Youth in foster care who have histories of grief, loss, and placement disruptions need trauma-informed programs that can help them maintain stable and consistent connections with supportive adults. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of staff who implemented a trauma-informed model called Intensive Permanence Services (IPS). We conducted qualitative interviews with staff (N = 7) who developed and implemented the IPS model and reviewed agency documents to identify the key characteristics of the model, the strategies staff used in their work with youth, and the challenges they faced to implementing IPS. Findings highlight these critical components: (1) using a youth-driven approach that prioritizes accountability to the youth and youth empowerment; (2) adopting an organizational culture of well-being using strategies such as secondary traumatic stress education, peer support, and structured supervision; and (3) promoting systems change for improved collaboration with all stakeholders, including the youth, families, caregivers, and other service providers. Overall, our findings stressed the importance of adopting a more holistic, trauma-informed, and youth-driven approach to improve permanence and well-being for youth in care.
Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal – Springer Journals
Published: May 29, 2018
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