The Impact of Grief and Loss

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The Impact of Grief and Loss. Our work, in large part, is dealing with the aftermath of loss. What is Grief and Loss?. deep and poignant distress caused by being left desolate and alone. Our Goals with Loss. Identify It Diminish It Deal with what remains. 6 Categories of Loss. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • The Impact of Grief and Loss

  • Our work, in large part, is dealing with the aftermath of loss

  • What is Grief and Loss? deep and poignant distress caused by being left desolate and alone

  • Our Goals with Loss Identify ItDiminish ItDeal with what remains

  • 6 Categories of LossRelationship LossLoss of Objects of ComfortLoss of Secure / Familiar EnvironmentLoss of SelfLoss of Skills / Abilities / CompetenciesLoss of Familiar Habits / Routines

  • Sometimes the most challenging behaviors we see in our children and youth are manifestations of the grief and loss they suffered

  • Developmental Mourning BehaviorPre-schoolExcessive activityFearfulNo words to process what happenedSelf-blame, someone must be responsibleCrying, expression of painful feelingsClingy, fear of abandonment

  • Developmental Mourning BehaviorLatencyChanges in eating and sleepingDistraught, preoccupiedSchool problems (grief takes emotional effort)Anger; lack of controlWithdrawn, passive, unwilling to connect

  • Developmental Mourning BehaviorsAdolescence Risk takingSelf destruction, suicidal thoughtsRunning awayDrugs and alcoholDepression

  • Pooh, promise you won't forget about me, ever. Not even when I'm a hundred." Pooh thought for a little. "How old shall I be then?" "Ninety-nine." Pooh nodded. "I promise," he said.

    --A. A. Milne, "The House at Pooh Corner", Chapter X Winnie the Pooh

  • Losses We Can DiminishLoss of kinLoss of siblingsLoss of friendsLoss of community / school

  • The siblings and kin of children and youth in care had nothing to do with them entering care. In most cases they are also grieving the loss of their kin, sister, brother or friend.

  • Good Practice in Kin and Sibling ConnectionsAlways make decisions that honor connections to kin, siblings, community

    Start early to make connections and keep connecting and re-connecting during entire life of case Never give up

  • Siblings In Out-Of-Home Care Sibling pairs placed together were more likely to remain in their first placement (56%) than those placed separately, and it was less likely for one of the pair to experience a placement disruption than for the separately placed siblings

    Child Welfare League of America, Ilene Staff, Edith Fein

  • In 2004 a study completed on successful adolescent adoption noted that 93% of these youth had contact or some sort of connection to kin or siblings

  • Siblings in Out-of-Home Care

    The majority of children in out-of-home care have siblingsbetween 87% and 90%yet agencies succeed at keeping siblings together as little as 25% of the time

    Timberlake and Hamlin 1982

  • Good Practice in Kin and Sibling ConnectionsDecide from beginning to honor kin, sibling, community connectionsStart early to make connections Keep connecting and re-connecting throughout caseNever give up

  • Suggested Practices to Keep Siblings TogetherIntroduce children into family in staggered placementsPresent sibling groups together in photo-listings, recruitment, campaignsEncourage sibling communication, visitation if in separate placementsPlace children in homes in same neighborhoods, schools

  • Good Decision-Making for SiblingsAssess siblings relationshipSchedule a staffing List of pros and consFor each argument to separate, challenge and test choice Once decision is made, document reasons in writing

  • Good Decision-Making for SiblingsIf siblings are placed separately, develop a concrete plan Help caretakers identify potential issues at visitsPlan to deal with themAt end of staffing, decide who will tell children and how

  • In PennsylvaniaWe do well with sibling connection until TPR

    Fostering Connections addresses importance of connection to kin, siblings, community

    The Impact of Grief and Loss SWAN Prime Contractor Diakon/Family Design Resources October - December 2010The Impact of Grief and Loss SWAN Prime Contractor Diakon/Family Design Resources October - December 2010*On this slide have the audience break into small groups, ask them to think of one case they have dealt with and one issue of grief they have seen. List their responses on flip chart/post-it papers and place around the room- The Impact of Grief and Loss SWAN Prime Contractor Diakon/Family Design Resources October - December 2010The Impact of Grief and Loss SWAN Prime Contractor Diakon/Family Design Resources October - December 2010The Impact of Grief and Loss SWAN Prime Contractor Diakon/Family Design Resources October - December 2010*We must recognize grief in its many forms, sometimes grief is easy to identify, but sometimes the behaviors we find most challenging are manifestations of grief Diminish it, wherever we find it we must work to make it less, to strength those connections that exist, to re-connect those relationships which were lost and to use all the tools we have to make sure we lessen it and that fewer losses occur in every child/youths life. Thirdly we must deal with what remains, because of the nature of our work we grief will always be a part of what we do, but were we can make better decisions or act in a way that is going to lessen the effects we improve a child/youths chance for a successful future.The Impact of Grief and Loss SWAN Prime Contractor Diakon/Family Design Resources October - December 2010*Prior to this slide, ask the audience to break into small groups, ask them to identify different types of loss that children experience, write these on flipchart paper and place around the room, read them- connect their answers to the 6 categories of lossThe Impact of Grief and Loss SWAN Prime Contractor Diakon/Family Design Resources October - December 2010The Impact of Grief and Loss SWAN Prime Contractor Diakon/Family Design Resources October - December 2010*Some of the losses our children/youth must endure we cannot prevent, they are unfortunately part of the process, however there are losses we can changes, ways we can diminish the pain and grief, improve behaviors and change our childrens lives. Next we are going to talk about the different ways this can be accomplished, tools we already have at our disposal to lessen the losses our children/youth experience.The Impact of Grief and Loss SWAN Prime Contractor Diakon/Family Design Resources October - December 2010The Impact of Grief and Loss SWAN Prime Contractor Diakon/Family Design Resources October - December 2010*The CFSR federal review noted we do well on initially connecting siblings through visits when children and youth are placed in care, but after TPR these visits fall away, we need to work on keeping and making these connections, we need to make concrete plans around visits and make sure they are occurring and continue even when parental rights have been terminated. The fostering connection legislation deals with grief and loss issues through its emphasis on the importance of sibling and kin connection and the connection to the community.

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