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8 Trends in Human Services That Are Transforming the Industry

Advancing technology, newer practices, and mental health have caused many service providers to reconsider their workflows. While these current trends in human services are overwhelmingly positive, they can be challenging to keep up with — especially if you're also...
by Trevor Norkey 1 min read

Community Outreach Programs: Importance, Benefits and Examples

A Comprehensive Guide to Community Outreach Programs. Community outreach initiatives have long served as a pivotal element of societal progress and cohesion. By extending support and knowledge beyond conventional boundaries, successful community outreach programs...
by Casebook Editorial Team 3 min read

AI Tools for Human Services Nonprofits

Following are some AI tools for you to consider. There are many others available as well. These solutions will take some of the heavy lift off staff so your organization, and those you serve, can thrive!
by Casebook Editorial Team 1 min read

Buy or Build Your Own Case Management System for Human Services?

You run a social services organization and you're keeping all of your records in a spreadsheet, and now you are wondering if the investment in a case management solution is right for you. You're probably already having trouble getting the reports you need and making...
by Andrew Pelletier 2 min read

Best Practices

How To Build Healthy Relationships With Funders

In previous posts, we’ve reviewed best practices regarding grantwriting and communicating your story to funders. We’ve even talked about the importance of third-party validation. Another key to success is understanding how to build stronger relationships with funders. Funders co...

Secure Your Funding Pt. 3 — Emphasis On The Data

So far, we’ve reviewed watchdog sites’ standards, detailing indicators for a nonprofit’s success, and articulating metrics. What do all of these have in common? DATA! Ratings, program development, case-making…all are driven by a drumbeat of qualitative and quantitative data. How the public v...

Reporting Impact and Communicating to Grant Funders

The previous post outlined the primary types of capacity-building projects and reviewed how transformational successful capacity-building implementation have been, for example, nonprofits...

by Sade Dozan4 min read

Capacity-Building Grants | Nonprofit Case Studies

In the previous post, we touched on how capacity-building grants are identified and developed in an effort to better position organizations for growth. Now, we’ll review the power of capacity-building g...

by Sade Dozan4 min read

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Latest Blogs

Certifying a Foster Parent is One of the Most Consequential Decisions in Child Welfare

This causes recruiters to source the community for prospects, heartfelt PSAs to be playing on media outlets, and foster parent certification personnel to train and approve foster parents with haste. That’s not to say that they are negligent in any of those actions, but having spent nearly 13 years i...
This causes recruiters to source the community for prospects, heartfelt PSAs to be playing on media outlets, and foster parent certification personnel to train and approve foster parents with haste. That’s not to say that they are negligent in any of those actions, but having spent nearly 13 years in that very field, it makes me extremely nervous when looking at the process from the outside. Even when I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster parent and adoption program, certifying a new parent was perhaps one of the more perilous decisions what we would make on any given day. This causes recruiters to source the community for prospects, heartfelt PSAs to be playing on media outlets, and foster parent certification personnel to train and approve foster parents with haste. That’s not to say that they are negligent in any of those actions, but having spent nearly 13 years in that very field, it makes me extremely nervous when looking at the process from the outside. Even when I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster parent and adoption program, certifying a new parent was perhaps one of the more perilous decisions what we would make on any given day. This causes recruiters to source the community for prospects, heartfelt PSAs to be playing on media outlets, and foster parent certification personnel to train and approve foster parents with haste. That’s not to say that they are negligent in any of those actions, but having spent nearly 13 years in that very field, it makes me extremely nervous when looking at the process from the outside. Even when I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster parent and adoption program, certifying a new parent was perhaps one of the more perilous decisions what we would make on any given day. This causes recruiters to source the community for prospects, heartfelt PSAs to be playing on media outlets, and foster parent certification personnel to train and approve foster parents with haste. That’s not to say that they are negligent in any of those actions, but having spent nearly 13 years in that very field, it makes me extremely nervous when looking at the process from the outside. Even when I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster parent and adoption program, certifying a new parent was perhaps one of the more perilous decisions what we would make on any given day. This causes recruiters to source the community for prospects, heartfelt PSAs to be playing on media outlets, and foster parent certification personnel to train and approve foster parents with haste. That’s not to say that they are negligent in any of those actions, but having spent nearly 13 years in that very field, it makes me extremely nervous when looking at the process from the outside. Even when I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster parent and adoption program, certifying a new parent was perhaps one of the more perilous decisions what we would make on any given day. This causes recruiters to source the community for prospects, heartfelt PSAs to be playing on media outlets, and foster parent certification personnel to train and approve foster parents with haste. That’s not to say that they are negligent in any of those actions, but having spent nearly 13 years in that very field, it makes me extremely nervous when looking at the process from the outside. Even when I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster parent and adoption program, certifying a new parent was perhaps one of the more perilous decisions what we would make on any given day. This causes recruiters to source the community for prospects, heartfelt PSAs to be playing on media outlets, and foster parent certification personnel to train and approve foster parents with haste. That’s not to say that they are negligent in any of those actions, but having spent nearly 13 years in that very field, it makes me extremely nervous when looking at the process from the outside. Even when I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster parent and adoption program, certifying a new parent was perhaps one of the more perilous decisions what we would make on any given day. This causes recruiters to source the community for prospects, heartfelt PSAs to be playing on media outlets, and foster parent certification personnel to train and approve foster parents with haste. That’s not to say that they are negligent in any of those actions, but having spent nearly 13 years in that very field, it makes me extremely nervous when looking at the process from the outside. Even when I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster parent and adoption program, certifying a new parent was perhaps one of the more perilous decisions what we would make on any given day. This causes recruiters to source the community for prospects, heartfelt PSAs to be playing on media outlets, and foster parent certification personnel to train and approve foster parents with haste. That’s not to say that they are negligent in any of those actions, but having spent nearly 13 years in that very field, it makes me extremely nervous when looking at the process from the outside. Even when I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster parent and adoption program, certifying a new parent was perhaps one of the more perilous decisions what we would make on any given day. This causes recruiters to source the community for prospects, heartfelt PSAs to be playing on media outlets, and foster parent certification personnel to train and approve foster parents with haste. That’s not to say that they are negligent in any of those actions, but having spent nearly 13 years in that very field, it makes me extremely nervous when looking at the process from the outside. Even when I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster parent and adoption program, certifying a new parent was perhaps one of the more perilous decisions what we would make on any given day.
by Jeff Edwards 2 min read

