Chances are you will fostering a child of another race. With this will come issues with personal care. I will touch on some of the issues I have dealt with and what I have found that has worked wonders for me.
Eczema: I found a miracle cream that has worked for the children in my care, and this cream works double duty as its the best diaper rash prevention cream I have ever used. It's called Sudecrem, and it's not in the US but you can get it online from Amazon or Ebay. I get mine on Amazon from a seller in England, it usually takes about 3 weeks to arrive and it last. I had an infant for 8 months and not once did he have a diaper rash, he had severe eczema and this was wonderful. The other miracle cream is Tepezcohuite, it also has a soap. Again, Amazon or ebay. I used this for the patch not all over as the container is only 4 oz, but again double duty as its a great facial cream for Mom, google it and you will see and its a great burn cream. Lastly, the oil I put under the sudecrem is Neem baby oil. You can get this at www.neemtreefarms.com This stuff is also amazing.
Hair: One word you must remember with ethnic hair is MOISTURE, while you shampoo, while you condition and when you style. Sometimes you will find cowashing is best for ethnic hair. Cowashing is done by washing with a conditioner. You can find wonderful cowash brands at Sally's, Walgreens and CVS in the ethnic hair section and of course Walmart. If you choose to use a shampoo it should be sulfate free, Suave has some great ones. Always, use a leave in conditioner. Daily use a light oil, such as coconut oil or pomade. I have found if I had a girl to wash and condition at night put in 2 or 3 braids that way the conditioners work thru the night, then I apply the oil in the morning and it's worked well for the child.
Food: One thing I've come across is these children were used to eating out of box, can or drive thru. Its a process to get them to eat real food, to eat healthy and cut down on the sugar. I have been able to sneak in veggies in a smoothie. It's a process so I have found that giving them some of what they are used to and combining a little of what is healthy is a good start and slowly you move towards mostly real food. Don't force them, be patient, and I know easier said than done.
Brushing: I have found that an electric toothbrush with their favorite character is the way to go. My child's dentist recommended we use Act Restore, it has minerals and fluoride and strengthens the enamel. I apply it with a cotton swab.
As a foster parent you are allowed to claim foster children on your taxes however here is the perimeter: The child must live with you 6 months and 1 day at least during a calendar year, or secondly if an infant is placed with you out of the hospital, it doesn't matter if its 6 months or just 1 day in a calendar year, as long as your the first placement out of hospital you may claim them. Please check with your tax advisor before doing so. Please note the next paste has some errors for contact as this is the most up to date info on the web. Replace Leo Farley with Nakeisha Conward as the contact. Also, do receive the adoption credit when you adopt on your taxes, your child must be special needs. Most of the time, children from foster care will meet this guideline: Please remember the rates and some of the contacts have changed, I working on getting updated information , but at least this will inform you of what you need to know
What Is Adoption Subsidy?
Parents who are thinking about or are in the process of adopting a child with special needs from foster care should know about adoption assistance (also known as adoption subsidy). Federal (Title IV-E) and state (often called non-IV-E) adoption assistance programs are designed to help parents meet their adopted children’s varied, and often costly, needs. Children can qualify for federal adoption assistance or state assistance, depending on the child’s history. Adoption subsidy policies and practices are, for the most part, dependent on the state in which the child was in foster care before the adoption.
Below is information related to definitions of special needs, benefits available, and procedures in Massachusetts. Answers to select questions were made available by the Association of Administrators of the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance (AAICAMA) through the Child Welfare Information Gateway (www.childwelfare.gov). Profiles for other states’ subsidy programs are available. If you have additional questions, please contact NACAC at 651-644-3036, 800-470-6665, or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have state-specific questions, please call your State Subsidy Contact Person or the NACAC Subsidy Representative (listed above) for more information.
For more information on Title IV-E eligibility, view our fact sheet Eligibility and Benefits for Federal Adoption Assistance.
Adoption resources on the web:
Massachusetts-specific medical assistance information:
Massachusetts’s adoption subsidy information:
General Laws of Massachusetts, Chapter 18B: Section 21, Adoption subsidy program.
Massachusetts’ regulations 110 CMR 7.209 Adoption Subsidy
Who is Eligible for Adoption Assistance or Subsidy?
1. How does Massachusetts define special needs to determine eligibility?
A child with special needs is defined as a child who has at least one of the following needs or circumstances that may be a barrier to adoption without financial assistance:
2. Does the state-only funded adoption assistance program differ in any way from the Title IV-E program?
To be eligible for state-funded adoption assistance a child must meet the special needs definition in question 1, must be in the custody of the Department of Children and Families (DCF), and DCF must sponsor the adoption. For state-funded adoption assistance, DCF considers the family’s resources when determining the amount of assistance.
