New Foundations, Inc.
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Welcome to New Foundations’ quarterly care. We are developing web pages to display our newsletter. Our objective is to keep our staff, foster parents, children and other social service professionals informed as to what is happening in each of our offices. Since our newsletter will be available to view on our website, we will use first names only in conjunction with the children placed in our children’s drawings and paintings, so please submit any artwork you would like to have posted to your case manager, supervisor or recruiter. We would also like to hear from our foster families and our teenagers about your experiences with New Foundations and the foster care system, so we also encourage you to submit your accounts or stories to your case manager, supervisor or recruiter as well. By sharing your accounts on our website, we would like to provide a better understanding of the rewards and challenges of foster parenting to prospective foster parents and other interested parties. 

About New Foundations

New Foundations is a private, non-profit child welfare agency that is licensed by the Department of Public Welfare to provide service to children and families in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties. We currently serve 234 children and their foster and biological families in the following ways:

  • Foster Care Services
  • Kinship Care Services
  • Aftercare Services
  • Adoption Services
  • SCOH Services

Program Office News

New Foundations staff attended Feel the Beat’s 3rd Annual Toy Drive on 12/4/08 at the Commodore Barry Club. All toys collected at the event were donated solely to New Foundations Children and families. Special thanks to Shante Lee for her time and effort in orchestrating the event and to Feel the Beat Productions for selecting New Foundations for their generous donation.

Special thanks to Deatrice Fields and Danielle Williams for their efforts in coordinating Toys for Tots on behalf of New Foundations. Their time and energy was greatly appreciated and allowed the agency to provide quality toys to our families during this holiday season.

New Foundations’ staff sends their best wishes and thanks to Ms. Lois Loftin upon her resignation after many years of service as our secretary. She will be missed. We also welcome Panya Craig to New Foundations. Panya will be working as our new secretary along with Joyce Palmer.                  

                

Philadelphia Office

The Rising Sun office is doing a magnificent job as they continue to manage over 140 children in foster and kinship care. Hats off to the Rising Sun Office that is currently staffed with case managers, secretaries, and transporters. The Rising Sun office works together as an effective team with the support and guidance of supervisors Deatrice Fields and Sherron Samuels. New Foundations welcomes Constance Pinero, newly hired case manager, with open arms as she started her journey of working with children and their families. Thus far she has been doing a tremendous job and appears to be a great asset to the team. Good Luck Constance.

The Rising Sun team works to achieve permanency by reuniting children with their biological families as well as through adoption and permanent guardianship. Rising Sun  gives special thanks to all of our foster parents who provide nurture and love to our children in need and are a wonderful asset to our team.

The Rising Sun team continues to acknowledge exceptional and outstanding foster parents on a monthly basis. The foster parent of the month receives an award certificate along with a gift card from Wal-mart or a super market. The foster parent of the month is decided upon by the case managers nominating one foster parent on their case load list and speaking highly of the foster parent to the other staff members as to why that foster parent should win foster parent of the month. The other staff members then vote for the best candidate for foster parent of the month. Congratulations to Eula Harris who won foster parent of the month for January 2009, and George Pollydore for February 2009. Keep up the good work foster parents!!!!!!!!

The children that we provide service for at New Foundations are our pride and joy. We are delighted and thrilled when our children achieve and stand out in areas and activities, despite their disruptions of life.  We congratulate Avis C., Erica C., April C., Terrance C., and Charles C, who were all recently adopted by their foster parents. Sherron Samuels sends special congratulations to the Abel, Lazorko and Brown families on their successful adoptions. Good Luck in all of your future endeavors to both you and your new families.

We salute Vishna C. for her achievement of becoming her school president. We are proud of you!!! We also would like to acknowledge six other children for their educational achievement of making honor roll this marking period. On the sports page, congratulations to Ezekiel S. for continued success playing minor league football. He was named MVP. Rising star, Isaiah S. is working on recording his first CD. Anyone looking for a career in music can consult with Ms. Wills, who is a producer/manager. 

As the children and the foster parents excel, so does the staff here at the Rising Sun Office. Congratulations to Nafeesah Reed, case manager, on her marriage. Best wishes to you and your husband as you begin a new life together. Joyce Palmer secretary and Najah Knight, case aide continue their studies at Community College of Philadelphia, majoring in Liberal Arts and Human Services.

For all those foster parents who are struggling with their own personal issues or who are having difficulty with the children under their care, stay encouraged. Foster parenting is a valuable community service. We love you for your efforts!

 

Swarthmore Office 

The New Foundations Swarthmore Office had a cold winter.  We survived unexpected weather which included a severe thunderstorm that caused us to keep our office doors closed for a day.  There were icy days, and days where we thought the sun would stay out but suddenly a dark cloud would appear.  Despite all of this unexpected and inclement weather, the staff still proceeded in their activities of making sure the needs of the children were met.  We had family visits during this time and  provided the family with board games and family movies to watch to promote bonding, as the staff may have had to chase some of the toddlers around the office in games of hide and seek and peek-a-boo.