How a Plastic Garbage Bag Became the Unofficial Luggage of Foster Care

It was a scene that I would see play out time and time again during my 13-year career, serving some of our nation’s most vulnerable youth. A child comes into care needing foster care, and the youth and their caseworker shows up with a couple of black garbage bags full of everything the child owned i...
It was a scene that I would see play out time and time again during my 13-year career, serving some of our nation’s most vulnerable youth. A child comes into care needing foster care, and the youth and their caseworker shows up with a couple of black garbage bags full of everything the child owned in the world. Now, I’m not really trying to play on your sympathy by asking you to imagine what it must feel like for a child to be removed from their family and watch their clothes and toys bagged up like trash. That such a scene requires empathy is self-evident, but not the point of this article. It was a scene that I would see play out time and time again during my 13-year career, serving some of our nation’s most vulnerable youth. A child comes into care needing foster care, and the youth and their caseworker shows up with a couple of black garbage bags full of everything the child owned in the world. Now, I’m not really trying to play on your sympathy by asking you to imagine what it must feel like for a child to be removed from their family and watch their clothes and toys bagged up like trash. That such a scene requires empathy is self-evident, but not the point of this article. It was a scene that I would see play out time and time again during my 13-year career, serving some of our nation’s most vulnerable youth. A child comes into care needing foster care, and the youth and their caseworker shows up with a couple of black garbage bags full of everything the child owned in the world. Now, I’m not really trying to play on your sympathy by asking you to imagine what it must feel like for a child to be removed from their family and watch their clothes and toys bagged up like trash. That such a scene requires empathy is self-evident, but not the point of this article. It was a scene that I would see play out time and time again during my 13-year career, serving some of our nation’s most vulnerable youth. A child comes into care needing foster care, and the youth and their caseworker shows up with a couple of black garbage bags full of everything the child owned in the world. Now, I’m not really trying to play on your sympathy by asking you to imagine what it must feel like for a child to be removed from their family and watch their clothes and toys bagged up like trash. That such a scene requires empathy is self-evident, but not the point of this article. It was a scene that I would see play out time and time again during my 13-year career, serving some of our nation’s most vulnerable youth. A child comes into care needing foster care, and the youth and their caseworker shows up with a couple of black garbage bags full of everything the child owned in the world. Now, I’m not really trying to play on your sympathy by asking you to imagine what it must feel like for a child to be removed from their family and watch their clothes and toys bagged up like trash. That such a scene requires empathy is self-evident, but not the point of this article. It was a scene that I would see play out time and time again during my 13-year career, serving some of our nation’s most vulnerable youth. A child comes into care needing foster care, and the youth and their caseworker shows up with a couple of black garbage bags full of everything the child owned in the world. Now, I’m not really trying to play on your sympathy by asking you to imagine what it must feel like for a child to be removed from their family and watch their clothes and toys bagged up like trash. That such a scene requires empathy is self-evident, but not the point of this article. It was a scene that I would see play out time and time again during my 13-year career, serving some of our nation’s most vulnerable youth. A child comes into care needing foster care, and the youth and their caseworker shows up with a couple of black garbage bags full of everything the child owned in the world. Now, I’m not really trying to play on your sympathy by asking you to imagine what it must feel like for a child to be removed from their family and watch their clothes and toys bagged up like trash. That such a scene requires empathy is self-evident, but not the point of this article. It was a scene that I would see play out time and time again during my 13-year career, serving some of our nation’s most vulnerable youth. A child comes into care needing foster care, and the youth and their caseworker shows up with a couple of black garbage bags full of everything the child owned in the world. Now, I’m not really trying to play on your sympathy by asking you to imagine what it must feel like for a child to be removed from their family and watch their clothes and toys bagged up like trash. That such a scene requires empathy is self-evident, but not the point of this article. It was a scene that I would see play out time and time again during my 13-year career, serving some of our nation’s most vulnerable youth. A child comes into care needing foster care, and the youth and their caseworker shows up with a couple of black garbage bags full of everything the child owned in the world. Now, I’m not really trying to play on your sympathy by asking you to imagine what it must feel like for a child to be removed from their family and watch their clothes and toys bagged up like trash. That such a scene requires empathy is self-evident, but not the point of this article. It was a scene that I would see play out time and time again during my 13-year career, serving some of our nation’s most vulnerable youth. A child comes into care needing foster care, and the youth and their caseworker shows up with a couple of black garbage bags full of everything the child owned in the world. Now, I’m not really trying to play on your sympathy by asking you to imagine what it must feel like for a child to be removed from their family and watch their clothes and toys bagged up like trash. That such a scene requires empathy is self-evident, but not the point of this article.
by Jeff Edwards 2 min read

