth receive support from caring adults throughout the skill-building process.

·        Youth set challenging yet realistic goals.

·        Youth recognize and celebrate their skills and accomplishments within their own definition of success and mastery.

Practices:

·        Create experiences with youth that apply knowledge and skills learned in “real world” situations.

·        Provide both formal and informal learning opportunities for young people using a competency-based approach to life skills preparation.

·        Allow youth adequate time to talk about and reflect on the experience.

·        Provide mentoring programs and service learning opportunities.

·        Develop life skill portfolios that have evidence of skill acquisition as part of the transition plan

Supervisory Competencies:

·        Appreciates that the development of life skills is ongoing and occurs throughout the lifespan.

·        Knows and understands how to meaningfully engage young people in the acquisition of skills that will prepare them for successful and productive adulthood.

·        Knows and understands that young people must play a central role in the development of their life skills goals.

·        Knows how to provide both formal and informal learning opportunities for young people.

·        Knows how to support life skills preparation through the provision of opportunities like mentoring and service learning.

·        Can and is able to utilize a competency-based approach to life skills preparation.

·        Can and is able to document skill acquisition through ongoing life skills assessment and the development of life skills portfolios. 

Adapted from: Michigan 4-H Youth Development, University of Minnesota Extension Service, CWLA Standards Transition Independent Living and Self Sufficiency Service, NRCFCPP Youth Permanency Framework, and Promising Practices: Supporting Transition of Youth Served by the Foster Care System.


Relate to youth as resources rather than just recipients of services in the child welfare system.

Guiding Principles:

·        Program and policy are grounded in the philosophy of youth development

·        Meaningful opportunities for shared decision-making, planning and program implementation are provided for youth.

·        Youth are taught to drive discussions and weigh options in creating personal goal plans as well as transition plans with support from agency staff and families.

·        Promotion of intentional youth/adult partnerships.

Practices:

·        Involve youth fully in the service planning and transition planning process.

·        Plan for how youth will be involved in your program. Don’t just add a representative youth or two to the adult planning group.

·        Encourage diversity of membership without regard to race, ethnicity, age, disability, or sexual orientation.

·        Provide training to youth and adults around working in partnership.

·        Facilitate meaningful opportunities for youth and adults to work in partnership.

Supervisory Competencies:

·        Appreciates the differences between relating to young people as objects or recipients of service versus as resources.

·        Knows and understands that a strength-based approach to working with youth is a key strategy for ensuring their successful preparation for adulthood.

·        Knows and understands that training for both youth and adults is critical to the development of effective youth and adult partnerships.

·        Knows how to support young people in creating their personal goal and transition plans.

·        Knows how to plan for youth involvement in their program and agency

·        Can and is able to create meaningful opportunities for young people and adults to build relationships and work together.

·        Can and is able to work with diverse groups of youth and adults. 

Adapted from: Michigan 4-H Youth Development, University of Minnesota Extension Service, CWLA Standards Transition Independent Living and Self Sufficiency Service, NRCFCPP Youth Permanency Framework, and Promising Practices: Supporting Transition of Youth Served by the Foster Care System.


Create and maintain environments that promote physical and emotional safety and well being.

Guiding Principles: 

·        Living arrangements, activities and programs are environments that maximize the safety and well-being of youth.

·        Youth are encouraged to try new experiences through positive risk-taking.

·        Rules, expectations and consequences are clear, consistent, developmentally appropriate and applied fairly.

·        Help youth identify supportive adults to maintain personal safety and wellness.

·        Provide youth opportunities to address issues of separation, loss and trauma in an effort to promote emotional health and well being. 

Practices:

·        Involve youth in determining and setting expectations for participation.

·        Help adults appreciate the need for fair enforcement of rules.

·        Develop rules and plan programs that encourage appreciation of diversity and diverse opinions.

·        Develop transition plans that prioritize personal safety and emotional health.

·        Provide support services that address the unresolved feelings or issues that have the potential to negatively impact the youth’s preparation for adulthood.

Supervisory Competencies:

·        Appreciates that physical and emotional safety are of paramount importance to young people.

·        Appreciates the significant impact of separation, loss and trauma on a youth’s ability to achieve safety and well being.

·        Knows and understands that rules, expectations, and consequences must be clearly articulated and applied fairly.

