In Their Own Words: Fostering Youth Educational Success (YES!)
Jasmin Volkel, MSW intern for the Center for Family & Community Engagement, recently presented a poster presentation at the 8th Annual Graduate Research Symposium at NC State University. Her poster titled In Their Own Words: Fostering Youth Educational Success (YES!) outlined the youth engagement aspect of the Fostering YES! project. The project examined the educational obstacles and successes of youth in foster care residing in Cumberland County, NC. Jasmin’s poster presented data on the youth focus groups and youth surveys that occurred during the course of the project. The data showed that the youth appreciated having a supportive adult or social worker in their lives as well as the benefit of both older and younger youth participating in child and family team (CFT) meetings.
The Center for Family and Community Engagement has just released its Family-Centered Practice Project training calendar for July to December 2012. In this new fiscal year, the Center is adding three new curricula to its offerings. To find out more about the workshops coming up, go to http://cfface.chass.ncsu.edu/dss/index.php. Qualified applicants, primarily those within the county departments of social services and their community partners, may find lots of wonderful opportunities for professional development.
Latz Receives MSW Alumna Award
The recipient of the MSW Alumna Award is Marianne Latz, from the first class of our MSW program. Marianne serves as the Evaluation and Contract Coordinator for the Center for Family & Community Engagement. With her expertise in proposal development, she made a significant contribution to NC State University’s securing the funding for the Fostering YES! This is a noteworthy accomplishment because of the highly competitive nature of these national awards. Marianne continues to play a major role in Fostering YES! Among her many Center responsibilities, she coordinates the project’s evaluation and serves as the field instructor for two MSW students interning with Fostering YES! In her generous and caring manner, she is always on target in how she organizes work and motivates others to work together. For her own MSW field placement, she worked on a center project in the public school system. She quickly demonstrated her competence at any task to which she turned her hand, from online curricular delivery to just being a reliable and compassionate team member. Not letting her get away, the center hired her right out of her MSW program. Her office is a welcoming place for faculty, students, staff, and community members affiliated with the Center and the Department of Social Work.
Joan Pennell serves as lead guest editor for a special issue of the country’s leading journal on child welfare. Child Welfare published the special issue, “Taking Child and Family Rights Seriously” (2011, Issue #4) to highlight family engagement in child welfare, and Pennell is an expert in the topic. “Involving families in decision making is the primary area of my work,” says Pennell, an NC State professor of social work and director of the Center for Family and Community Engagement.
Giving Voice to Children and Families
A Place for Voices: A Handbook of Family-Centered Practice
Billy Poindexter, Trainer at the Center for Family and Community Engagement and Child and Family Team (CFT) Facilitator at Catawba County Social Services, has published a handbook to help family-serving workers prepare and hold successful child and family team meetings.
Child and family teams are family members and their community supports that come together to create, implement, and update a plan with the child, youth/student, and family. The plan builds on the strengths of the child, youth, and family and addresses their needs, desires, and dreams. (Endorsed by the NC State Collaborative for Children, Youth, and Families, December 2007; NC Families United Newsletter, January 2008)
You can learn more about this handbook by going to the Center's website at the link below.
Sixteenth Annual American Indian Heritage Celebration
Sixteenth Annual American Indian Heritage Celebration
The annual American Indian Heritage Celebration is turning 16, and you’re invited to the party! Catch the excitement of the “sweet sixteenth” celebration on Saturday, Nov. 19, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the N.C. Museum of History in downtown Raleigh. Admission and parking are FREE.
November is American Indian Heritage Month. First Gentleman Bob Eaves has chosen American Indian heritage as the fall focus of his Celebrate North Carolina initiative, and the museum is pulling out all the stops on Nov. 19 in support of this. Musicians, dancers, artists, storytellers and other presenters from North Carolina’s eight state-recognized tribes will be on hand to help celebrate, educate and tell the story of American Indians in our state.
