Working in FCNI’s administrative services, I don’t get to experience much direct interaction with our kids or families, at least not as much as I’d like. So I depend on our direct service staff to share their stories and experiences with me--their ups, downs, good days and even their hard days, and the countless examples they get to see of our staff’s and families’ resiliency and unwavering hope.
Welcome to our Blog! We post weekly articles written on a variety of topics from a variety of people, including our staff, volunteers, community members, and our parents and youth. The Voices of our Blog are opinion pieces, reflecting the diverse experiences and viewpoints of our community. These articles are not meant to represent the views of everyone at FCNI, our Board of Directors and staff, or present a definitive policy statement, but are designed to be informative and thought-provoking.
Ever since 9/11, the term “First-Responder” has become embedded within our culture. It was not that long ago that they were simply referred to as police, firefighters, EMTs, et cetera. But First-Responder is really a great term–a class of emergency personnel ready and available anytime, anyplace; whatever the emergency might be.
Three+ years ago I wrote an article published by The Chronicle for Social Change, entitled “California’s Continuum of Care Reform – Will It Produce as Promised?” Fast forward to today--has CCR produced as promised? Remember that the goal of CCR was to reduce group home placements by shifting foster youth to family-based services. There have been some modest accomplishments, but from my perspective, there is a long way to go to really achieve success!
I have wanted to work with trauma-impacted children and foster youth since I was very young. I went off to get my degree in psychology and moved back to the Central Coast eager to enact change in children’s lives, but I never imagined how much this field would change me. In the two years I’ve worked at FCNI, my job as a Rehabilitation Specialist (RS) has consisted of working with kids and families in their daily environment to help them build skills they need to cope and thrive.
The increasing focus on transition age youth (TAY), ages 16–24, is important and necessary. TAY are navigating the developmental years of growing out of childhood and into adulthood. Brain development in TAY is incomplete, leading to limitations in decision making, impulsivity, risk taking, and emotion regulation. These years are important for individuation and development of an autonomous self. These are individuals on whom we should all be focused to be able to provide support, care, and direction as they navigate early adulthood.