Swarthmore wants to recognize two of the Case Managers who are presently pursuing their Master’s Degrees from Strayer University; Marsha Komara and Shayvonne Jackson. They are colleagues and classmates. Spring is here and the entire staff is looking forward to sunny predictable weather days.

 Recruitment

The Recruitment Unit has approved ten resource homes during the last quarter. Recruiters  Kirsten Kovalchick and Ebony Fowler, have settled into their new office on Rising Sun Avenue and have been busy doing outreach into the surrounding communities in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties in an effort to get to know our new neighbors, especially those who may want to become foster parents.

Congratulations to Ebony, who celebrated her first anniversary with New Foundations in January and to supervisor, Sandie Caulder, who celebrated her thirteenth anniversary in February. Recruiter Kwanda Smith continues her studies in Health Services Administration at Strayer University in Springfield. Keep up the good work, Kwanda. Good luck also to Ebony as she prepares to take the GRE.  

 

Services to Children in Their Own Homes (SCOH)

As of 2/28/09, the New Foundations SCOH program was servicing 43 families. During this quarter, we had 10 successful discharges from our SCOH program. We continue to work together with the Department of Human Services to ensure the safety and well-being of all of our families, and to assist in transitioning our families to IHPS (In-Home Protective Services), or to successful discharge from the agency. The SCOH unit was able to provide holiday gifts to families courtesy of Toys for Tots and is greatly appreciative for their assistance during this holiday season. We also continue to wish Wenonah and Margie much success in their educational endeavors.       

 

Adoption   

The adoption unit continues to do a wonderful job achieving permanency for children in foster care.  Supervisor, Amy Morris, reports that the adoption unit is currently working on thirty-nine Performance Based Contract (PBC) adoptions through the Philadelphia Department of Human Services. Through the SWAN contract, they are currently working on eight units of service with Delaware County CYS.  They also have four waiting family profiles in study.  In addition, they are currently working on proposals to provide Post-Permanency Adoption Services and Child Specific Recruitment.  Amy attended a training on FACES and Risk Assessment on September 30, 2008, which are assessments used for post-permanency services. John Sandy is the South East Regional Technical Assistant for New Foundations, Inc. 

 Adoption Coordinators, Rachel Buxbaum and Joy Lander, attended the SWAN SE Regional meeting on September 9, 2008. The topic was “Post-Permanency Services 101.” Amy and Joy attended the SWAN Quarterly meeting on October 28, 2008. They attended the following workshop: “Child Specific Recruitment (CSR) and Family Engagement-Putting it all Together.” Joy attended the New Unit Provider meeting for child preparation and post-permanency services on November 18, 2008.

 Amy continues to attend the quarterly DHS Supervisor's forums, which have been focusing on developing the family profile, child preparation, and Act 160.  Amy, Rachel, and Joy also continue to attend monthly Delaware Valley Adoption Council meetings. Meetings this quarter included a matching event and the following trainings: “Making Ends Meet” and “Trauma and Attachment.” In addition, adoption staff continue to attend training through PCCYFS. Amy, Rachel, and Joy also participated in Cultural Competence training at New Foundations, Inc. on October 30, 2008.

 If you, or anyone you are connected with is interested in learning more about adopting a child, please contact our adoption unit at (215) 203-8733.

 

Aftercare

 Aftercare Services are provided to children and families who have achieved permanency through Reunification and Permanent Legal Custodianship (PLC). Services are provided by New Foundations Aftercare case managers for 12 months post permanency. 

 New Foundations Aftercare program services 23 families. Both Aftercare case managers combined have successfully discharged 3 families from the Aftercare Unit to date.  Each goal of permanency was reunification. The aftercare case mangers will continue to successfully discharge cases in the upcoming months.

 Latoya continues to exhibit academic excellence and has now been accepted to 3 universities. Illeah, Samara and Anthony are also doing a great job in school and were on honor roll last quarter. 

             

DON’T FORGET…
Don’t forget that we are always looking for new foster parents so we are better able to match the children coming into our care with qualified and caring foster families. If you, or anyone you are connected with is interested in learning more about foster parenting, please contact our recruitment or case management staff at (215) 203-8733 or (610) 876-4474 or 1-877-NFI-4KID (1-877-634-4543) or visit our website at www.nfi4kids.org.

Pointers on Teaching Children a Second Language  

There are many benefits for children who are taught a second language.  They are often better communicators, they develop better cognitively, and they are culturally conscious and culturally sensitive to others.  These things can lead to better job opportunities in the future.

 It will also do wonders for the child as an individual.  They will feel better about themselves because they are able to communicate with different types of people.  This will also make it easier for them to make friends and have a better understanding of these friends.

