Normalcy For Youth In Foster Care.

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1 Normalcy For Youth In Foster Care

2 Fostering Advocates Arizona is guided by young adults who have experienced foster care. It s our goal to ensure all young people have the information, resources and support they need to successfully transition into adulthood.

3 FAAZ Young Adult Leadership Board

4 2016 Fostering Advocates: What We Do!

5

6 Public Policy And Advocacy

7 Workshops, Trainings and Presentations

8 Arizona Children in Foster Care ,839 9,906 9,833 9,701 10,303 10,404 10,514 11,535 18,657 16,990 14,111 15, Children in Foster Care Youth Aging Out

9 Arizona Children in Foster Care aged 14 + by Placement Type Age Relative Family Foster Home Group Home Residential Treatment Independent Living Runaway Trial Home Visit Total & older Total , ,133 Percent of Total 23.4% 17.8% 26.1% 11.8% 12.7%.07%.005% 100.0% Arizona Department of Child Safety, Child Welfare Reporting Requirements Semi-Annual Report April 1, 2015-September 30, 2015, P. 44.

10 What is normalcy? For young adults in foster care it means not missing out on everyday experiences such as hanging out with our friends after school, going to dances, high-school football games, or getting a driver s license.

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12 Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (SFA) Signed into law by President Obama in September 2014 Designed to promote the well-being and normalcy for youth in foster care. Establishes a universal standard, the Reasonable and Prudent Parenting Standard (RPPS) to guide foster parents, caregivers, congregate care providers, and agencies when making decisions about daily, ageappropriate activities for youth in their care. By September 2015, States, as a condition of their Federal IV E funding were required to begin implementing key provisions in SFA.

13 In The Area of Normalcy, The Act Specifically Requires States To: Promote participation in ageappropriate activities Institute the reasonable and prudent parenting standard (as it relates to extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities). Develop standards and training on reasonable and prudent parenting for foster parents and other caregivers. Implement requirements mandating the designation of at least one RPPS caregiver for all group care agencies that contract with the child welfare agency. Institute State liability protections that ensure protection when the reasonable and prudent standard is applied by caregivers. Mandate judicial review of normalcy for youth who have a permanency goal of APPLA (Independent Living) at each permanency hearing. Require youth participation in case planning and identification of advisor/advocates. Mandate provisions of a list of rights to youth age 14 and older

14 Implementation Limitations The new Act does not direct states to follow a particular method for achieving compliance, i.e., imbedded in statues, regulations or policy directives. Creating promising policy or guidance for caregivers and social workers often falls short because it does not provide clear standards or enforcement mechanisms. For example, Arizona law ARS Youth Bill of Rights exist, however there is no course of legal action of rights and it does not specify means for enforcement.

15 Reasonable and Prudent Parenting In Arizona Existing Arizona statutes make some passing reference to RPPS standard: ARS Participation in activities; contact with relatives, placement with siblings. ARS Children in foster care; rights ARS Foster parents; rights

16 Reasonable and Prudent Parenting In Arizona Progress Made To Date: DCS RPPS Training: Letting Kids Be Kids Training Train The Trainer Model Three Hours, In-person Training on: Purpose of RPPS Definition of age or developmental appropriate activities Task and activities of normal adolescent development DCS Caregiver Procedures for RPPS Guide (for decision making) Applying RPPS Licensed Foster Parents: June 2016 Group Care: May 2016

17 Reasonable and Prudent Parenting In Arizona Progress Made To Date Continued: DCS RPPS Policy (Chapter 4, Section 15) DCS Rules: Title 21, Chapter 6, Article 3: Licensing Requirements For Foster Parents now includes RPPS definition. R : Reasonable and Prudent Parenting Standard A. A foster parent shall use a reasonable and prudent parenting standard to promote normalcy for children in his or her care by encouraging participation in age or developmentally appropriate activities to the greatest extent possible. B. Such activities may include giving permission for a foster child to: 1. Spend time alone or with friends; 2. Participate in clubs or extracurricular activities, or on teams: and 3. Attend birthday parties with friends or sleepovers. C. A foster parent s exercise of the reasonable and prudent parenting standard shall not conflict with any appropriate court order or case plan

18 Reasonable and Prudent Parenting In Arizona Still In Process: Title 21, Chapter 7, Article 3: Residential Group Care Facilities and Outdoor Experiences. Draft rules are currently in process by DCS and will be disseminated to the public late summer/early fall

19 What Does Normalcy Look Like for Youth?

20 We Now Have More Support and Flexibility To

21 What This Does Not Mean?

22 The Y s Activity As a group read your scenario and question On The Y s Activity paper there are two columns, Caregiver and Young Adult In the column Caregiver think about the scenario from their perspective and answer the question In the column Young Adult think about the scenario from their perspective and answer the question As a group decide on your answers for each column and make a decision whether the young adult gets permission for the activity and pick someone from the group to share out and discuss.

23 Lets Apply What We Have Learned! Scenario one: You are 16 years old and you ve lived with your foster family for 6 months. You REALLY want to get your permit and drivers license! You are currently looking for a job, your grades have gone from C s to B s, and you really want to see your brother who lives in a group home. Your brother has been having trouble in his group home and really wants to get out. You feel that getting your permit and license qualifies under a normalcy activity and is something you have the right to do and your foster family should support you. What factors must you and your foster family consider before getting your permit and drivers license?

24 Lets Apply What We Have Learned! Scenario two: You are 15 years old, enrolled in high school, and play on the junior varsity football team. You have been living with your Aunt for 3 years and 2 months ago you ran away from home and couch surfed with friends. You haven t ran away since, your grades have improved, and you haven t missed a counseling session in 2 months. In two weeks your football team is playing for state championship and everyone is traveling on a bus to California where you will play in the finals and return home in 4 days. Because you haven t ran away recently and your grades have improved you feel you should be allowed to travel with your team and play for the championship. What are factors you and your aunt must consider before getting permission to travel with your football team out of state for the championship?

25 Lets Apply What We Have Learned! Scenario three: You are 15 years old and have lived in your group home for 2 months. This is a new group home and you are really excited because you didn t like your last one. In fact, you ran away 5 times in the 6 months you were there. You are super excited because Beyoncé s concert is in town and your friends from school have tickets and invited you to go along! One of your friends has a car and wants to drive everyone after school to the concert and back home. Your behavior has been steady expect for when you first moved in and got in trouble for lying about going to a movie when you really went to a friends house after school. You really want to go to the concert and feel that this qualifies under the new normalcy requirements so the designated RPPS caregiver at your home should give you permission to go! What are factors you and your caregivers must consider before getting permission to attend the concert?

26 Steps You And Your Agency Can Take Be informed on DCS Foster Home Licensing Rules (Title 21, Chapter 6, Article 3) and changes to Residential Group Care Facilities Rules (Title 21, Chapter 7, Article 3). Ensure agency policies, practices, and training follow DCS Rules and Policies including the ADCS Caregiver Procedures for RPPS Discuss what normal experiences mean to youth in your care Work with your families and young people to include normalcy related activities in their case plans or service plans. Talk with them about what supports they may need. Encourage court and judicial involvement in case planning Use personal testimony of the best advocates- Young Adults!

27 Q & A 27

28 Contact Us! Contact us: Meghan Arrigo Associate Director of Child Welfare Policy ext

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