America seems to be plagued with the “not in my backyard” syndrome. When things make us angry or fearful we tend to rally together until its time to work to eradicate the problem. When that time comes the numbers of willing workers seems to dwindle if it is “not in my backyard”.
YES, parents should monitor their child’s computer time, friends, clothing choices, television viewing, homework, sugar intake, music, and hang out places. What we must remember is that parents have different skill sets, resources, responsibilities, coping mechanisms, and personal histories. I am in no way taking parenting responsibility away from parents but there are 400,000 children and youth in the foster care system in the United States. Whether they are unable to or choose not to, clearly someone isn’t doing what they SHOULD do! This goes well beyond the parents of children in the foster care system I might add. In an ideal world parents are a child’s first teachers and lay a strong foundation for success from birth. We don’t live in an ideal world. I may just scream if I hear one more person exclaim “that’s the parent’s job” as it relates to a young person who is hurt, vulnerable or in trouble! When are we going to stop pretending that all kids have good parents?
Did You Know?
Due to the economic downturn, young adults are facing tough employment competition from older adults. As the United States works to spur economic growth, ensuring that young adults are prepared to succeed academically and in the workforce is paramount.
As youth workers and foster care advocates we all want to see young people find loving, forever families. The second goal for me is to ensure that teens gain the skills necessary to become gainfully employed and build a lasting career.
The Teen Toolbox Packaged For Success™ Youth Portfolio Development Program combines workforce readiness and career exploration through fun, interactive activities. We deliver 21st century skills training and the Common Core Standards for education in this life skills program. Our companion to Packaged For Success™ is our ebook Get Hired: 30 Ways To Land The Job of Your Dreams.
This past summer, I witnessed two professionals with different backgrounds having a polite but serious disagreement about whether a workforce readiness program should be limited to youth in foster care or expanded to include other disconnected young people.
The “Educator” was advocating for an exclusive group despite the fact that in her previous “mixed” group the kids in care were “closed” and less engaged than the other participants. She said that the kids in care had formed a clique. She wanted to open up this particular group because in the previous group the Facilitator had worked extra hard to get the foster kids to become active participants with limited success. She went on to say that kids in care needed to mingle with others. (I almost hit the ceiling but maintained my composure because she was not speaking to me at the time.)
Last night I watched the finale on Rachel vs Guy Kids Cook Off on The Food Network. Eight young chefs competed for a title and their own webs series on FoodNetwork.com. Ten year old Brandon was the winner. These kids really made some really complex dishes.Although I did not see the three prior episodes in the series, I was very impressed with the skills, commitment, and love of learning each child possessed. They also did very well under pressure. (#RvGKids)
There were three things that I really appreciated about the show:
1. Begin Each Day In A Positive Way – The way you start your day has a powerful impact on how you end your day. Set your intention on having a good day. Things won’t always go as planned but you can better manage the roller coasters of life when you begin on a solid foundation.
Check out these great stories of youth helping youth in foster care.
Because of his experience in the system, Tim Dennis is on a mission to recruit adults who will support teens in the foster care system by becoming either foster parents or mentors. Dennis is now a Maryville College freshman who dreams of becoming a mental health nurse.
Read more here.
Middle school girls from Johnson County came away from this year’s Odyssey of the Mind World Finals honored as Odyssey Angels — creating an impressive real-world community service project. The girls launched their Odyssey of the Mind community service project — an Odyssey Angels project — to donate and decorate 100 canvas bags and fill with socks and underwear for 100 foster kids. They have already made and donated 300 blankets to kids in care.
Read more here.
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You may have questions about our Packaged For Success Youth Portfolio Development Program.
Here is a blog review to help you better understand the Packaged For Success Program and its values and benefits to teens. Happy Reading!!
For additional questions or to schedule Packaged For Success Program for your youth, please email me at: info (at) theteentoolbox (dot) com.