 It is suggested that the “window of opportunity” for children to learn a second language is from birth to age 10.  After the age of 12, it becomes very difficult for one to develop an accent.  They will pick up on the language quicker, be able to better retain it, and have a greater chance of developing a native accent. 

 One suggestion of how to teach a child a second language is the bilingual approach.  This approach supports teaching children both their native and second languages paralleled.  If a parent is teaching a child the word “cheese”, they would first say it in their native language and then the second language. Another suggestion to begin teaching a young child a second language is to start by using small tools such as flashcards.  There are many other kits and tools that can be found in book stores, advertised on the television, and on the internet. 

It is very important to make sure that the child does not feel overwhelmed while learning.  This can be done by ensuring that the size of vocabulary being taught at once is appropriate for the age of that child.  There is also a suggested timetable given by abchomepreschool.com.  It goes as follows:

  • Infant-10 minutes

  • Toddler- 20 minutes

  • Preschooler- 30 minutes

  • Elementary school- 45 minutes

This experience should be fun and exciting for the child.  If the adult teacher becomes frustrated they should take time away from the activity.  It should also be noted that a child may go through a “silent period”.  During this time they may understand what is being taught to them, but may not be able to verbalize it in the second language.  In this instance, you may ask a question in the second language and the child will reply in their first language.

Teaching children a second language will primarily be beneficial to the child, but it can also benefit the entire family.  It can help them socially, intellectually, and professionally.  It can also serve as time that the family spends together.  It should be enjoyable to all who are involved.  If the pointers given are used in conjunction with some of the latest research, your child could be on their way to establishing a great advantage for their future.

 

For more information on my sources:

Butler, B. (2005). When should we begin teaching our children a second language? Retrieved on March 13, 2009, from http://www.babiesonline.com/articles/education/teachingsecondlanguage.asp

Jendayi. (2009). The importance of teaching children a second language. Retrieved on March 13, 2009, from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/353979/the_importance_of_teaching_children.html?cat=25

K., Meriam. (n.d.). How to teach a foreign language to young children. Retrieved on March13, 2009, from http://www.ehow.com/PrintArticle.html?id=2169471

 

   
 

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Poison Control Awareness Week:

Poison Control Awareness Week falls during mid-March. This is a time to remember what dangers there are in every home and a time to make sure your home is safe. Please don't just say "my child won't get into that, he know's better." Many household products can look similar to eatable or drinkable items. It is important to remember to keep cleaning materials and the like away from the kitchen to avoid confusion. A child may not be able to read a label that an adult can and accidently drink something toxic. Apple juice looks similar to tiki torch fluid and is packaged in a similar container. An adult may make the mistake of giving a child something toxic if it is mislabeled or taken out of its original container. Windshield washer fluid can look very similar to blue juice punch. Yellow sports drink can look like antifreeze, which is extremely toxic to children and animals and also has a sweet taste. Philadelphia's poison control hotline can be reached at anytime at 1-800-222-1222. All calls are kept confidential. If you suspect your child has ingested something toxic and they are conscious call immediately. If the child is not conscious, call 911 immediately. Poison control or emergency professionals will instruct you as to what to do. Make sure you tell them exactly what the child or adult has ingested. "Philadelphia's Poison Control Center receives about 150 calls a day. Most calls are concerning children under six-years old who ingested something at home." Source

 

   
 

Adult Wellness and Medications/Food Interactions: dult Wellness and Medications/Food Interactions:

In our newsletter we often talk about children’s health, but what about their caregivers, our foster and adoptive parents? Many people know that it is bad to take acetaminophen or Tylenol and drink alcohol because of the effects it can have on the liver, but what about some other interactions you may not think of? There are consequences to mixing certain foods or drinks and medications. Coumadin is a blood thinner that some adults may take. Coumadin can interact with green leafy vegetables in one way and with cranberry juice in another way. Grapefruit and its juice can interact with cholesterol and blood pressure medications. Antibiotics such as Cipro can become ineffective if taken with calcium, even with milk. Even homeopathic medications like St. John’s Wort, which is used to treat depression, can have serious interactions and cause liver problems. Make sure you are educated on your medications and what they interact with. Talk to your doctor consistently and let he or she know of any changes in diet or medication and never stop taking a medication without talking to your doctor first as some cannot be stopped suddenly, but must be tapered away. Source

   

 

 

Philadelphia Program Office
7210 Rising Sun Avenue · Suite A
Administrative Office · Philadelphia, PA 19111
(215) 203-8733
(215) 745-0329 (Fax)
Toll Free: 1-877-NFI-4KID

  Swarthmore Program Office
630 Fairview Road, Suite 202
Swarthmore, PA 19081
(610)-876-4474
(610) 328-4631 (Fax)