3. Are children adopted from private agencies in Massachusetts eligible for adoption assistance?
A child adopted through a private agency is eligible for adoption assistance only if: (1) the child had been determined to be eligible for SSI by the Social Security Administration, and (2) the adoption subsidy application had been submitted to DCF and a signed Adoption Assistance Agreement was in place before legalization of the adoption.
What Supports and Services Are Available?
4. What is the maximum basic daily adoption assistance maintenance payment in Massachusetts?
AgeRate0-5$20.79/day6-12$23.40/day13+$24.79/day5. Does Massachusetts provide specialized rates (based on the extraordinary needs of the child or the additional parenting skill needed to raise the child)?
Specialized rates (called Parent and Children Together or PACT rates) may be paid for tasks or extenuating circumstances that require additional service hours beyond routine care of a child. Each request must be pre-approved by the Subsidy Administrator and must specify the frequency with which the task must be performed, and the type of intervention required. The hourly rate paid for service hours is $7.50. All PACT hours must be documented by a professional provider. After adoption finalization, parents are responsible for providing the documentation from the professional who is monitoring the child’s treatments.
Massachusetts also offers what is known as supplemental reimbursements. If parents request payments for supplemental reimbursement in addition to the standard adoption assistance payment rate, the adoption social worker provides relevant documentation describing ongoing, additional expenses that are paid above the current foster care rate and that are not expected to be absorbed by other resources, services, or third party payments following adoption. The need must be documented in the adoption assistance agreement.
Massachusetts may also pay a quarterly clothing allowance in addition to the adoption assistance rate. For more information, parents should contact their adoption assistance worker at 800-835-0838.
6. When do adoption assistance payments begin?
Adoption assistance benefits typically begin at adoption finalization.
7. When a child turns 18, which benefits, if any, continue?
Benefits may be continued if the child continues to have a documented special need(s) or is in a recognized full-time educational program. Adoption assistance benefits approved beyond the child’s 18th birthday will end on the child’s 22nd birthday or earlier if the child is no longer eligible for the adoption assistance program.
8. Does Massachusetts offer deferred adoption assistance agreements (agreements where initial monthly maintenance amount is $0 for children at risk of developing special needs later)?
Yes. Massachusetts requires that an adoption assistance application be submitted for every child being adopted through DCF. The Subsidy Unit may determine that a deferred adoption assistance is the appropriate benefit given the child’s circumstances. With a deferred agreement, Medicaid will be provided, but no daily rate is approved. For children who are IV-E eligible, the monthly rate of $0 is reached as part of negotiation between DSS and the adoptive parents. For state-funded adoption assistance, DSS will simply set the monthly rate at $0.
9. What Medicaid services are available in Massachusetts?
Parent should contact the Medicaid Helpline at 800-841-2900 to learn what Medicaid covers.
10. What medical benefits are available for state-funded children? (Children who have federally funded/Title IV-E adoption assistance are automatically eligible for Medicaid benefits.)
Children with state-funded subsidies receive Medicaid benefits through MassHealth.
11. What mental health services are available?
Public mental health services for children in Massachusetts are covered by MassHealth, operated by the Division of Medical Assistance. MassHealth services currently include rehabilitation and therapeutic services; behavioral health, inpatient, and outpatient hospital services; prescription drugs; pharmacy services; and physician services. Massachusetts provides mental health coverage through the MassHealth program rather than funding specific services.
For more information, parents should call the Medicaid helpline (800-841-2900) or visit http://www.cms.gov/ or http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/consumer/behavioral-health/mental-health/mental-health-services-overview.html.
Parents should contact their subsidy administrator or MassHealth for information regarding process, eligibility, availability, and duration of services. Children receiving MassHealth are eligible for services through the Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI). CBHI’s mission is to ensure that families and their children with significant behavioral, emotional, and mental health needs obtain the services necessary for success in home, school, and community. To learn more, parents can visit http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/commissions-and-initiatives/cbhi/.
12. In Massachusetts, what nonrecurring adoption expenses directly related to the finalization of an adoption may be reimbursed?
Parents may be reimbursed, up to $400 per child, for expenses directly related to the adoption of a child with special needs. Such expenes can include reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorneys’ fees, and other costs that are incurred legally and that have not been and will not be reimbursed by other sources. Parents must make the request for reimbursement and reach agreement with DCF before the adoption is finalized. Parents must send court documentation of the finalization, including the date, to the subsidy manager, and paymenet will be made after finalization.
13. Is child care available? If yes, who is eligible and how do families access child care?
14. Is respite care available? If yes, who is eligible and how do families access respite care?
DCF funds a post-legalization program known as Adoption Journeys that offers services including respite care to families who have adopted (see question 16). Many private organizations also offer respite options. Parents can search for Massachusetts resources in the ARCH National Respite Network Respite Locator (http://www.respitelocator.org/).
15. Is residential treatment available? If yes, who is eligible and how do families access residential treatment services?