The Priority to Combat Staff Turnover in Social Services: Leadership Development

Welcome back to the second part in a two-part series on combating staff turnover in social services. Previously we talked about the budget dilemmas that typically put the least experienced and least paid staff on the frontlines, spending most of their time with the clients. Moreover, the heavy toll ...
Welcome back to the second part in a two-part series on combating staff turnover in social services. Previously we talked about the budget dilemmas that typically put the least experienced and least paid staff on the frontlines, spending most of their time with the clients. Moreover, the heavy toll often inflicted on frontline social service workers means turnover is a common recurrence. If you work in social services, then you've seen this play out time and time again. If you find yourself an administrator in social services, you know it's a problem that is not easy to solve. Welcome back to the second part in a two-part series on combating staff turnover in social services. Previously we talked about the budget dilemmas that typically put the least experienced and least paid staff on the frontlines, spending most of their time with the clients. Moreover, the heavy toll often inflicted on frontline social service workers means turnover is a common recurrence. If you work in social services, then you've seen this play out time and time again. If you find yourself an administrator in social services, you know it's a problem that is not easy to solve. Welcome back to the second part in a two-part series on combating staff turnover in social services. Previously we talked about the budget dilemmas that typically put the least experienced and least paid staff on the frontlines, spending most of their time with the clients. Moreover, the heavy toll often inflicted on frontline social service workers means turnover is a common recurrence. If you work in social services, then you've seen this play out time and time again. If you find yourself an administrator in social services, you know it's a problem that is not easy to solve. Welcome back to the second part in a two-part series on combating staff turnover in social services. Previously we talked about the budget dilemmas that typically put the least experienced and least paid staff on the frontlines, spending most of their time with the clients. Moreover, the heavy toll often inflicted on frontline social service workers means turnover is a common recurrence. If you work in social services, then you've seen this play out time and time again. If you find yourself an administrator in social services, you know it's a problem that is not easy to solve. Welcome back to the second part in a two-part series on combating staff turnover in social services. Previously we talked about the budget dilemmas that typically put the least experienced and least paid staff on the frontlines, spending most of their time with the clients. Moreover, the heavy toll often inflicted on frontline social service workers means turnover is a common recurrence. If you work in social services, then you've seen this play out time and time again. If you find yourself an administrator in social services, you know it's a problem that is not easy to solve. Welcome back to the second part in a two-part series on combating staff turnover in social services. Previously we talked about the budget dilemmas that typically put the least experienced and least paid staff on the frontlines, spending most of their time with the clients. Moreover, the heavy toll often inflicted on frontline social service workers means turnover is a common recurrence. If you work in social services, then you've seen this play out time and time again. If you find yourself an administrator in social services, you know it's a problem that is not easy to solve. Welcome back to the second part in a two-part series on combating staff turnover in social services. Previously we talked about the budget dilemmas that typically put the least experienced and least paid staff on the frontlines, spending most of their time with the clients. Moreover, the heavy toll often inflicted on frontline social service workers means turnover is a common recurrence. If you work in social services, then you've seen this play out time and time again. If you find yourself an administrator in social services, you know it's a problem that is not easy to solve. Welcome back to the second part in a two-part series on combating staff turnover in social services. Previously we talked about the budget dilemmas that typically put the least experienced and least paid staff on the frontlines, spending most of their time with the clients. Moreover, the heavy toll often inflicted on frontline social service workers means turnover is a common recurrence. If you work in social services, then you've seen this play out time and time again. If you find yourself an administrator in social services, you know it's a problem that is not easy to solve. Welcome back to the second part in a two-part series on combating staff turnover in social services. Previously we talked about the budget dilemmas that typically put the least experienced and least paid staff on the frontlines, spending most of their time with the clients. Moreover, the heavy toll often inflicted on frontline social service workers means turnover is a common recurrence. If you work in social services, then you've seen this play out time and time again. If you find yourself an administrator in social services, you know it's a problem that is not easy to solve. Welcome back to the second part in a two-part series on combating staff turnover in social services. Previously we talked about the budget dilemmas that typically put the least experienced and least paid staff on the frontlines, spending most of their time with the clients. Moreover, the heavy toll often inflicted on frontline social service workers means turnover is a common recurrence. If you work in social services, then you've seen this play out time and time again. If you find yourself an administrator in social services, you know it's a problem that is not easy to solve.
by Jeff Edwards 2 min read

