Month: November 2012

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Tx Dept of Family & Protective Services has a New “tech-friendly” Website

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The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has, today, launched a new “website” that makes it easier to find what you need and easier to understand what you find.

The new DFPS websites sports a new look, improved layout, user-centric organization, and plainer language. This user-friendly website also uses “”responsive design””.

That means it displays well on any of your devices—desktop PC, tablet, or smart phone by detecting your device and rearranging itself according.

Lean more about the new DFPS website and what has changed at http:// www.dfps.state.tx.us/Http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/About_DFPS/News/2012/ 2012-11-10_website_redesign.asp and take few minutes to check out the rest of the website at www.dfps.state.tx.us [ http:// www.dfps.state.tx.us ]. [ http://content.govdelivery. com/bulletins/gd/ TXHHSC-5c0b65?reqfrom=share ]

cps
Tx Dept of Family & Protective Services has a New “tech-friendly” Website

image
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services has, today, launched a new “website” that makes it easier to find what you need and easier to understand what you find.

The new DFPS websites sports a new look, improved layout, user-centric organization, and plainer language. This user-friendly website also uses “”responsive design””.

That means it displays well on any of your devices—desktop PC, tablet, or smart phone by detecting your device and rearranging itself according.

Lean more about the new DFPS website and what has changed at http:// www.dfps.state.tx.us/Http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/About_DFPS/News/2012/ 2012-11-10_website_redesign.asp and take few minutes to check out the rest of the website at www.dfps.state.tx.us [ http:// www.dfps.state.tx.us ]. [ http://content.govdelivery. com/bulletins/gd/ TXHHSC-5c0b65?reqfrom=share ]

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Are You Really Ready to Adopt a Foster Child?

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November is National Adoption Awareness Month and there are millions of children waiting for permanent homes in the United States.

But beware, adopting a child may not be as easy of a process as one might think when going through the foster care system to find a child. It would seem like with such a high demand for “forever homes” that it would be lickety split but its not. There is alot  to consider.

As owner and writer of this blog, It’s Almost Tuesday, I have developed many goals over the years that I would like to see realized for myself as an author/advocate, and for my original short story seen on the main page of my blog,  It’s Almost Tuesday

Albeit, It’s Almost Tuesday was written as a fictional story, but I wrote it based on true stories of child abuse that I had learned about that was occurring within the Texas Foster Care System.

One of my goals … or  my hopes, rather, is that my story, It’s Almost Tuesday, will one day  become “recommended reading” for all foster parents and parents who are considering the adoption of a foster child. I believe social workers who work in the placement of the children, as well, should read It’s Almost Tuesday.

I wrote the story using the exact words of my 8 year old son whenever possible. Words he spoke to me during our visits that detailed what was going on and what he was going through during his stay in  foster care. As you read the story, those powerful words are the very real words of my child!

The story may be fictional, but it is very real indeed. It reveals a truth that social workers and foster parents know all too well and adoptive parents should be aware of. There has been much that deeply affected these children after what all they have been through.

First thing first, understand that when you consider adopting a foster child, you consider becoming the permanent  or  “forever home” that child has been waiting for. 

This is a child who has had no sense of normalcy, whose life has been lacking stability, without consistency, or any constant sense of security in very likely a long time ..possibly years.

You may very likely become the first positive influence and role model in that childs life. This role carries great weight and heavy responsibility.

Do not be discouraged. There are many wonderful blessings you have to offer, as an adoptive family, to a very special child in your permanent forever home.

Ask yourself: Are you and your family really ready to make such a paramount decision and strong commitment which will surely be necessary? Are you ready for this life changing experience?

Be honest with yourself.

*Many foster children are special needs,come from an ethnic minority group, and/or has siblings. Consider all of your family’s strengths and weaknesses. 

Have you considered what age range you are looking for? 

Are you deadset determined on adopting an infant or toddler?  Or would you consider adopting an older, harder-to-place child?

Are you willing to consider adopting a child outside of your particular race? 

Be real and dont worry about questioning your every decision, there are no right or wrong answers, only important questions with sometimes difficult answers to seek when making the (right) decision.

*Do you know what it means for a child to be “special needs”? Do you understand, completely, what a “special needs adoption” means?  Are you sure that a “special needs adoption” is right for you?

The trauma of foster care carries many emotional and behavioral changes in the children that may prove challenging to any family, not just yours. 

Do not be afraid to ask questions and reach out for help along your path.

Take the time to research the mental health conditions that are common to foster children. Many of these children have suffered abuse and neglect and then they were sent on a very scary journey through the foster care system.

Reactive Attachment Disorder , Bi-Polar Disorder, and ADHD are a few common problems these children often exhibit.

Be sure you are prepared for these challenges. Google is your friend. There are many useful sites available online to assist you along the way.

*Laws vary from state to state. What rules and regulations are required in your local area?

Make sure your family is eligible and qualified for an adoption of a foster child.

You may be required to have a home study done that will help determine if you are qualified to adopt. What are the areas of concern that the social workers will look at when doing the home study?