To request voluntary residential treatment services, families should contact the DCF office that covers their city. If a child is placed out of the home, the family and the placement social workers are expected to inform the Subsidy Unit. All Title IV-E adoption subsidy agreements will be renegotiated at that time. State-funded adoption subsidy agreements are suspended until the adopted child returns home.
16. What other post-adoption services are available in Massachusetts and how do families find out more about them?
DCF funds post-adoption services through a contract with Adoption Journeys. Services are available to all adopted children in Massachusetts and include the following:
17. If the assistance listed above in questions 12 to 16 are for specific services, must these services be explicitly identified in the adoption assistance agreement?
What Should Families Know About Applying for Subsidy?
18. Who initiates the adoption assistance agreement?
The adoption worker enters the application for adoption assistance into the DCF data system, after consulting with the adopting family. The application should reflect both the family’s wishes and DCF policy. All children being adopted from DCF care must have an adoption assistance application submitted.
In the case of a private adoption, the agency working with the family is responsible for submitting an application for adoption assistance, before adoption finalization, for a child who receives SSI.
19. Who makes the final determination on an adoption assistance agreement?
The Subsidy Manager in the DCF Central Office makes the final determination.
20. How do families request adoption assistance after adoption finalization?
State and federal laws require the adoption assistance agreement to be signed before adoption finalization. DCF will only provide adoption assistance after finalization when a Fair Hearing Officer has determined that very specific extenuating circumstance have been met.
To request assistance after finalization, families should send a written request to:
Director of Adoption Support Services
Department of Children and Families
600 Washington Street 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02111
617-748-22267 or 800-835-0838
How Can a Family Adjust an Adoption Assistance Agreement?
21. Can adoptive parents ask to change an adoption assistance agreement?
Adoptive parents may request a change in the adoption assistance agreement at any time. Parents must make the requests in writing to the Subsidy Manager and must include documentation of a significant change in the child's special need. The significant change must be based on the current needs of the child and documented by a professional qualified to make the diagnosis. The Subsidy Manager will review the request and documentation, and provide the family with a written decision within a reasonable period of time.
DCF must provide written notice before any proposed change in the adoption assistance agreement, unless there is reason to believe that the family is no longer providing any support for the child.
22. What steps does a family go through to appeal an adoption assistance decision in Massachusetts?
Adoptive parents can request a fair hearing when they disagree with a DCF decision that affects their child’s adoption assistance benefits. Requests must be in writing. If adoption assistance has been denied or an existing adoption assistance benefit has been reduced or terminated, the Subsidy Administrator notifies applicants in writing of the denial or approval at a lesser rate and includes a statement of reasons for denial and notice of the right to request a fair hearing to appeal the decision.
Parents should send requests for a fair hearing to the following address:
Director of the Fair Hearing Unit
600 Washington Street 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02111
What Else do Families Need to Know?
23. How is the adoption assistance program operated and funded in Massachusetts?
The program is state supervised/state administered. This means that both policy and eligibility decisions are made by personnel at the state child welfare office. The federal contribution to Title IV-E-eligible children—the Federal Financial Participation or FFP rate—is 50% in Massachusetts. The remaining cost of the program is funded entirely with state funds.
24. Does Massachusetts operate a subsidized guardianship program?
Yes. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides both a IV-E and a state-funded guardianship subsidy for children who are placed with an approved resource, in DCF custody and sponsored by DCF. The program is administered through the Adoption Subsidy Unit. The child must be under the age of 18, and continue to reside with the guardian sponsored by DCF. Families must complete and return annual re-evaluation forms.
The amount of the assistance cannot be more than the child would have received in family-based foster care. For children with subsidized guardianship residing in Massachusetts health insurance is provided through the MassHealth program. For children funded through IV-E, the health insurance is transferrable if they move to another state. Children with a state-funded guardianship subsidy are not eligible for health care from other states., but they may keep their MassHealth with some restrictions in coverage.
25. Does Massachusetts offer a tuition waiver program?
Any child adopted through DCF since 2000 by a resident of Massachusetts or an employee of the Commonwealth will have 100% of the tuition for state-supported undergraduate courses waived until the adopted youth reaches his or her 25th birthday. This benefit applies to all state colleges and universities, as well as community colleges.
In 2008, the legislature expanded the waiver to include fees as well as tuition, although the fee waiver is subject to available funding The waiver is also available to any child who was in DCF care under a Care and Protection petition for 12 consecutive months, and was neither adopted nor returned home (including children who were placed in guardianships).
Eligible youth (or a parent if the youth is under 18) can request a waiver by writing to the address below. Youth must include a copy of the their amended birth certificate.