Learn about North Carolina’s American Indian population — the largest of any state east of the Mississippi River — and about North Carolina’s eight tribes: Coharie, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Haliwa-Saponi, Lumbee, Meherrin, Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, Sappony, and Waccamaw-Siouan.
The American Indian Heritage Celebration will have something for all ages and will include performances, craft demonstrations and workshops, hands-on activities and more. All the fun takes place at the Museum of History and outside on Bicentennial Plaza.
Fostering YES! on WUNC
Dr. Pennell was featured this morning on WUNC radio regarding our new Fostering YES! program in Cumberland County. To see more about the story go to http://wunc.org/programs/news/archive/TJP102511.mp3/view.
New Project Focuses on Education for Children in Foster Care
When children are placed in foster care, it often means a disruption in their education, as well as a change in living situation – which can hurt their educational performance. Now NC State researchers from the Department of Social Work ... Read More
Fostering YES! on WUNC
Dr. Pennell was featured this morning on WUNC radio regarding our new Fostering YES! program in Cumberland County. To see more about the story go tohttp://wunc.org/programs/news/archive/TJP102511.mp3/view.
NC State Project Focuses on Education for Foster Children
When a child is placed in foster care, it often means a disruption in his or her education, as well as a change in the child’s living situation – which can hurt a child’s educational performance. Now NC State researchers are using a federal grant to launch a project designed to improve educational stability for foster children nationally, and boost their overall chances of success. The project, Fostering Youth Educational Stability (FosteringYES), is funded by a grant from the U.S. Children’s Bureau and is focusing on educational stability for foster children because these children often struggle in the school system and are facing upheaval in other parts of their lives. The grant is for approximately $250,000 over 17 months. As part of the project, researchers will be working with groups in Cumberland County, N.C., including social services, public schools, the court system, mental health services and community nonprofit organizations. FosteringYES is a joint endeavor of NC State’s Center for Family and Community Engagement and Department of Social Work. “Currently, in Cumberland County as in most communities, there can be administrative delays in admitting a child to a new school when that child enters foster care. We’re hoping to devise ways of overcoming these administrative hurdles,” says Dr. Joan Pennell, a professor of social work and center director at NC State and principal investigator for FosteringYES. “Ideally, children can be kept in the same school, to minimize disruption in their lives,” says Dr. Jodi Hall, a clinical assistant professor of social work at NC State and co-principal investigator on the project. “But moving to a new home can mean moving to a new school. We need to make sure that, if that happens, information about each child travels with them – so that new teachers and school administrators are aware of a child’s educational progress and any other relevant information that could contribute to his or her success.” But the project hopes to do more than ensure children are enrolled in schools promptly. “Getting a good education, and maintaining a child’s social network, are important parts of helping children become successful adults,” Pennell says. “To that end, we’re also hoping to increase the use of child and family teams (CFTs) in Cumberland County schools.” The CFT concept utilizes teams made up of youth and their families, teachers, social workers, pastors or other community members to develop a plan for helping a child succeed both in school and in the broader community. The Fostering YES team will be conducting interviews with foster youth, families, social workers, school personnel, and other involved parties in Cumberland County to identify existing barriers to educational stability, as well as potential solutions. This research will help in crafting plans to help individual children involved with the project. Guiding the involvement of youth in the project is Chaney Stokes, the Youth Leadership Coordinator. Working closely with Chaney are two graduate social work students, Nakeenya Ray and Jasmin Volkel. However, this research will also inform the development of new policies and procedures designed to support a stable and continuous education and support system for foster children. “We’re hoping to create a blueprint that can be used throughout North Carolina and nationally,” Pennell says. Researchers also plan to use information collected through this project to develop modules that focus on improving stability and academic performance for foster children. These materials could be used in academic classrooms or in training workshops for social workers, teachers, youth groups and others involved in child education, welfare and mental health. “This should have real value for students and professionals – as well as the children themselves,” Pennell says. One reason the project is taking place in Cumberland County is because the county has a large military population – and approximately one-third of students in the school system are part of military-connected families. These families can be subject to high stress, particularly during times of deployment. In some instances, all of a family’s caregivers can be deployed simultaneously. And military families have often moved repeatedly as parents are assigned to different bases. “All of these things mean that the issue of school stability is particularly important to Cumberland County,” Pennell says. Adapted from Matt Shipman, News Services, NC State University
Raising Awareness about Health Literacy
October is Health Literacy Month. Check out the CHASS Blog to see an article by our RV Rikard on Raising Awareness about Health Literacy.
