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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

When tribes step up, good things happen



Akwesasne Community Social Services Division Earns Top Ranking for Child Placement in State of New York

by Native News Online Staff
The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Social Services Division has successfully placed all children under their custody into homes in the Akwesasne in 2015 thanks to the efforts of their Preventive/Foster Care Unit that includes: (front row, from left) Renee Massaro, Home Finder; Ella Fuller, Program Manager; and Heath Kuhn, Caseworker; (back row, from left) Shari Adams, Administrative Assistant; Jade White, Commissioner; Chloe Cebek, Caseworker; Stacee Loran, Caseworker; and Krystal Phillips, Caseworker
Published February 15, 2017
AKWESASNE — The community of Akwesasne has long been known for taking care of its own; whether it be supporting our elders, helping a family recover from a tragedy, dealing with the loss of a beloved one, or providing a welcoming home for a young child. Akwesasne is certainly one of the most caring and giving communities and figures released by the New York State’s Office of Children and Family Services for 2015 can back up that claim— the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Social Services Division exceeded statewide rates for placing children in least restrictive home environments.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment that our community can take immense pride in serving the best interests of our children,” said Social Services Commissioner Jade White. “The unconditional willingness to open their doors to welcome a child in need into their home is true testament to our Relative and Certified Foster Parent’s noble decisions to be involved with our child welfare system. We recognize that this honor would not have been made possible without the cooperation of our Preventive/Foster Care Unity and Foster Parents and we look forward to future collaborations.”
In a statewide-ranking of 60 county and tribal social services departments, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe ranked first in placing 100 percent of children into Relative Foster Care or Home-Based Care. The state average for placement in 2015 was 68.8 percent for Home-Based Care and a 28.08 percent for Relative Foster Care. Every child that was placed into the custody of the Tribe’s Social Services Division was welcomed into a safe, healthy and stable home environment in Akwesasne.
This is the first time in Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Social Services Division history that they have achieved the top ranking for placing children in Relative Foster Care or Home-Based Care. Much of the success in finding homes is due to the outreach they undertake throughout the year, which includes an Annual Foster Parent Recruitment Event in May during National Foster Care Awareness Month. They also participate in local events, such as the Annual Wellness Day that is attended by hundreds of community members where they encourage individuals to “Be a Super Hero” by choosing to be a foster parent to a deserving child.
“Foster parents and relatives play an essential role in providing temporary, safe, and nurturing homes to children when their parents are unable to care for them,” shared Preventive Foster Care Program Manager Ella Fuller. “The safety of the child is always a priority and considerable thought is given to finding the most suitable home environment, whether it be with other family members or foster parents who are looking to adopt. Our goal is to help bring families together.”
If you want to learn more or are interesting in becoming a part of the Foster Care Program, please call the Social Services Division at (518) 358-2728.

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Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.

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Thought-provoking and moving 11 October 2012
Two Worlds - Lost children of the Indian Adoption Projects

If you thought that ethnic cleansing was something for the history books, think again. This work tells the stories of Native American Indian adoptees "The Lost Birds" who continue to suffer the effects of successive US and Canadian government policies on adoption; policies that were in force as recently as the 1970's. Many of the contributors still bear the scars of their separation from their ancestral roots. What becomes apparent to the reader is the reality of a racial memory that lives in the DNA of adoptees and calls to them from the past.
The editors have let the contributors tell their own stories of their childhood and search for their blood relatives, allowing the reader to gain a true impression of their personalities. What becomes apparent is that nothing is straightforward; re-assimilation brings its own cultural and emotional problems. Not all of the stories are harrowing or sad; there are a number of heart-warming successes, and not all placements amongst white families had negative consequences. But with whom should the ultimate decision of adoption reside? Government authorities or the Indian people themselves? Read Two Worlds and decide for yourself.

ADOPTION TRUTH

As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.”
The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.

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