Massachusetts Department of Children and Families
Director of Adoption Support Services
600 Washinton Street 6th floor
Boston, MA 02111
The Educational and Training Voucher Program provides up to $5,000 per academic year for post-secondary educational or vocational training programs, including colleges and trade schools and related costs of attendance (tuition, fees, room and board, books, transportation, day care). Eligibility for the program includes:
Maureen Fallon Messeder
Associate Director of Adolescent Services
Massachusetts Department of Children and Families
600 Washington Street 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02111
26. Does Massachusetts offer a state adoption tax credit?
27. Does Massachusetts have any program to support an adoptee whose adoptive parents die until the child is adopted again?
If the child does not return to DCF care, DCF will attempt to provide financial support to legal guardians on a case-by-case basis.
28. What else differentiates Massachusetts’s adoption assistance program from others around the country?
Massachusetts has had many of the provisions of the Fostering Connections Act in place for many years.
This project is working with Boston Judges so that are made aware of the contributions by foster parents through the process. I'm hoping in the next year to be the Boston Metro contact for foster parents. You can find more info here: http://www.mspcc.org/our-services/foster-care-adoption/massachusetts-alliance-for-families-maff/opportunity-to-be-heard-project/
Opportunity to be Heard ProjectEducating Foster and Pre-Adoptive Parents on Advocating for Children in CourtFoster parents in Massachusetts are legally guaranteed the right to be heard in court during any review, hearing or proceeding held with respect to the children in their care. Nonetheless, they are often discouraged from attending court hearings and presenting evidence.
MAFF and MSPCC have partnered with Access to Justice Fellow Paula Mackin to educate parents on exercising their rights. Mackin, a retired volunteer attorney with 35 years of experience in child welfare law and civil rights is conducting training to prepare foster parents to present factual, succinct and objective evidence designed to support the child’s best interests. The training will explain how and when to speak in court and what to expect in terms of cross-examination.
If you are unable to attend a training, the below materials provide the basic information and tools you will need to successfully present your evidence in court. Mackin is also arranging for continued assistance from both foster parent mentors who have experienced the court hearing process and pro bono lawyers provided by the Senior Partners for Jutice, a program of the Volunteer Lawyers Project. For questions, please contact Paula Mackin at email@example.com.
A Beginner’s Guide to The Courtroom: Advocating for the Child in Your CareBy Paula Mackin, Esq., Access to Justice Fellow
Entering a courtroom is intimidating, even for seasoned lawyers. As a foster parent, you might not be able to afford a lawyer of your own. The positions taken by the lawyers for DCF, the biological parents and the child may not be what you believe to be in the best interests of the child. If this is true, you should consider participating in these important court proceedings, even if you do not have your own lawyer…[MORE]
Guide to Presenting Evidence in CourtIf you plan to attend a court hearing and present evidence, please download these documents which explain and provide examples of how to write an affidavit and a notice of intention to attend a hearing…[download]
- See more at: http://www.mspcc.org/our-services/foster-care-adoption/massachusetts-alliance-for-families-maff/opportunity-to-be-heard-project/#sthash.NI3SUudi.dpuf
As a foster parent you are entitled to 10 hours a month of respite ( babysitting) and 10 days a year. This is not paid by you. Also MSPCC has some wonderful programs and are always there to help. Their site is: www.mspcc.org
Here is some wonderful info:
MSPCC’s Kid’s Net Program provides a range of service to connect foster and kinship families to the information, resources, respite and support networks they need to address the unique challenges that come with raising foster children. Services are available to foster families throughout Massachusetts.
Out-of-Hours Helpline: (800) 486-3730MSPCC offers an after-hours telephone helpline that provides emergency assistance to foster, kinship and pre-adoptive families when DCF offices are closed. The helpline is staffed by social workers experienced in foster care issues. They can provide telephone support to help resolve problems or, if necessary, arrange for an emergency home visit. The helpline is open 5 P.M. to 9 A.M., Monday-Friday and 24 hours on weekends and holidays: (800) 486-3730.
TrainingKid’s Net provides training and conferences throughout the state with topics specific to the issues facing foster, adoptive and kinship families. Kid’s Net also offers opportunities to attend courses in CPR and First Aid. View the Kids Net Training Calendar for February – June 2015.
Family Resource LiaisonsFamily Resources Liaisons (FRLs) are experienced foster, adoptive or kinship parents who offer information, support and mentoring to other parents.
RespiteEveryone needs a break from parenting once in a while, and respite is an important way to ensure that parents are able to take care of themselves, so they can continue to care for their children. Family respite is a planned time-out or vacation for DCF foster and pre-adoptive parents. Families can receive up to ten days of paid respite each year.
Short-Term Child CarePlanned, short-term, day and evening care provided in licensed childcare homes is available to allow foster, pre-adoptive and kinship families to attend to foster care-related or personal business; provide a break from parenting; and to meet other needs that impact the overall stability of the family.
KINnectionsAvailable in Metro Boston
As part of the Kid’s Net program, KINnections focuses on providing support and respite to grandparents raising their grandchildren. The program provides support groups, informational resources, and camp scholarships.
