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Friday, June 10, 2016

Pursuing Permanency Series #2

How large of a role should youth in foster care have in their permanency planning? Are adolescents ready for these big decisions? Can they be an asset in this process? These are some of the questions the CYF learning cohort is asking as they explore how to incorporate youth’s voices in their permanency programs. As it turns out, engaging youth in placement planning could actually help prepare them for adulthood. This post will look at two resources on engaging youth in transition planning, one from the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative and the other from the Mississippi Teen Advisory Board. The first piece is “Authentic Youth Engagement: Youth-Adult Partnerships,” and the second, “Mississippi Youth Voice,” is a practice tool produced by a group of youth in the Mississippi foster care system which offers a look at their ideas for foster care improvement.

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

What Is the Value of the LSA Annual Conference?

What is the value of the LSA Annual Conference? It’s a question we ask ourselves at LSA in the wintery months as the LSA staff focuses on finalizing the details of an event that brings together Lutheran social ministry organizations from across the country. These are the finishing touches on an activity that actually starts many years in advance. The dedicated marketing team scopes out a place for the conference and negotiates a venue years in advance. Twelve months out we begin the planning in earnest. An advisory team is formed of staff and LSA members; plenary speaker and session profiles are drafted; and connections are made. The months move on as we craft and refine a program that we hope resonates with attendees.

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Friday, June 3, 2016

Pursuing Permanency Series #1

In April 2016, LSA CYF members launched a new learning cohort to identify and implement best practices for youth at risk of aging out of the child welfare system to achieve permanency, either with a permanent family (through reunification, adoption or guardianship) or through a lifelong connection to a committed, caring adult. The cohort’s objectives include exploring best practices, techniques and tools to support and assist organizations in integrating family placements for older youth into its culture and programming.

As part of this project, Natalie Goodnow from the Kennedy School at Harvard will share effective ways organizations can promote family placements for the older youth they serve.

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bethesda College Graduate Shares His Experience

The Bethesda College of Applied Learning is a unique, two-year post-secondary certificate program, the result of an innovative partnership with Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW) and Bethesda Lutheran Communities that helps adults with intellectual, developmental and other complex disabilities realize their dream of receiving a college education.

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Serving Seniors in Rural Areas – and Beyond

In honor of Older Americans month, I wanted to share some little-known facts about Lutheran social ministry and the many ways in which the lives of older adults in the United States are touched by social ministry organizations.

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