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The 3-5-7 Model
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OCTOBER  2013 
Greetings!

Autumn, with its vivid changing of the season here in the North East, is often thought of as a time for reflection. The five conceptual questions of the 3-5-7 Model provide a perfect framework to use.  Have you stopped recently to evaluate your own path?  Who are you?  What has happened in your life that has made you who you are today?  Where are you going?  How will you get there?  When will you know you belong? 

 

In my book, the 3-5-7 Model: A Practice Approach to Permanency, my colleague Stephanie Wolfe shared her own story of Clarification, Integration and Actualization.   I have heard her say often that she "3-5-7-ed" herself.  Stephanie wrote, "Perhaps we should recognize the importance of being in the moment with our kids; allowing them to feel their pain and helping them understand and make sense out of the events of their lives. Perhaps when we examine our own loss, our own grief, we can remember what we needed during those times. We can recall the pain and remember that we got through it. We can remember that what was most important was not what people said to us but the fact that they were there with us. If we do these things, perhaps we can feel more confident about how to help our kids through their pain."  

 

If you are finding yourself in a period of reflection consider "3-5-7-ing" yourself, as Stephanie has done.  Remember that you will be most successful at helping others through loss when you have examined and dealt with your own.  Look at your own life though the 3-5-7 lens and I'd be honored if you share with me what you see. 

 

Tools of the 3-5-7 Model
JOURNALS
 
Many people use journals as a way to capture their thoughts and feelings.  Journals can be wonderful tools for self-reflection.  The Center for Journal Therapy provides several suggestions for journal writing that can be helpful both in your own self-reflection as well as for children, youth and families you are working with.  Find more information on their website:  Link


VISION BOARDS

Vision boards are a visual representation of a person's hopes and dreams, typically oriented toward the future.  Vision boards can be created in many formats, from poster boards filled with magazine clippings, photographs, and words of strength and affirmation, to the "boards" that some people create electronically on apps such as Pinterest.  Creating a vision board with your youth can help provide a sense of hope-and the process of creating the board provides many opportunities to validate your youth's resiliency!

 

One suggestion to get started is to provide an opportunity for your youth to create a vision board related to a short term goal.  As the youth becomes more comfortable with the process, the possibilities are endless!  A useful description related to helping youth create a vision board can be found at this website: Link 

 

BOOK RECOMMENDATION
 

What's A Foster Family, Anyway? 

By Martine Golden Inlay   

 

This easy-to-read book can assist children in the foster care system to understand terminology that is often confusing to them.  There are pages for individual reflection at the end of the book.

 

Featured Activity: Sibling Placements

Purpose:  Honors the past, and the child/youth's journey and out-of-home placements with and without siblings. Also validates feelings associated with being placed together and/or separately.  

 

Materials Needed:  8.5 x 11 card stock cut outs of houses, each labeled with the name and address of each home the children have lived in (preferably with a picture of each family, whether birth or foster).

 

Getting Started:  Lay each cut out house on the floor in a Lifemap pattern. The Lifemap should follow each child's placement. If a sibling was separated from the others in a different home, place that home next to the sibling's home.  Explain to the children that they started out in their birth parents home (or wherever their first placement was) and show how they moved from one home to the next with their siblings. If there was a separation, ask the separated child to step to their separate home. When reunited, ask all the children to step back together on the home where they were reunited.  With each step to another home, discuss how it felt to move to another home. Discuss memories of that foster home/family. Discuss how each child felt about being placed together/separate/reunited. Explain to the siblings that even though they did not live together in every home, they are still a family. Stress the importance of being together.

 

Tips and techniques to making the activity meaningful:  This activity can be completed once the worker has met with the children several times and has established a relationship with all of the siblings.

 

 Credit: Jennifer Tregear, Diakon Adoption and Foster Care

 

 Source: THE 3-5-7 MODEL WORKBOOK: Supporting the Work of Children, Youth and Families Toward Permanency

It's the goal of all of us at Darla Henry & Associates to give you the tools you need to support children and families and we hope you take advantage of the ones offered here.  I also hope you take seriously the challenge offered in the newletter introduction to "3-5-7"  yourself.  I'd love to continue the dialog with you-- let me know what you learn!

 

Sincerely,

 

 Darla L. Henry
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2012 Darla L. Henry & Associates
P.O. Box 4847 Harrisburg, Pa 17111-0847
dhenry@darlahenry.org   |   717-919-6286