KINnections Featured in Boston Seniority Magazine
Contact a Kid’s Net Director for More InformationBoston
Phone: (617) 983-5800
Phone: (508) 753-2967
Phone: (978) 682-9222 or
Phone: (508) 775-0275
Phone: (413) 734-4978 or
- See more at: http://www.mspcc.org/our-services/foster-care-adoption/kidsnet/#sthash.p9M6f8Ra.dpuf
If your child has ADHD or you think they have get testing done. Either Leaps from MGH, Developmental Science at Childrens Hospital or www.thinkkids.org program at MGH. Here are some other articles you might find helpful.
you may find these articles from ADDitude magazine *really* helpful: :: "IEP Accommodations: What Works for Us"
http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/6511.html :: "ADHD Classroom Accommodations: Guide to Getting Special Services" http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/711.html :: "Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and IEPs vs. 504 Plans: Which Is Better for ADHD Children?" http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/4020.html :: "Is Your Child's IEP Working? Checking Up on ADHD Accommodations" http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/943.html :: "20 Classroom Accommodations for ADHD Children"
http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/5901.html couple other resources if you're not famiar with them for support now and in the ongoing future (as ADHD is a life-long journey that changes and morphs with each age and stage ... even these older ages and stages!)
:: CHADD - Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder ("School and ADHD" | http://www.chadd.org/Understanding-ADHD/Parents-Caregivers-of-Children-with-ADHD/School-and-ADHD.aspx) :: The Hallowell Centers for Emotional and Cognitive Health | http://www.drhallowell.com/add-adhd/ Remember that ADHD **on its own** is NOT considered a reason for an IEP nor is it considered a learning disability. However, in 30-50% of people with ADHD, there is also co-existing learning disabilities (a solid neuro-psych eval would tease out which is which) "ADHD is not considered to be a learning disability. It can be determined to be a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), making a student eligible to receive special education services. However, ADHD falls under the category “Other Health Impaired” and not under “Specific Learning Disabilities.”"
(National Institute of Mental Health, 2003 - via the Learning Disabilities Association of America | http://ldaamerica.org/types-of-learning-disabilities/adhd/)
Just received this information , this looks great, I'm going to try to attend, there is even an online version. All foster kids are trauma kids. If you need some good contacts regarding trauma, Ruth Bodian at Central DCF is absolutely fabulous. I have taken a trauma workshop with her and it was wonderful. Her contact info is:
Please see below, I was able to get infant pictures of my son from his moms Facebook page, I had to do whatever I could to give him a history he could see.
Social Workers: Avoid Missing Once-In-A Lifetime
There are many opportunities to get great birth family
information. Some come once in a lifetime. The trouble is
you don’t always know you have only one more chance
until it’s gone! Here’s my advice: assume each interaction
with a member of the birth family is the first and last.
Photos: Can you imagine never knowing what your first
mother or father looked like? One of the most therapeutic
things foster care professionals can do for a child is to get
photos of birth relatives. You can take the photos yourself
or insist upon getting them from others. You may be the
only person in a position to get photos for a child.
Nowadays you can use your cell phone to grab pictures if
you have a chance. The biggest mistake I ever made was in
a situation where I was interviewing a birth mom in the
holding cell at court. She had been arrested and was raped
by a guard while in jail.
“Suzie” was crying. She didn’t want her picture taken. She
said she ‘looked a mess’ and promised to meet with me
once she was released. Of course I felt sorry for her and
didn’t take her picture. Now I feel sorry for her child who
may never have a photo of her. I never saw her again.
Open adoption: I can’t tell you how many times I hear
about birth parents who request visits when papers are
being signed and do not follow through with the foster or
adoptive families. Do not assume there will be another
chance to ask questions or to take pictures. Don’t be too
shy or cautious to ask for a photo and ‘just a few questions’
as the papers are being signed.
Think of yourself advocating for the child too young to ask
his or her own questions. Think of how wonderful it will be
for that child to have the answers to the following
1. How tall are you? What color are your eyes?
About how much do you weigh?
2. What sort of health problems run in your
family? ( cancer, diabetes, heart problems)
3. What talents/hobbies do you have? (art,
4. What activities did you enjoy as a child? D
(Being outside, working with computers,
playing games, watching comedy shows on
television?) Do you have any hobbies now
(crafts, drawing, writing)
5. What is your ethnicity? ( Italian, Haitian,
African American, Irish, Dominican)
6. Is there anything you would like your birth
child to know that I haven’t asked?
The questions I put together are short and sweet. They
aren’t overwhelming, shaming or embarrassing. After all,
the Department of Social Services tends to know all the
damaging information related to the birth family already.
The trouble is we have too much negative information.
Kids in foster care need positive information too.
Below are opportunities we social workers don’t always
realize we have.
Court: Court is not just for legal proceedings. Use court
time to grab five minutes from a birth mom or birth dad to
get a picture or priceless information. The same rules apply
if a parent is incarcerated and he/she is brought from jail
into the court house.
