Darla Henry & Associates
In This Issue
GREETINGS to our new friends and champions of  3-5-7 Model(c) from:


In our August 2013 Newsletter, we shared our most popular Facebook post, a message seen by 1,407 Facebook users.  Last month, another post (the image above) exceeded this reach and was seen by over 8,300 Facebook users.  We encourage you to visit and "like" our page so that you won't miss any of our inspirational messages!

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February 2015


Termination of parental rights (TPR) does not terminate love. One of the feelings that we sometimes overlook in our work in child welfare is this love. In our best intentions to keep children safe, to protect them from threatening, hostile situations, we have not recognized the importance of a child's love for their parent and the parent's love for their child. While the parenting may have been less that acceptable for this child, removal of the child from that parent's care does not indicate that the child will be able, at will, to transfer the need to know that they are lovable from that parent to another parenting person.


(Excerpted from Henry, D. L. (2010).  The 3-5-7 Model: A practice approach to permanency.  Stories of hope & healing for children, youth and families.)


Let's remember to honor the love of all parents-and help our children and youth to celebrate this love as well.   




Watch Your Language: "Burning Bridges" in Relationships

How often have you heard the youth who we work with as having "burned bridges" with foster parents, family members or others?  What are we trying to convey when we use this description?  Are we trying to express our own hurt?  Are we saying that our youth cannot be in relationship with others?  In fact, these words convey a sense of hopelessness-acceptance that the relationships strained by the intense losses felt by our youth are beyond repair.   

It can be hard for resource parents to manage a youth's behaviors when they haven't been able to build a relationship with the youth and the youth has not formed a connection to the resource parent.  It is critical to support the relationship building process between youth and their resource families.  The positive interaction cycle supports this relationship building process.    

It is of the utmost importance to use persistence in building a relationship with the youth.  When the parent initiates an interaction with the child ("Hey, tonight let's watch that movie we borrowed from the library!), the child may respond

Figure based on description of concept by Vera Fahlberg, A child's journey through placement. Indianapolis, IN: Perspectives Press, 1991.

positively ("Sounds great!"), or the child may reject the parent ("I don't want to watch that stupid movie!").  If the child rejects the parent, the parent must continue to initiate a positive interaction ("Okay, if you decide later that you want to watch the movie with us, feel free to join us!")   Often when a child responds negatively, the parent may react out of their own hurt ("Don't expect me to ask you again if you want to watch the movie!") instead of out of the desire to build the relationship.


When resource parents or others begin to feel as though they cannot initiate the positive interaction cycle, it is time to seek support.  While it can difficult not to take it personally when a youth expresses anger-it is critical to continue to do the work toward building the relationship-even if this is initially a one-sided endeavor.  It is unreasonable to expect that our youth will be in readiness to engage equally in the relationship building process.  Instead of saying to ourselves, "He needs to meet me halfway", we must understand that the first step is for us to walk all the way to those who are hesitant to take a step.  


Book Recommendation


Something Small: A Story About Remembering is a storybook about Elmo's cousin Jesse, who finds simple ways to remember her father.  While this book is written in the context of loss by death, the story is applicable and relatable to children separated from parents regardless of the reason.  This book is available on the web and can be downloaded for your use at this link.