·        Knows and understands that youth need support from caring adults to maintain safety and achieve well being.

·        Knows how to incorporate goals around safety and well being into the transition plan.

·        Can and is able to work with youth to address issues that threaten their safety and well being.

·        Can and is able to work with youth to resolve issues related to separation, loss, and trauma. 

Adapted from: Michigan 4-H Youth Development, University of Minnesota Extension Service, CWLA Standards Transition Independent Living and Self Sufficiency Service, NRCFCPP Youth Permanency Framework, and Promising Practices: Supporting Transition of Youth Served by the Foster Care System.


Value the individual strengths and uniqueness of each youth. 

Guiding Principles: 

·        A wide range of opportunities and experiences that facilitate discussion and reflection around ethical values, personal interests, strengths and accomplishments.

·        Youth explore and value their diverse abilities, skills, interests and cultural background.

·        Opportunities and experiences are provided to foster youths’ positive sense of purpose and view of the future.

·        Youth are recognized for both their participation and achievement.

Practices: 

·        Use strengths-based materials that help youth discover their abilities, skills and interests.

·        Create life books which help youth reflect on their placement history and cultural background.

·        Create opportunities for youth to be involved in a wide range of experiences and activities that promote their positive development.

·        Recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of young people.

Supervisory Competencies:

·        Appreciates that young people possess a multitude of strengths, talents, hopes and dreams.

·        Appreciates that youth possess a ‘culture’ that is unique to young people themselves.

·        Knows and understands that exposure to a wide rang of experiences and opportunities is critical to fostering a youth’s sense of self, purpose, and positive and productive future.

·        Knows and understands that the accomplishments of young people MUST be recognized and celebrated.

·        Knows how to apply the philosophy and practice of youth development to promoting the health and well being of youth.

·        Knows how to support youth in developing an understanding of their personal history and a sense of cultural identity.

·        Can and is able to utilize strengths-based practice to help youth identify their interests, goals and direction for the future. 

Adapted from: Michigan 4-H Youth Development, University of Minnesota Extension Service, CWLA Standards Transition Independent Living and Self Sufficiency Service, NRCFCPP Youth Permanency Framework, and Promising Practices: Supporting Transition of Youth Served by the Foster Care System.


Involve a diverse array of stakeholders in the development of a comprehensive continuum of services and supports for youth transitioning out of the foster care system. 

Guiding Principles:

·        A comprehensive continuum of supports, services and opportunities to promote the safety and well being of young people involved with and transitioning from the foster care system.

·        A diverse array of community stakeholders are involved and investing in preparing young people for adulthood.

·        Effective community interactions and interagency collaboration model for youth the importance of networking and community support systems.

Practices:

·        Identify existing community resources and link young people to services and supports prior to their discharge from foster care.

·        Facilitate the involvement of youth with the community to promote a sense of connection and belonging.

·        Provide cross system training and education about the challenges facing youth as they transition out of foster care.

·        Engage both traditional and non-traditional partners in the community to broaden awareness and advocate for the need for services to prepare youth for adulthood.

·        Create formalized mechanisms to facilitate collaborative efforts. 

Supervisory Competencies:

·        Appreciates that young people transitioning out of foster care need a range of supports and services that extend beyond the child welfare system.

·        Knows and understands that collaboration and networking with multiple systems in the community is essential to creating a “safety net” for transitioning youth.

·        Knows and understands that the development of comprehensive continuum of supports is the shared responsibility of the community.

·        Knows how to reach out to and work with a diverse array of stakeholders to build and sustain a continuum of supports and services for young people.

·        Knows how to effectively collaborate with a diverse array of both youth-serving and non-youth serving systems and stakeholders in the community.

·        Can and is able to provide build awareness about challenges facing youth in foster care through public education and training.

·        Can and is able to facilitate the involvement of young people in the community.

·        Can and is able to create linkages to resources in the community for young people to promote their successful transitions to adulthood. 

Adapted from: Michigan 4-H Youth Development, University of Minnesota Extension Service, CWLA Standards Transition Independent Living and Self Sufficiency Service, NRCFCPP Youth Permanency Framework, and Promising Practices: Supporting Transition of Youth Served by the Foster Care System.

Copyright © 2007 NRCPFC. All rights reserved.