Core Services: Educational, Physical, Behavioral, Mental Health, & Extracurricular
21st of June 2017
The Continuum of Care Reform (CCR) was designed so that children living out of their home would be provided the most appropriate placement in committed nurturing resource (foster) homes. Services and supports will be tailored based on each child’s needs. All of these services and supports fall into 6 Core Services: mental health, transition support upon entry, educational/physical/behavioral/extracurricular support, transition to adulthood support, permanency support, and Native American child services.
The Trinity Youth Services (TYS) team, along with our resource (foster) families, will directly provide the core services and support to children, Non-minor Dependents (NMD) and their families, fulfilling the requirements of the CCR.
Last month we outlined the second core services, transition support services and what that entails. This month we will look at educational, physical, behavioral, and extracurricular support. This core service covers a wide range of items that will help each child feel more “normal” in foster care.
TYS will ensure that resource parents enroll school-aged children within three school days. The Treatment Foster Care Social Worker (TFCSW) will assist the resource parent if the school does not enroll the child immediately. TYS will ensure that children have access to the same academic resources as other students. TYS will ensure that if a child is struggling in school, the TFCSW along with the Child and Family Team will request that the school hold a Student Study Team (SST) meeting and/or an assessment for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The TFCSW will ensure that tutoring services are received, if needed. The TFCSW will assist youth in vocational and/or college preparatory tasks. The TFCSW will ensure that children and youth are receiving life skills training by the resource parents.
Physical, Behavioral, & Mental Health
The TFCSW will ensure that resource parents obtain all medical, dental, behavioral, and mental health services that the child needs with set time frames. The TFCSW will ensure that all children and youth have support and advocacy with respect to prompt and culturally sensitive interventions when being bullied for any reason, such as physical characteristics, foster care status, sexual orientation/gender identity expression (SOGIE), race/ethnicity, or age. Resource parents and the TFCSW are to work closely together to serve the needs of the children. Whenever there is a concern or question the resource parent should be notifying their assigned TFCSW.
Part of normalizing the children’s experience in foster care is to get them involved in activities or groups either at school or in the community. Schools have a variety of clubs children can join—choir, art club, or sports. In the community, there are various recreational activities—swimming, baseball, softball, or Girl or Boy Scouts. Resource parent must include the children in making the choice of what type of activity interests them. Being involved in such activities helps the children feel connected to other people and make friends with other children with similar interests. Many communities offer short classes through their parks and recreation departments, this is an inexpensive way to expose your children to a variety of activities.
My next blog will cover transition to adulthood support. This topic dives into the important support offered to TYS youth as they obtain independence.
Jackie Jakob, Foster Care and Adoptions Director
Having over 20 years’ experience, Jackie currently oversees Trinity Youth Services’ operations of foster care and adoptions programs throughout Southern California and in Houston, Texas. She received a bachelor’s degree in law and society from University of California Santa Barbara, a master’s degree in social work from California State University Long Beach and recently became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Jackie enjoys spending time with her husband and two children attending various baseball, softball and judo meets. She is on the parent board for a judo dojo and is one of the troop leaders for her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. Additionally, she really enjoys running half marathons and aims to run 4 to 5 races each year.
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