Today is the last day of Child Abuse Prevention Month and I want to offer you an additional way to get involved to support the protection and safety of children.
Ressurrection Graves created Ten Ways to Safeguard Your Child from Sexual Abuse and has implemented a new trademark S.A.F.E.G.U.A.R.D.S.® as the acronym for the ten ways. This prevention curriculum and lecture seminar is taught to professionals, pastors and parents. As a part of the legislative process, Ressurrection has created a petition on change.org entitled, Make Child Sexual Abuse Grooming A Felony.
The purpose of the petition on Change.org is to:
1. Protect children from Child Sexual Abuse Grooming also called Premeditated Child Sexual Abuse.
2. Clearly define what child grooming actually is, by introducing the terms Child Sexual Abuse Grooming and Premeditated Child Sexual Abuse.
Raising awareness about the need to help teenagers in foster care ‘secure’ a forever family through adoption or to help them develop a support system of caring adults who will assist them after their foster care services end is essential to improving their quality of life.
I am honored to have been featured as a foster care expert in an article in The Washington Informer titled “Many Homeless Adults Start their Journey in Foster Care”. You can read the article here.
Below is information about teens in foster care that I was unable to share in the short article but feel you definitely need to know if you seek to understand the link between homelessness and foster care.
Happy first Monday in February! We ushered in 2013 with excitement about living on purpose and the enthusiasm continues.
As you know, The Teen Toolbox blog and services have been dedicated to supporting youth in foster care and raising awareness about the needs and potential of teens at rick of aging out of the foster care system without a permanent family. We have decided to increase our blogging schedule to three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) this year and want to be sure we are writing what you want to read.
Would you please read the following foster care blog posts (over the next couple days or weeks) and provide feedback on what you learned, what else you would like to know about teens in foster care, or questions about how you can get involved and support teens in foster care.
Feel free to comment about the blogs on the pages of the blog posts below if you are inspired to do so, however, please email or inbox any questions or suggestions related to recommended blog topics for 2013. THANK YOU!!
President Barack Obama is sounding the alarm for education reform and the necessity for an increase in college educated citizens to continue to complete on a global scale. Have you heard the urgent appeals for more students majoring in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)? Pearson education firm ranks The United States 17th in the developed world for education in a global report. The business/professional world is also demanding a workforce graduating from school better prepared for global competition. Where do we go from here?
Education is supposed to be “the great equalizer”, the “key to success”, and the “door to opportunity”. Multiple school transfers and missing academic records are an unfortunate reality for many youth in care. These youth often find themselves below grade level in their skills, or over medicated, or lacking academic guidance and support, or simply unable to concentrate in school. They find themselves behind the starting line when other young people have been given a head start. How do we level the playing field when standardized testing is given more and more credibility and training beyond high school is essential to long-term economic self-sufficiency?
I remember working with a group of youth a few years ago who had been given a school assignment to write their obituary. How morbid! I remember saying to myself, “Why would you ask teens to think about their deaths instead of their lives”. Young people surrounded by crime, poverty, and disappointment don’t need to be prompted to think about their mortality. We want to get them out of “survival mode” and help them thrive.
Negative motivation is good when you’re teaching a toddler not to touch a hot stove. It doesn’t always work with teens, however. We want to use positive motivations based on reward and acceptance. Instead of trying to convince youth to behave a certain way out of fear of guilt, pain or punishment, we can introduce them to attractive alternatives that make doing the right thing worthwhile. For example, I can warn a teen not to drop out of high school because they will end up poor and jobless but I would rather show them that by staying in school and graduating they can get a good paying job and buy the car that they want.
Dictionary.com defines a mentor as a wise and trusted counselor or teacher. During National Mentoring Month, I want to offer to you that your life is either a cautionary tale or a positive example. With that being said, you can be a role model or a mentor to someone you may not know personally based on how you live your life. Your legacy is being created by your personal and professional connections, the integrity with which you work or serve, the strangers you encounter throughout the day, and the blueprint that is being developed by your social media presence.
The reasons listed above are some of the main reasons that young people look up to celebrities. I believe that the main reason they look up to celebrities is that celebrities are everywhere – we are bombarded with their thoughts and actions. This over saturation is the reason that I created SPOTLIGHT Teen of the Month. SPOTLIGHT Teen of the Month is A Positive Alternative To Hollywood Celebrity Worship. We showcase youth in foster care that are not being defined by their past or their struggles. We are eliminating negative stereotypes of teens in foster care by celebrating young people who are making a positive impact in the lives of the people in their inner circle and in their communities. Please take some time this month to create new online mentors by nominating outstanding teens for SPOTLIGHT Teen of the Month.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I have said my good-bye to 2012 and welcomed in 2013 with an expectation of abundance in all areas of my life. I am grateful to all of the people who helped shape my values, views, and victories.
The one sentence that sums up my 2012 is “leap and the net will appear”. It has served me well as I learned to let go of perfection and analysis paralysis.
Stay tuned for greater leaps in 2013.
The Teen Toolbox, LLC 2012 Year In Review