The Priority to Combat Staff Turnover in Social Services

A little less than 20 years ago, almost to the day, I received a call that would unknowingly launch a 13-year career in child welfare services. That's quite a remarkable tenure considering that when the organization called me for the interview, I couldn't even remember who they were and when I appli...
A little less than 20 years ago, almost to the day, I received a call that would unknowingly launch a 13-year career in child welfare services. That's quite a remarkable tenure considering that when the organization called me for the interview, I couldn't even remember who they were and when I applied. I had just graduated from college, and with student loans coming due, I needed a job. So much so that I applied for a host of jobs in sort of a shotgun manner, hoping one would stick before the first payment came due. As I found out after I arrived, that job would involve serving as a Teacher/Counselor in a cottage of emotionally disturbed youth in a residential setting. I accepted the challenge. A little less than 20 years ago, almost to the day, I received a call that would unknowingly launch a 13-year career in child welfare services. That's quite a remarkable tenure considering that when the organization called me for the interview, I couldn't even remember who they were and when I applied. I had just graduated from college, and with student loans coming due, I needed a job. So much so that I applied for a host of jobs in sort of a shotgun manner, hoping one would stick before the first payment came due. As I found out after I arrived, that job would involve serving as a Teacher/Counselor in a cottage of emotionally disturbed youth in a residential setting. I accepted the challenge. A little less than 20 years ago, almost to the day, I received a call that would unknowingly launch a 13-year career in child welfare services. That's quite a remarkable tenure considering that when the organization called me for the interview, I couldn't even remember who they were and when I applied. I had just graduated from college, and with student loans coming due, I needed a job. So much so that I applied for a host of jobs in sort of a shotgun manner, hoping one would stick before the first payment came due. As I found out after I arrived, that job would involve serving as a Teacher/Counselor in a cottage of emotionally disturbed youth in a residential setting. I accepted the challenge. A little less than 20 years ago, almost to the day, I received a call that would unknowingly launch a 13-year career in child welfare services. That's quite a remarkable tenure considering that when the organization called me for the interview, I couldn't even remember who they were and when I applied. I had just graduated from college, and with student loans coming due, I needed a job. So much so that I applied for a host of jobs in sort of a shotgun manner, hoping one would stick before the first payment came due. As I found out after I arrived, that job would involve serving as a Teacher/Counselor in a cottage of emotionally disturbed youth in a residential setting. I accepted the challenge. A little less than 20 years ago, almost to the day, I received a call that would unknowingly launch a 13-year career in child welfare services. That's quite a remarkable tenure considering that when the organization called me for the interview, I couldn't even remember who they were and when I applied. I had just graduated from college, and with student loans coming due, I needed a job. So much so that I applied for a host of jobs in sort of a shotgun manner, hoping one would stick before the first payment came due. As I found out after I arrived, that job would involve serving as a Teacher/Counselor in a cottage of emotionally disturbed youth in a residential setting. I accepted the challenge. A little less than 20 years ago, almost to the day, I received a call that would unknowingly launch a 13-year career in child welfare services. That's quite a remarkable tenure considering that when the organization called me for the interview, I couldn't even remember who they were and when I applied. I had just graduated from college, and with student loans coming due, I needed a job. So much so that I applied for a host of jobs in sort of a shotgun manner, hoping one would stick before the first payment came due. As I found out after I arrived, that job would involve serving as a Teacher/Counselor in a cottage of emotionally disturbed youth in a residential setting. I accepted the challenge. A little less than 20 years ago, almost to the day, I received a call that would unknowingly launch a 13-year career in child welfare services. That's quite a remarkable tenure considering that when the organization called me for the interview, I couldn't even remember who they were and when I applied. I had just graduated from college, and with student loans coming due, I needed a job. So much so that I applied for a host of jobs in sort of a shotgun manner, hoping one would stick before the first payment came due. As I found out after I arrived, that job would involve serving as a Teacher/Counselor in a cottage of emotionally disturbed youth in a residential setting. I accepted the challenge. A little less than 20 years ago, almost to the day, I received a call that would unknowingly launch a 13-year career in child welfare services. That's quite a remarkable tenure considering that when the organization called me for the interview, I couldn't even remember who they were and when I applied. I had just graduated from college, and with student loans coming due, I needed a job. So much so that I applied for a host of jobs in sort of a shotgun manner, hoping one would stick before the first payment came due. As I found out after I arrived, that job would involve serving as a Teacher/Counselor in a cottage of emotionally disturbed youth in a residential setting. I accepted the challenge. A little less than 20 years ago, almost to the day, I received a call that would unknowingly launch a 13-year career in child welfare services. That's quite a remarkable tenure considering that when the organization called me for the interview, I couldn't even remember who they were and when I applied. I had just graduated from college, and with student loans coming due, I needed a job. So much so that I applied for a host of jobs in sort of a shotgun manner, hoping one would stick before the first payment came due. As I found out after I arrived, that job would involve serving as a Teacher/Counselor in a cottage of emotionally disturbed youth in a residential setting. I accepted the challenge. A little less than 20 years ago, almost to the day, I received a call that would unknowingly launch a 13-year career in child welfare services. That's quite a remarkable tenure considering that when the organization called me for the interview, I couldn't even remember who they were and when I applied. I had just graduated from college, and with student loans coming due, I needed a job. So much so that I applied for a host of jobs in sort of a shotgun manner, hoping one would stick before the first payment came due. As I found out after I arrived, that job would involve serving as a Teacher/Counselor in a cottage of emotionally disturbed youth in a residential setting. I accepted the challenge.
by Jeff Edwards 3 min read