Supervised Visits: Take advantage of a natural situation
to get great photos. Capture people doing activities
together, talking, hugging as well as looking into the
camera. Worry less about the quality of the photos and
more about utilizing the visit to capture an image.
As you take the photos, promise to deliver copies to anyone
who wants one. Be sure to follow through. Digital cameras,
cell phones and numerous hand-held devices make taking
pictures easier than ever. And don’t let technology stand in
your way. You can always get a disposable camera and
develop photos the “old fashioned way” if you prefer.
If you have time to ask only one question, do try to get
updated medical information. We all know how important
it is to kids as they grow into teens and adults.
Finally, if you can get more specific information about the
ethnicity, nationality and culture of birth families, please
do. It’s good to get the basics such as the race of the birth
family (Hispanic, Asian, Black, White). It’s even better if
you can find out what country a child’s grandparents or
great grandparents are from and what religious or cultural
traditions a family has.
Anytime you can help a foster children answer the
questions, “Who am I?” “What am I?” and “Where am I
from?” you are helping him or her to build a strong and
healthy identity. Keep up the good work!
Beth O’Malley M.Ed. Beth is an adoptee, adoptive parent, and
works with foster children in need of permanent homes 20+ years.
Visit her website at www.adoptionlifebooks.com
For me I need to de-stress some days, so I became a zumba instructor. In Boston I give free classes on Tuesday nights in Dorchester from 730 to 815. So if you ever around please join us, just contact me for details. Also in Boston, if your child is on WIC, you can go to Healthworks Community Fitness an all women's gym for $10 a month with FREE babysitting. Its a great place. Also here are some other freebies you might find helpful, how about a earning a Network Administrator or PC Repair certificate for under $300? Well Mattapan Tech offers just that, and also offers job placement ( www.mattapantech.org) And if your a stay at home mom and need some extra skills but can't get out of the house? How about free Microsoft Office skills to learn for free right from home? Here is the website: http://www.gcflearnfree.org
As Foster Parents, we need to help each other, uplift each other , share and pay it forward. Savers is a great place for kids clothing, you can get a free rewards card and every major holiday you get 50% percent off clothing, bedding and shoes. You even find a lot of things with tags, as we know kids outgrow things quickly. Also, if you start a lifebook, memory book or a time line book with pictures for the child in your care, Walgreens very often offers 40% off so you can get a 20 page book for under $15. Mostly everyone has a cell phone with a camera, start a morning routine snap a pic. That's we did and I transferred the pics from phone and made a beautiful book that will last a lifetime. Also you can find some great deals on www.dealnews.com. Did you know kids under the age of 3 get in FREE at Canobie Lake? I will update this page soon with other deals to share and help to stretch our dollars so these children can enjoy some avenues of life while away from their families.
AND DID YOU Know that 20 percent off coupon you get in the mail for Bed, Bath and Beyond, well you can use it Toys R Us and Buy Buy Baby as long as its expired!
Don't let it stress you out, when I got my first one , to me it felt like being arrested, I thought my integrity was called into question. The fact is, if you have done nothing wrong, let them file all they want. I had 5 including one filed against me by the area office. It was filed not because my child had scratches on his arm, which he received at daycare, but because I didn't report it to them. They were not happy with me advocating for my son, but it didn't stop me and guess what.........all of them where unsupported. All my documentation nailed it. I also found out that my son's prior foster placements, had asked that he be removed because bio mom kept filing a 51A at every visit. I then found out that my son was stripped naked at every bio visit at a DCF office. 51A's are either unsupported or supported. If its unsupported you cannot get any details about the investigation, if its found supported you get the information you need to fight it. Again, relax take a deep breathe, if you have done nothing wrong, there is nothing to worry about. If any office is using this as a blackmail technique etc........you have to stand firm. I'm talking out the side of my mouth, I did and I'm still here and I adopted my son. Always remember this is a partnership not a dictatorship.
Terry Alves-Hunter, Foster Parent Advocate
Not in my womb, always in my heart
Learning & Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP) The Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP) at Massachusetts General Hospital assesses students and children ages 2 to 22 who have developmental difficulties and consults with their parents, teachers and care providers.
Our clinical professionals have devoted their training, research and clinical practice to acquiring the specialized skills needed to assess children with learning disabilities, psychological and developmental disorders. Our team loves working with children and has a natural ability to put them at ease.
The Department of Psychiatry offers a depth and breadth of resources available at few other hospitals or psychiatric centers, meaning your child receives comprehensive, state-of-the-art care without leaving our campus. Services available at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children include:
Referral forms Clinician's Referral From (PDF)
Parent Referral Form (PDF)
HIPAA Authorization Form for release of information (PDF)
Learn more about:
Our clinical assessments are designed to be a comfortable and often fascinating experience, and we find that many children enjoy the warm, one-on-one attention they receive. In addition, our professionals excel at discussing the benefits of assessments with even the most skeptical of adolescents. Our Staff
Our experienced professional staff includes Child psychologists, Licensed clinical psychologists, Neuropsychologists, Certified school psychologists, clinical psychology interns and postgraduate fellows.