Give a Child a Smile October 22, 2011 10AM-3PM
Give a Child a Smile
A Make A Difference Day Suitcase Project
SAYSO stands for Strong Able Youth Speaking Out. We are an incorporated, non-profit, 501 (c) (3) organization made up of youth who are or have been placed in out of home care. Today, we are doing more than speaking out. We are taking action!
Did you know that children coming into foster care often have to place their treasured possessions into TRASH BAGS because social services cannot provide a suitcase or duffel bag for every child? Imagine what that feels like to put all that you hold dear into a trash bag while leaving the only home you have ever known. Well, it has happened to us, and we can tell you, it does not feel good!
HELP US TODAY and “Give a Child a Smile” by donating a new (or like new) duffel bag for these children to put their most treasured possessions in, or donate money for us to purchase new bags for them (all contributions are tax deductible).
About 5,000 children enter foster care in North Carolina each year! Our goal is to have 2,500 new or like new suitcases/duffle bags donated by October 22, 2011.
Bring your Duffle Bags & Donation to:
10AM-3PM Saturday, October 22, 2011
Emily K Center
904 W. Chapel Hill St.
Durham NC 27701
We are also sponsoring a Youth Mentor Project with community partners. Stop by and show your support.
Facilitation Focus Newsletter
The Summer 2011 edition of the Facilitation Focus newsletter has been posted to the CFFACE Resources page. Come check it out and learn about upcoming events and recent happenings at CFFACE. See photos of the team and of Susan Gasman's EPA Employee CHASS Award for Excellence ceremony. Learn about the accomplishments of our recent MSW field students and find out about the National Conference on Restorative Justice held in Raleigh this month. While you're at it, check out upcoming training events offered through our contract with the NC Division of Social Services. Eligible participants can always sign up by going to www.ncswlearn.org. None of those meet your needs? You may want to request that we bring one of our training workshops to you. If you are with social services, you can make this request through our TALS process. If not, you may be interested in requesting a system of care workshop.
Dr. Pennell in the Meet the Researchers Series
Center Director, Dr. Joan Pennell is Highlighted in the Meet the Researchers Series!
Meet our Center Director and NC State Professor Dr. Joan Pennell who is featured in one of five new videos released by CHASS highlighting faculty research. Each is produced by undergraduates in the Department of Communication's Advanced Video Production class, taught by Jim Alchediak.
Using Desire To Be A 'Good Dad' To Curb Domestic Violence
A lot of fathers who have battered their partners, and/or their kids, also witnessed domestic violence in their own homes as children. Many of these men want to do a better job as fathers. A pilot study in North Carolina is trying to tap into that d ... Read More
Center Employee, Susan Gasman, wins the CHASS Award for Excellence
Susan Gasman, Trainer with the Center for Family and Community Engagement, won the EPA Employee CHASS Award for Excellence. Since she began working at NC State in 2004, Susan has provided training to students, social services, schools, mental health providers, juvenile justice workers, and community members across the entire state of North Carolina. Center Director, Dr. Joan Pennell, especially appreciates that “Susan is always an excellent ambassador to the community, whatever the region of the state. She knows how to listen for the unspoken, help others articulate their views, respond with sensitivity to underlying issues, and gently challenge others to grow as learners and practitioners. This capacity is especially crucial in her work with youths and helping them realize their potential. She is a bedrock of our training and engagement program, firmly grounding us in the mission of our work.” Congratulations Susan!