The Impact of One Trusted Adult in a Former Foster Youth’s Life

For most of us reading this article, we didn’t have life completely figured out when we turned 18 years of age. I turned 18 in the middle of boot camp with the United States Marine Corps. I declined to notify my Drill Instructors that it was my birthday, lest they plan a special “celebration” for me...
For most of us reading this article, we didn’t have life completely figured out when we turned 18 years of age. I turned 18 in the middle of boot camp with the United States Marine Corps. I declined to notify my Drill Instructors that it was my birthday, lest they plan a special “celebration” for me. When I emerged from boot camp, I was a United States Marine who had little discipline and income. However, I also had a family to fall back on if things got hard. Most of us who achieved some level of success in life benefited at least one trusted adult during our coming of age into adulthood. Sadly, that’s not the case for many foster youths who age out of our nation’s child welfare system. So let’s talk about those youth for a moment. For most of us reading this article, we didn’t have life completely figured out when we turned 18 years of age. I turned 18 in the middle of boot camp with the United States Marine Corps. I declined to notify my Drill Instructors that it was my birthday, lest they plan a special “celebration” for me. When I emerged from boot camp, I was a United States Marine who had little discipline and income. However, I also had a family to fall back on if things got hard. Most of us who achieved some level of success in life benefited at least one trusted adult during our coming of age into adulthood. Sadly, that’s not the case for many foster youths who age out of our nation’s child welfare system. So let’s talk about those youth for a moment. For most of us reading this article, we didn’t have life completely figured out when we turned 18 years of age. I turned 18 in the middle of boot camp with the United States Marine Corps. I declined to notify my Drill Instructors that it was my birthday, lest they plan a special “celebration” for me. When I emerged from boot camp, I was a United States Marine who had little discipline and income. However, I also had a family to fall back on if things got hard. Most of us who achieved some level of success in life benefited at least one trusted adult during our coming of age into adulthood. Sadly, that’s not the case for many foster youths who age out of our nation’s child welfare system. So let’s talk about those youth for a moment. For most of us reading this article, we didn’t have life completely figured out when we turned 18 years of age. I turned 18 in the middle of boot camp with the United States Marine Corps. I declined to notify my Drill Instructors that it was my birthday, lest they plan a special “celebration” for me. When I emerged from boot camp, I was a United States Marine who had little discipline and income. However, I also had a family to fall back on if things got hard. Most of us who achieved some level of success in life benefited at least one trusted adult during our coming of age into adulthood. Sadly, that’s not the case for many foster youths who age out of our nation’s child welfare system. So let’s talk about those youth for a moment. For most of us reading this article, we didn’t have life completely figured out when we turned 18 years of age. I turned 18 in the middle of boot camp with the United States Marine Corps. I declined to notify my Drill Instructors that it was my birthday, lest they plan a special “celebration” for me. When I emerged from boot camp, I was a United States Marine who had little discipline and income. However, I also had a family to fall back on if things got hard. Most of us who achieved some level of success in life benefited at least one trusted adult during our coming of age into adulthood. Sadly, that’s not the case for many foster youths who age out of our nation’s child welfare system. So let’s talk about those youth for a moment. For most of us reading this article, we didn’t have life completely figured out when we turned 18 years of age. I turned 18 in the middle of boot camp with the United States Marine Corps. I declined to notify my Drill Instructors that it was my birthday, lest they plan a special “celebration” for me. When I emerged from boot camp, I was a United States Marine who had little discipline and income. However, I also had a family to fall back on if things got hard. Most of us who achieved some level of success in life benefited at least one trusted adult during our coming of age into adulthood. Sadly, that’s not the case for many foster youths who age out of our nation’s child welfare system. So let’s talk about those youth for a moment. For most of us reading this article, we didn’t have life completely figured out when we turned 18 years of age. I turned 18 in the middle of boot camp with the United States Marine Corps. I declined to notify my Drill Instructors that it was my birthday, lest they plan a special “celebration” for me. When I emerged from boot camp, I was a United States Marine who had little discipline and income. However, I also had a family to fall back on if things got hard. Most of us who achieved some level of success in life benefited at least one trusted adult during our coming of age into adulthood. Sadly, that’s not the case for many foster youths who age out of our nation’s child welfare system. So let’s talk about those youth for a moment. For most of us reading this article, we didn’t have life completely figured out when we turned 18 years of age. I turned 18 in the middle of boot camp with the United States Marine Corps. I declined to notify my Drill Instructors that it was my birthday, lest they plan a special “celebration” for me. When I emerged from boot camp, I was a United States Marine who had little discipline and income. However, I also had a family to fall back on if things got hard. Most of us who achieved some level of success in life benefited at least one trusted adult during our coming of age into adulthood. Sadly, that’s not the case for many foster youths who age out of our nation’s child welfare system. So let’s talk about those youth for a moment. For most of us reading this article, we didn’t have life completely figured out when we turned 18 years of age. I turned 18 in the middle of boot camp with the United States Marine Corps. I declined to notify my Drill Instructors that it was my birthday, lest they plan a special “celebration” for me. When I emerged from boot camp, I was a United States Marine who had little discipline and income. However, I also had a family to fall back on if things got hard. Most of us who achieved some level of success in life benefited at least one trusted adult during our coming of age into adulthood. Sadly, that’s not the case for many foster youths who age out of our nation’s child welfare system. So let’s talk about those youth for a moment. For most of us reading this article, we didn’t have life completely figured out when we turned 18 years of age. I turned 18 in the middle of boot camp with the United States Marine Corps. I declined to notify my Drill Instructors that it was my birthday, lest they plan a special “celebration” for me. When I emerged from boot camp, I was a United States Marine who had little discipline and income. However, I also had a family to fall back on if things got hard. Most of us who achieved some level of success in life benefited at least one trusted adult during our coming of age into adulthood. Sadly, that’s not the case for many foster youths who age out of our nation’s child welfare system. So let’s talk about those youth for a moment.
by Jeff Edwards 3 min read

A COVID-19 Call to Action for Foster Parents

Nearly 20 years ago, I embarked on what would be a fascinating career serving some of our nation’s most troubled youth. A remarkable career considering that when I started, I didn’t know anything about kids. I was a Political Science major in need of a job post-college when one of the nation’s most ...
Nearly 20 years ago, I embarked on what would be a fascinating career serving some of our nation’s most troubled youth. A remarkable career considering that when I started, I didn’t know anything about kids. I was a Political Science major in need of a job post-college when one of the nation’s most respected youth services organizations was looking for a few good men. I use that term figuratively and literally as I was also a United States Marine, and I think the agency was looking for a little muscle to help out with the older troubled youth at a campus. Unfortunately for them, I’m much smaller than my deep voice on the phone would lead you to believe. Nearly 20 years ago, I embarked on what would be a fascinating career serving some of our nation’s most troubled youth. A remarkable career considering that when I started, I didn’t know anything about kids. I was a Political Science major in need of a job post-college when one of the nation’s most respected youth services organizations was looking for a few good men. I use that term figuratively and literally as I was also a United States Marine, and I think the agency was looking for a little muscle to help out with the older troubled youth at a campus. Unfortunately for them, I’m much smaller than my deep voice on the phone would lead you to believe. Nearly 20 years ago, I embarked on what would be a fascinating career serving some of our nation’s most troubled youth. A remarkable career considering that when I started, I didn’t know anything about kids. I was a Political Science major in need of a job post-college when one of the nation’s most respected youth services organizations was looking for a few good men. I use that term figuratively and literally as I was also a United States Marine, and I think the agency was looking for a little muscle to help out with the older troubled youth at a campus. Unfortunately for them, I’m much smaller than my deep voice on the phone would lead you to believe. Nearly 20 years ago, I embarked on what would be a fascinating career serving some of our nation’s most troubled youth. A remarkable career considering that when I started, I didn’t know anything about kids. I was a Political Science major in need of a job post-college when one of the nation’s most respected youth services organizations was looking for a few good men. I use that term figuratively and literally as I was also a United States Marine, and I think the agency was looking for a little muscle to help out with the older troubled youth at a campus. Unfortunately for them, I’m much smaller than my deep voice on the phone would lead you to believe. Nearly 20 years ago, I embarked on what would be a fascinating career serving some of our nation’s most troubled youth. A remarkable career considering that when I started, I didn’t know anything about kids. I was a Political Science major in need of a job post-college when one of the nation’s most respected youth services organizations was looking for a few good men. I use that term figuratively and literally as I was also a United States Marine, and I think the agency was looking for a little muscle to help out with the older troubled youth at a campus. Unfortunately for them, I’m much smaller than my deep voice on the phone would lead you to believe. Nearly 20 years ago, I embarked on what would be a fascinating career serving some of our nation’s most troubled youth. A remarkable career considering that when I started, I didn’t know anything about kids. I was a Political Science major in need of a job post-college when one of the nation’s most respected youth services organizations was looking for a few good men. I use that term figuratively and literally as I was also a United States Marine, and I think the agency was looking for a little muscle to help out with the older troubled youth at a campus. Unfortunately for them, I’m much smaller than my deep voice on the phone would lead you to believe. Nearly 20 years ago, I embarked on what would be a fascinating career serving some of our nation’s most troubled youth. A remarkable career considering that when I started, I didn’t know anything about kids. I was a Political Science major in need of a job post-college when one of the nation’s most respected youth services organizations was looking for a few good men. I use that term figuratively and literally as I was also a United States Marine, and I think the agency was looking for a little muscle to help out with the older troubled youth at a campus. Unfortunately for them, I’m much smaller than my deep voice on the phone would lead you to believe. Nearly 20 years ago, I embarked on what would be a fascinating career serving some of our nation’s most troubled youth. A remarkable career considering that when I started, I didn’t know anything about kids. I was a Political Science major in need of a job post-college when one of the nation’s most respected youth services organizations was looking for a few good men. I use that term figuratively and literally as I was also a United States Marine, and I think the agency was looking for a little muscle to help out with the older troubled youth at a campus. Unfortunately for them, I’m much smaller than my deep voice on the phone would lead you to believe. Nearly 20 years ago, I embarked on what would be a fascinating career serving some of our nation’s most troubled youth. A remarkable career considering that when I started, I didn’t know anything about kids. I was a Political Science major in need of a job post-college when one of the nation’s most respected youth services organizations was looking for a few good men. I use that term figuratively and literally as I was also a United States Marine, and I think the agency was looking for a little muscle to help out with the older troubled youth at a campus. Unfortunately for them, I’m much smaller than my deep voice on the phone would lead you to believe. Nearly 20 years ago, I embarked on what would be a fascinating career serving some of our nation’s most troubled youth. A remarkable career considering that when I started, I didn’t know anything about kids. I was a Political Science major in need of a job post-college when one of the nation’s most respected youth services organizations was looking for a few good men. I use that term figuratively and literally as I was also a United States Marine, and I think the agency was looking for a little muscle to help out with the older troubled youth at a campus. Unfortunately for them, I’m much smaller than my deep voice on the phone would lead you to believe.
by Jeff Edwards 2 min read