Research is an ongoing companion to treatment in the LEAP program, with clinical test data collected daily. This data is used to help participants in LEAP, as well as in other programs and departments. Conditions We Evaluate
LEAP treats a variety of conditions and disorders. With the trained resources of Mass General Hospital's Dept. of Psychiatry, we are able to evaluate and treat a variety of conditions and disorders.
Contact Us LEAP (Learning and Emotional Assessment Program)
151 Merrimac St., 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02114
Boston Medical Center
Dr. Augustyn is the Director of the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center (BMC) and is a Professor at Boston University School of Medicine. She went to medical school at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine, completed her pediatric residency at UCLA and her Developmental and Behavioral Pediatric Fellowship at Boston University-Boston City Hospital. Her clinical work at BMC primarily involves the evaluation of children with various developmental delays including autism,speech and language delays, global developmental delay, learning disabilities, ADHD to mention a few.
Her research work has varied across her career and includes work on the effects of both in utero cocaine exposure and violence on early childhood and parenting and recently she has been a leader in developing the Center for Family Navigation at BU, a national leader in promoting and developing the use of navigators to support families of children with developmental disabilities.
Dr. Augustyn is co-editor of The Zuckerman Parker Handbook of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics for Primary Care and the section co-editor for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics for the online journal UpToDate. She currently sits on the sub board of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at the American Board of Pediatrics and is on the Board of Directors of the Society of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. She is also on the American Academy of Pediatrics planning committee for Practical Pediatrics, their national CME Program.
Deborah Frank, MD
Dr. Frank is the Director of the Grow Clinic for Children and a board-certified Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician at Boston Medical Center (BMC). She is also a Professor of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Frank attended Harvard Medical School and completed her residency at Children's Hospital Seattle. After her residency, she went on to complete a fellowship in Child Development at Children's Hospital Boston. Dr. Frank specializes in issues of growth and nutrition and the impact of hunger on child development.
Dr. Frank has written numerous scientific articles and papers. Her work has focused on breastfeeding promotion, women and children affected by substance use, nutrition among homeless pregnant women and children, Failure to Thrive, food insecurity, and the “heat or eat” phenomenon, the dilemma that many low-income families face in the winter when they have to make the critical choice between heating their homes and feeding their children. She is especially proud of successfully mentoring many pre-professional and professional colleagues.
Cited as a respected authority in her fields, Dr. Frank has frequently given testimony to state and federal legislative committees on the growing problem of hunger and associated hardships in the United States and its effects on our youngest children. She has recently been nominated by Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi to the newly established National Commission on Hunger. She is also an invited member of the Aspen’s Dialogue on Food Insecurity and Health Care Costs.
L. Kari Hironaka MD, MPH
Dr. Hironaka is a board-certified Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician at Boston Medical Center. She completed her fellowship at Boston Medical Center. Dr. Hironaka specializes in health services research, health literacy and ADHD, as well as residency training.
John Maypole, MD
Dr. Maypole completed Pediatric Residency in 1999, and Pediatric Chief Residency in 2000 following his training at Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Maypole has consistently included primary care, medical education, and in participating in and developing innovative clinical programs for complex children and their families. Dr. Maypole served as Associate Director of the Pediatric Integrative Medicine Education Project and performing Holistic Medicine consults and medical education at Children’s Hospital from 2003-2005. In 2005, Dr. Maypole became Director of the Department of Pediatrics at the South End Community Health Center while serving as an attending physician for the Comprehensive Care Program (CCP) in the Department of Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center. CCP is a multi-disciplinary team of providers who provide enhanced and coordinated primary care to the most medically complex patients and higher risk families in the Pediatric Department, including ex-premature infants, children with special health needs and neurodevelopmental disabilities. In February of 2013, Dr. Maypole came to Boston University/Boston Medical Center to work full time to develop approaches and programs to address this fast-growing segment of the pediatric population. In September of 2014, Dr. Maypole received an award from the Center for Medicare Medicaid Innovation, supporting a 3 year effort for the Massachusetts Alliance for Complex Care/4C program--a consultative, multidisciplinary care support model of care for PCPs and families of medically complex children, of which he is co-principal investigator. He is an associate professor of Pediatrics at BUSM. Dr. Maypole writes child health-related articles for a lay audience, for mainstream media and online publications.
