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In This Issue
The 3-5-7 Model
Children have a need to know that they are loved by their parents who gave birth to them, no matter the reasons for removal from their care.   
May  2014 

Mother's Day and Father's Day can be a conflicted time for our children and youth who have been part of the child welfare system. It's hard to celebrate one parent while at the same time experiencing feelings of great loss for another.  I've included two articles below to help us keep a child-centered focus as we approach, with an understanding of parental loyalty, these celebrations of parental love.



Children Love Their Parents,
Parents Love Their Children
Integral to our work with children and youth is our ability to make the distinction between love and parenting capacity. Most parents do love their children and yet, for a variety of reasons, are not able to adequately parent them.


We can say to kids, your "parent" loves you; however, he/she is not a good parent. This useful step in our work with children, in placement settings, is to assure them that they are loved by a parent; however, while their parent may love them, they do not have the capacity to be a parent who takes care of them and who provides for their needs. These assurances allow for the child to hear the message that they are loved; that what was done to them by their parents was not because they were not lovable.  

The acknowledgement of a parent's love provides a way for children to move on, no longer waiting for validation from those unable to do so. No longer do they continually seek affirmation that their parent loves them...it is settled. If we are unable to affirm their need for assurance of a parent's love, it often sustains their feelings of abandonment and being unwanted.  We cannot assume that children do not need to hear this affirmation. Unless children have been abused by severely limited parents, those unable to convey love to anyone, these words can provide relief. This is a starting point for ongoing integration work towards the ability of the child to consider membership in another family. It honors their loyalty to their parent, yet, allows that they can be loved by several parents. If we ignore parental love, we are supporting their abandonment fears and rejection feelings.
-Excerpt from Resource Parent Guide, Darla L. Henry & Associates

Mother's Day in the Foster Care System

This must read article by Denise Hoffman is reprinted from the April 2014 Newsletter (page 3),  

The Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center.


Traditionally, Mother's Day is a day to honor our mothers and tell them how thankful we are to have them in our lives.   For many people, this scenario will happen. For many foster children and birth moms, it will not. This is usually a very difficult day for many of the children in our foster care system and for their biological moms that still yearn to hold them and to have them home again. Some children do not have any contact with their biological mothers while others have minimal contact through visitation. Whatever the case may be, Mother's Day can be a difficult day.  

Read more....
Welcome to the 3-5-7 Model© Family!

We are so honored and pleased to be working with all of the wonderful programs in Canada.   


Children's Aid Society of Haldimand & Norfolk  
Children's Aid Society of Nipissing & Parry Sound
Children's Aid Society of Ottawa  
Edmonton Child and Family Services
Family & Children's Services of Guelph and Wellington


After a recent training, we received the following feedback that captures the desire for practice and systems change that many of our programs are working toward:


"Darla is extremely approachable, knowledgeable and understands the unique intricacies of the child welfare system.  The 3-5-7 Model is completely relevant to the work we do with families, resources and the everyday struggles our kids in care experience.  Viewing our work through the lens of grief and loss will lead to more helping relationships and assist our clients in identifying the path to healing.  De-mystifying the concepts, teaching our colleagues, collaterals, lawyers and judges as well as resource parents regarding the same will benefit our community at large."


"The future of our Agency's philosophy and priorities are being re-framed with the 3-5-7 Model concepts and we look forward to an exciting future of the Model's applications within our organization and making it part of our work culture.   The mentoring and coaching will be greatly appreciated as we move forward to a better future for our kids, families and staff."


"Thanks for coming to the Great White North!  Looking forward to working with you and your wonderful team!"


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