Some examples of home study items may include items such as: the number of bedrooms in the home, your marital status, the combined income of your household, the number of people living in your home, and  what criminal/cps background record (if any) each person in the household may have, etc.

It is better to have an idea, beforehand, of what you are up against when qualifying to adopt a foster child.

*Make sure you wholly understand the position of your local agency on foster children and adoption.

Make sure you’re on the same page.  Many times the goal of foster care is to reunite the child with the natural parents. When you look to adopt, make sure that you are clear with the social worker that you are seeking only a child who is “legally free” for adoption.

The child is not “legally free” for adoption unless parental rights have been severed with the natural parents.

*Besides the home study you may also be required to take some training classes as well.

Check with your local family advocacy center for what class you will be required to enroll in. You may have a certain number of hours to complete in a certain area of training.

Remember, it is not an easy or quick process to adopt a foster child, and it could very easily take a year or more to complete.

Be prepared for the long haul  and ask alot of questions. You’ll be glad you did. Knowledge is power. The more you know, the smoother the process will go.

When the process is going smoothly you’ll be better able to focus on the most important aspect -your forever child.

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Good luck and Godspeed.

source of information includes:
Deciding if Foster Care Or Adoption Is Right For You. By Rachael Moshman.
Suburban
Parent magazine, November 2012.

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EMDR Therapy: Self-Help Techniques for Trauma Relief

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Self help techniques for my brothers and sisters out there also suffering from PTSD

April 18, 2012 by Kellie Holly

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is primarily used as a treatment for PTSD. Discovered and developed by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., EMDR uses eye movements, taps or tones to reprogram trauma victims’ thinking. The end result can be relatively fast relief of PTSD symptoms, including the re-experiencing of the trauma and other symptoms resulting from horrific events like rape or combat. EMDR also helps with “little t” traumas having to do with beliefs about ourselves formed during childhood and other mental health disorders.

How Does EMDR Work?
EMDR uses a psychoanalytic approach to verbally tie trauma triggers to memories so the brain can move past the pain and heal rapidly. In fact, many one-time traumas can be efficiently handled in three 90-minute sessions with a trained EMDR clinician (childhood traumas will take more time). One of the best parts about EMDR is it does not involve repetitively talking through the trauma.

For example, rape victims will not have to relive the pain they felt and combat victims will not be forced to relive the events causing their trauma.

About Francine Shapiro, Ph.D.
Dr. Francine Shapiro is a recipient of the International Sigmund Freud Award for Psychotherapy of the City of Vienna, the American Psychological Association Trauma Psychology Division Award for Outstanding Contributions to Practice in Trauma Psychology, and the Distinguished Scientific Achievement in Psychology Award, from the California Psychological Association. Her new book, for both laypeople and clinicians, is called Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy.

Dr. Shapiro joins us on this edition of the HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show to discuss EMDR and these new EMDR self-help techniques for relief of traumas in your life as well as ways to deal with stress, negative thoughts and emotions, and understanding why you may over-react in relationships.

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Are You Afraid of Your Doctor or Therapist?

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The following article is from a wonderful newsgroup moderated by Dr Sam Vaknin I subscribe to, which offers so many informative articles its hard for me to choose which to re-post.

I have spent my fair share of  time in the hospital due to a rare genetic blood disorder I inherited from my fathers side if the family. My condition puts me at high risk of developing blood  clots, and so each time I’ve had clots move into my lungs, it couldve been fatal.

That being said, admittedly, I have also developed a fear of hospitals. I’m not necessarily afraid of the doctors, after all, their expertise saved my life each time. But my fears cause me to feel anxious when I talk to my doctors. So this article really caught my attention.

Source: http://thepsychopath.freeforums.org/are-you-afraid-of-your-doctor-therapist-healthyplace-t21335.html

It seems many people are afraid of their doctors. After all, the doctor is an authoritarian figure. A recent study published in the May 2012 issue of Health Affairs reveals people don’t want to appear as “difficult patients.” Appearing stupid in front of the doctor is also another concern. Patients are also afraid that if they challenge the doctor, the doctor will enact some form of retribution. (See the discussion on being afraid of your doctor on our Google+ page.)

None of this is good because in dealing with a mental illness, you need to be educated and able to ask questions of your doctor or therapist. You also have the right to not only discuss the doctor’s treatment recommendations, but you should feel free to say “this is not right for me. Here’s what I’m thinking.”

Talking to Your Doctor or Therapist

So how do you get to that point where you feel comfortable dealing with your doctor?

Dr. Patricia Salber, author of “The Doctor Weighs In” blog, suggests you research your illness prior to your doctor visit via the internet, talking to other patients, even getting second opinions. Then write down a list of questions or concerns, so you’re prepared.

Remember, the doctor’s time is limited.

If you feel the meeting is important, bring a friend or loved one who can advocate for you and/or take notes as needed.
I’m going to pass on a fourth suggestion offered up by our social media manager, Amanda Collins:

“I think the important thing is to change the way you look at your doctor. If you see your doctor as a god, then where does that put you? On the other hand, if you view him/her as a respected member of your treatment team and a person you pay for advice, then you have all the rights that go along with that.
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