Adoption and the Never Ending Pursuit of a Forever Family

Without exception, perhaps the most tangible reward for a job well done in the child welfare service is seeing a young child find their forever family via adoption. Yes, it’s great to see children go back home to their birth families as well. To say that I enjoyed witnessing the adoption of a child ...
Without exception, perhaps the most tangible reward for a job well done in the child welfare service is seeing a young child find their forever family via adoption. Yes, it’s great to see children go back home to their birth families as well. To say that I enjoyed witnessing the adoption of a child is not to say that I prefer that outcome to the latter. Birth family reunification is a wonderful sight to see, but to see a child whose parental rights have been terminated emerge from the precipice of disaster to now having a place to call home for life is amazing. It’s like a 4th quarter comeback in football where the odds of success were slim to none. Without exception, perhaps the most tangible reward for a job well done in the child welfare service is seeing a young child find their forever family via adoption. Yes, it’s great to see children go back home to their birth families as well. To say that I enjoyed witnessing the adoption of a child is not to say that I prefer that outcome to the latter. Birth family reunification is a wonderful sight to see, but to see a child whose parental rights have been terminated emerge from the precipice of disaster to now having a place to call home for life is amazing. It’s like a 4th quarter comeback in football where the odds of success were slim to none. Without exception, perhaps the most tangible reward for a job well done in the child welfare service is seeing a young child find their forever family via adoption. Yes, it’s great to see children go back home to their birth families as well. To say that I enjoyed witnessing the adoption of a child is not to say that I prefer that outcome to the latter. Birth family reunification is a wonderful sight to see, but to see a child whose parental rights have been terminated emerge from the precipice of disaster to now having a place to call home for life is amazing. It’s like a 4th quarter comeback in football where the odds of success were slim to none. Without exception, perhaps the most tangible reward for a job well done in the child welfare service is seeing a young child find their forever family via adoption. Yes, it’s great to see children go back home to their birth families as well. To say that I enjoyed witnessing the adoption of a child is not to say that I prefer that outcome to the latter. Birth family reunification is a wonderful sight to see, but to see a child whose parental rights have been terminated emerge from the precipice of disaster to now having a place to call home for life is amazing. It’s like a 4th quarter comeback in football where the odds of success were slim to none. Without exception, perhaps the most tangible reward for a job well done in the child welfare service is seeing a young child find their forever family via adoption. Yes, it’s great to see children go back home to their birth families as well. To say that I enjoyed witnessing the adoption of a child is not to say that I prefer that outcome to the latter. Birth family reunification is a wonderful sight to see, but to see a child whose parental rights have been terminated emerge from the precipice of disaster to now having a place to call home for life is amazing. It’s like a 4th quarter comeback in football where the odds of success were slim to none. Without exception, perhaps the most tangible reward for a job well done in the child welfare service is seeing a young child find their forever family via adoption. Yes, it’s great to see children go back home to their birth families as well. To say that I enjoyed witnessing the adoption of a child is not to say that I prefer that outcome to the latter. Birth family reunification is a wonderful sight to see, but to see a child whose parental rights have been terminated emerge from the precipice of disaster to now having a place to call home for life is amazing. It’s like a 4th quarter comeback in football where the odds of success were slim to none. Without exception, perhaps the most tangible reward for a job well done in the child welfare service is seeing a young child find their forever family via adoption. Yes, it’s great to see children go back home to their birth families as well. To say that I enjoyed witnessing the adoption of a child is not to say that I prefer that outcome to the latter. Birth family reunification is a wonderful sight to see, but to see a child whose parental rights have been terminated emerge from the precipice of disaster to now having a place to call home for life is amazing. It’s like a 4th quarter comeback in football where the odds of success were slim to none. Without exception, perhaps the most tangible reward for a job well done in the child welfare service is seeing a young child find their forever family via adoption. Yes, it’s great to see children go back home to their birth families as well. To say that I enjoyed witnessing the adoption of a child is not to say that I prefer that outcome to the latter. Birth family reunification is a wonderful sight to see, but to see a child whose parental rights have been terminated emerge from the precipice of disaster to now having a place to call home for life is amazing. It’s like a 4th quarter comeback in football where the odds of success were slim to none. Without exception, perhaps the most tangible reward for a job well done in the child welfare service is seeing a young child find their forever family via adoption. Yes, it’s great to see children go back home to their birth families as well. To say that I enjoyed witnessing the adoption of a child is not to say that I prefer that outcome to the latter. Birth family reunification is a wonderful sight to see, but to see a child whose parental rights have been terminated emerge from the precipice of disaster to now having a place to call home for life is amazing. It’s like a 4th quarter comeback in football where the odds of success were slim to none. Without exception, perhaps the most tangible reward for a job well done in the child welfare service is seeing a young child find their forever family via adoption. Yes, it’s great to see children go back home to their birth families as well. To say that I enjoyed witnessing the adoption of a child is not to say that I prefer that outcome to the latter. Birth family reunification is a wonderful sight to see, but to see a child whose parental rights have been terminated emerge from the precipice of disaster to now having a place to call home for life is amazing. It’s like a 4th quarter comeback in football where the odds of success were slim to none.
by Jeff Edwards 2 min read