Jenny Radesky, MD
Dr. Radesky is a board-eligible Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician and a board-certified general pediatrician who recently joined the faculty at Boston Medical Center after completing her fellowship training here. She attended Harvard Medical School and completed her pediatrics training at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Dr. Radesky is a clinician-investigator whose clinical interests include early childhood adversity, attachment relationships, and child self-regulation, as well as teaching trainees methods of observing parent-child interaction. Her research examines mobile/interactive media use by parents and young children and how this effects parent-child interaction and child social-emotional development. She is an active member of the AAP Council on Communications and Media.
Arathi Reddy, DO
Dr. Reddy is a board-certified Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician at Boston Medical Center. She attended medical school at Western University of Allied Health Sciences in Pomona, CA and completed her residency at Morristown Memorial Hospital/ University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Morristown, NJ. She completed her fellowship at Einstein Montefiore and worked in NYC prior to joining the faculty in March 2011.
Jodi Santosuosso, NP, MSN
Jodi is a certified nurse practitioner in the Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Division at Boston Medical Center. She attended University of Massachusetts College of Nursing and Health Sciences and completed her residency at University of Massachusetts, Boston. She joined the Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine faculty in April 2007. Jodi has had extensive training in developmental and behavioral pediatrics, gastrointestinal (GI) diseases and ear, nose and throat (ENT) disorders.
Laura Sices, MD, MSDr. Sices is a board-certified Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician at Boston Medical Center (BMC). She attended medical school at University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, completed her residency at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and completed her fellowship at University of Washington in Seattle, WA. Dr. Sices was on the faculty at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, OH before joining BMC in 2007. Dr. Sices’ clinical work focuses on assessment and management of children with a variety of different concerns, including developmental delays, speech and language delays and conditions, ADHD, learning disabilities and differences, and autism spectrum conditions. Her academic focus is on developmental screening and the early identification of developmental delays.
Naomi Steiner, MD
Dr. Steiner is the Director of Training at the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. Dr. Steiner studies how computers train the brain, which is an area of great interest in overlapping fields of ADHD, psychology, neuroscience and education, and closely followed by many as a complimentary or alternative approach to the traditional psychopharmacological treatment of ADHD. She is specifically interested in implementing neurofeedback attention training in schools. She is also interested in teaching self-regulation skills and relaxation breathing in schools. Dr. Steiner is multicultural and multilingual. In 2030 more than 50% of children will be raised bilingual in the United States! Dr. Steiner has written a book on how to successfully raise children bilingual (7 Steps to Raising a Bilingual Child), and instructs medical professional, teachers and parents on how children learn two languages, and how English Language Learners can be successful at school.
Mary Ellen Stolecki, NP, MSN
Mary Ellen is a board certified pediatric nurse practitioner in the Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Division at Boston Medical Center and an Instructor of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine.
She specializes in primary care of the Child with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) in the Comprehensive Care Program. She also practices in the Pediatric Gastroenterology Division providing specialty care for gastrointestinal (GI) conditions.
Her clinical interests are primary care for medically complex children (as well as GI issues) of CSHCN including: care of the premature infant, autism, cerebral palsy, seizures, Down syndrome, Williams syndrome, Turner syndrome,achrondroplasia,and multiple congenital anomalies.
Jodi Wenger, MD
Jodi Wenger, MD is a graduate of Dartmouth Medical School who completed her pediatric residency at Boston Medical Center. She spent several years on the Navajo Reservation in northeastern Arizona before transitioning back to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH. She served as a pediatric hospitalist, outpatient provider and educator at Dartmouth Medical School.
She has always had an interest in children with special health care needs. She worked in the Comprehensive Care Program at BMC as a resident and is thrilled to return. She was the general pediatrician at the multidisciplinary spina bifida clinic at Dartmouth Hitchcock and cared for children with neurologic challenges while on the Navajo Reservation.
Dr. Wenger has also had an interest in resident work hour reform and continues to support the software she and her husband created during her chief resident year. Amion, continues to allow one to make fair physician call schedules that can be easily accessed online.
Barry Zuckerman, MD
Dr. Zuckerman is Professor and Chair Emeritus of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine/Boston Medical Center. He is a national and international leader in child health and development. His research focuses on the interplay among biological, social and psychological factors as they contribute to children's health and development. Dr. Zuckerman and colleagues have developed four programs that transformed health care to better meet the needs of low income and minority children. The success of these efforts is that they are now all national programs; Reach Out and Read, Medical-Legal Partnership, Health Leads and Healthy Steps. In addition to more than 250 scientific publications, he has edited nine books, including three editions of Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrics: Handbook for Primary Care. He has served on prestigious national committees; National Commission on Children, Carnegie Commission on Young Children, Bright Futures, and has received numerous national and international awards including the C. Anderson Aldrich for Child Development and the Joseph St Geme Award for Leadership from AAP, and the Policy and Advocacy award and Health Care Delivery Award from the APA. He has consulted in Turkey, Bangladesh, and Thailand regarding child development.
- See more at: http://www.bmc.org/pediatrics-developmentalbehavioral/team.htm#sthash.UrLgPWRv.dpuf
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