All Foster Homes Are Not Created Equal in the Child Welfare System

To be clear, the title of this article is not one of equity or opportunity regarding foster homes in the child welfare system. Rather, it is one of competency and confidence. It may come as a surprise to many, but there is not a significant deficiency in the number of foster homes looking for a plac...
To be clear, the title of this article is not one of equity or opportunity regarding foster homes in the child welfare system. Rather, it is one of competency and confidence. It may come as a surprise to many, but there is not a significant deficiency in the number of foster homes looking for a placement in America. When I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster care and adoption program in Memphis, TN, I could fill a sports stadium with the number of foster parents who were ready to take an infant with parental rights already terminated and ready for adoption. To be clear, the title of this article is not one of equity or opportunity regarding foster homes in the child welfare system. Rather, it is one of competency and confidence. It may come as a surprise to many, but there is not a significant deficiency in the number of foster homes looking for a placement in America. When I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster care and adoption program in Memphis, TN, I could fill a sports stadium with the number of foster parents who were ready to take an infant with parental rights already terminated and ready for adoption. To be clear, the title of this article is not one of equity or opportunity regarding foster homes in the child welfare system. Rather, it is one of competency and confidence. It may come as a surprise to many, but there is not a significant deficiency in the number of foster homes looking for a placement in America. When I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster care and adoption program in Memphis, TN, I could fill a sports stadium with the number of foster parents who were ready to take an infant with parental rights already terminated and ready for adoption. To be clear, the title of this article is not one of equity or opportunity regarding foster homes in the child welfare system. Rather, it is one of competency and confidence. It may come as a surprise to many, but there is not a significant deficiency in the number of foster homes looking for a placement in America. When I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster care and adoption program in Memphis, TN, I could fill a sports stadium with the number of foster parents who were ready to take an infant with parental rights already terminated and ready for adoption. To be clear, the title of this article is not one of equity or opportunity regarding foster homes in the child welfare system. Rather, it is one of competency and confidence. It may come as a surprise to many, but there is not a significant deficiency in the number of foster homes looking for a placement in America. When I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster care and adoption program in Memphis, TN, I could fill a sports stadium with the number of foster parents who were ready to take an infant with parental rights already terminated and ready for adoption. To be clear, the title of this article is not one of equity or opportunity regarding foster homes in the child welfare system. Rather, it is one of competency and confidence. It may come as a surprise to many, but there is not a significant deficiency in the number of foster homes looking for a placement in America. When I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster care and adoption program in Memphis, TN, I could fill a sports stadium with the number of foster parents who were ready to take an infant with parental rights already terminated and ready for adoption. To be clear, the title of this article is not one of equity or opportunity regarding foster homes in the child welfare system. Rather, it is one of competency and confidence. It may come as a surprise to many, but there is not a significant deficiency in the number of foster homes looking for a placement in America. When I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster care and adoption program in Memphis, TN, I could fill a sports stadium with the number of foster parents who were ready to take an infant with parental rights already terminated and ready for adoption. To be clear, the title of this article is not one of equity or opportunity regarding foster homes in the child welfare system. Rather, it is one of competency and confidence. It may come as a surprise to many, but there is not a significant deficiency in the number of foster homes looking for a placement in America. When I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster care and adoption program in Memphis, TN, I could fill a sports stadium with the number of foster parents who were ready to take an infant with parental rights already terminated and ready for adoption. To be clear, the title of this article is not one of equity or opportunity regarding foster homes in the child welfare system. Rather, it is one of competency and confidence. It may come as a surprise to many, but there is not a significant deficiency in the number of foster homes looking for a placement in America. When I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster care and adoption program in Memphis, TN, I could fill a sports stadium with the number of foster parents who were ready to take an infant with parental rights already terminated and ready for adoption. To be clear, the title of this article is not one of equity or opportunity regarding foster homes in the child welfare system. Rather, it is one of competency and confidence. It may come as a surprise to many, but there is not a significant deficiency in the number of foster homes looking for a placement in America. When I was the Assistant Director for a fairly large foster care and adoption program in Memphis, TN, I could fill a sports stadium with the number of foster parents who were ready to take an infant with parental rights already terminated and ready for adoption.
by Jeff Edwards 2 min read

Fire for Effect: Using Evidence in Foster Care

Despite my 13-plus year career in the child welfare sector, I was never a clinician. I managed clinicians in an administrative capacity for a large number of those years and as such, a good deal of the information stuck with me. Yet, I could always count on my beloved clinicians to remind me that a ...
Despite my 13-plus year career in the child welfare sector, I was never a clinician. I managed clinicians in an administrative capacity for a large number of those years and as such, a good deal of the information stuck with me. Yet, I could always count on my beloved clinicians to remind me that a fellow clinician, I was not. In truth, the relationship worked great. I leveraged the sum of my administrative ability to put the right clinician in the right place and armed with the right tools to make a difference in the lives of the children we served. Now, I had it better than many of my administrative peers with other organizations because I could truly say I belonged to an organization dedicated to following the evidence of what works. Looking back at my career now, I don’t know how any organization could do anything other than heed the evidence given what is at stake. Despite my 13-plus year career in the child welfare sector, I was never a clinician. I managed clinicians in an administrative capacity for a large number of those years and as such, a good deal of the information stuck with me. Yet, I could always count on my beloved clinicians to remind me that a fellow clinician, I was not. In truth, the relationship worked great. I leveraged the sum of my administrative ability to put the right clinician in the right place and armed with the right tools to make a difference in the lives of the children we served. Now, I had it better than many of my administrative peers with other organizations because I could truly say I belonged to an organization dedicated to following the evidence of what works. Looking back at my career now, I don’t know how any organization could do anything other than heed the evidence given what is at stake. Despite my 13-plus year career in the child welfare sector, I was never a clinician. I managed clinicians in an administrative capacity for a large number of those years and as such, a good deal of the information stuck with me. Yet, I could always count on my beloved clinicians to remind me that a fellow clinician, I was not. In truth, the relationship worked great. I leveraged the sum of my administrative ability to put the right clinician in the right place and armed with the right tools to make a difference in the lives of the children we served. Now, I had it better than many of my administrative peers with other organizations because I could truly say I belonged to an organization dedicated to following the evidence of what works. Looking back at my career now, I don’t know how any organization could do anything other than heed the evidence given what is at stake. Despite my 13-plus year career in the child welfare sector, I was never a clinician. I managed clinicians in an administrative capacity for a large number of those years and as such, a good deal of the information stuck with me. Yet, I could always count on my beloved clinicians to remind me that a fellow clinician, I was not. In truth, the relationship worked great. I leveraged the sum of my administrative ability to put the right clinician in the right place and armed with the right tools to make a difference in the lives of the children we served. Now, I had it better than many of my administrative peers with other organizations because I could truly say I belonged to an organization dedicated to following the evidence of what works. Looking back at my career now, I don’t know how any organization could do anything other than heed the evidence given what is at stake. Despite my 13-plus year career in the child welfare sector, I was never a clinician. I managed clinicians in an administrative capacity for a large number of those years and as such, a good deal of the information stuck with me. Yet, I could always count on my beloved clinicians to remind me that a fellow clinician, I was not. In truth, the relationship worked great. I leveraged the sum of my administrative ability to put the right clinician in the right place and armed with the right tools to make a difference in the lives of the children we served. Now, I had it better than many of my administrative peers with other organizations because I could truly say I belonged to an organization dedicated to following the evidence of what works. Looking back at my career now, I don’t know how any organization could do anything other than heed the evidence given what is at stake. Despite my 13-plus year career in the child welfare sector, I was never a clinician. I managed clinicians in an administrative capacity for a large number of those years and as such, a good deal of the information stuck with me. Yet, I could always count on my beloved clinicians to remind me that a fellow clinician, I was not. In truth, the relationship worked great. I leveraged the sum of my administrative ability to put the right clinician in the right place and armed with the right tools to make a difference in the lives of the children we served. Now, I had it better than many of my administrative peers with other organizations because I could truly say I belonged to an organization dedicated to following the evidence of what works. Looking back at my career now, I don’t know how any organization could do anything other than heed the evidence given what is at stake. Despite my 13-plus year career in the child welfare sector, I was never a clinician. I managed clinicians in an administrative capacity for a large number of those years and as such, a good deal of the information stuck with me. Yet, I could always count on my beloved clinicians to remind me that a fellow clinician, I was not. In truth, the relationship worked great. I leveraged the sum of my administrative ability to put the right clinician in the right place and armed with the right tools to make a difference in the lives of the children we served. Now, I had it better than many of my administrative peers with other organizations because I could truly say I belonged to an organization dedicated to following the evidence of what works. Looking back at my career now, I don’t know how any organization could do anything other than heed the evidence given what is at stake. Despite my 13-plus year career in the child welfare sector, I was never a clinician. I managed clinicians in an administrative capacity for a large number of those years and as such, a good deal of the information stuck with me. Yet, I could always count on my beloved clinicians to remind me that a fellow clinician, I was not. In truth, the relationship worked great. I leveraged the sum of my administrative ability to put the right clinician in the right place and armed with the right tools to make a difference in the lives of the children we served. Now, I had it better than many of my administrative peers with other organizations because I could truly say I belonged to an organization dedicated to following the evidence of what works. Looking back at my career now, I don’t know how any organization could do anything other than heed the evidence given what is at stake. Despite my 13-plus year career in the child welfare sector, I was never a clinician. I managed clinicians in an administrative capacity for a large number of those years and as such, a good deal of the information stuck with me. Yet, I could always count on my beloved clinicians to remind me that a fellow clinician, I was not. In truth, the relationship worked great. I leveraged the sum of my administrative ability to put the right clinician in the right place and armed with the right tools to make a difference in the lives of the children we served. Now, I had it better than many of my administrative peers with other organizations because I could truly say I belonged to an organization dedicated to following the evidence of what works. Looking back at my career now, I don’t know how any organization could do anything other than heed the evidence given what is at stake. Despite my 13-plus year career in the child welfare sector, I was never a clinician. I managed clinicians in an administrative capacity for a large number of those years and as such, a good deal of the information stuck with me. Yet, I could always count on my beloved clinicians to remind me that a fellow clinician, I was not. In truth, the relationship worked great. I leveraged the sum of my administrative ability to put the right clinician in the right place and armed with the right tools to make a difference in the lives of the children we served. Now, I had it better than many of my administrative peers with other organizations because I could truly say I belonged to an organization dedicated to following the evidence of what works. Looking back at my career now, I don’t know how any organization could do anything other than heed the evidence given what is at stake.
by Jeff Edwards 3 min read

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