Darla Henry & Associates
In This Issue
Welcome to our new friends and champions of the 
3-5-7 Model© at home in Pennsylvania at  
NHS Human Services in Dauphin, York, and Franklin County & Delta Community Supports in Montgomery County. 
New Programs!
Did you know we have a Groups Program and 
Resource Parent Program? 
Contact us to bring these programs to you!
The 3-5-7 Model© Book 
Like us on Facebook
April 2015


Greetings 3-5-7 Model© Family! 

We have been focusing a lot lately on the importance of the parent-child relationship during placement.  The benefits of protecting the relationship for both the child and the parent are so great that it demands our attention. These benefits include:

  • Reducing a child's sense of abandonment,
  • Protecting child and family identity,
  • Helping to maintain engagement with the parent, and
  • Providing opportunities to re-build the parent-child relationship.

We know that research has shown that frequent visitation shortens the overall length of stay in care while also increasing the likelihood of reunification.  Yet despite this, professionals are sometimes challenged by decision making related to parent-child and sibling visitation.  Decisions having to do with ending visits are particularly challenging.  

Two concepts guided by the framework of the 3-5-7 Model© can provide direction to our decision making.  These concepts are: 



I talk about these concepts in my training and for a refresher you can read about them in my book the 3-5-7 Model: A Practice Approach to Permanency on pages 33 - 36.    


Let's continue to make a commitment to preserving the parent-child relationship whenever possible as we work to ensure the needs of our youth are met.





Creating a Safe Environment 


We have a responsibility to protect the information that our youth and families share with us. Documentation practices that respect privacy are preferred, such as avoiding the recording of specific thoughts or comments in the case record.  The danger here is that that comments made within the parameters of your session can be easily taken out of context and misinterpreted.  Discussion about someone's history in the presence of others without that person's consent is also considered a violation of privacy, and can lead to the child, youth or family feeling less safe with you. 

We are often asked how much should be shared with caregivers regarding the content of discussions and activities completed by our youth.  Our answer: very little.  The stories and feelings that youth share with us are not ours to tell, this information belongs to the youth we are working with.  This is not to minimize the importance of supporting caregivers as the youth does this important work-supporting the grief of another can be very challenging and resource parents are the most susceptible to being on the receiving end of the not-so-pleasant behaviors associated with the process.  It's ok to let the caregiver know when a session has been particularly challenging so that they can be sensitive and prepared for the lingering results of that work. 

The message here is simple.  The lives of our youth are not be treated like an open book-a story that just anyone can read anytime they choose.  Our youth should be permitted as much as possible to make decisions about what they will share, when they will share it and with whom they will share it.

Remember, in nearly all jurisdictions, you are obligated to report concerns related to suspected child abuse and/or neglect as well as to report concerns related to another's intent to harm themselves or someone else. 

Name of Activity:  Chain Link


The Chain Link:

This activity can be used as an Integration or Actualization activity.  It is used to demonstrate the ways that family members are connected to one another, despite their similarities or differences.  The activity allows youth to reflect on the meaning of important people in their lives.

Materials Needed: 

Strips of colorful construction paper cut into 1" x 6" strips, glue, markers, crayons, pens, pencils


Getting Started:

Suggest that being part of a family is like the links of a chain, each is individual and yet, connected to all others on the chain.  Have the child/youth/family identify each member of a family and decorate a link for each family member.  Have them put the links together to represent the family.  As they are doing this, talk about who each member is and what meaning they have.  This allows the expression of both positive and negative feelings for those they have experienced as a family member.

Tips and techniques to making the activity meaningful:

Remember that the individual can put whomever they want on their chain.  They may chose to keep adding people or removing people as they work over time on family membership.  This activity helps them to increase awareness of family qualities that they value, assuring their needs for ongoing or future permanent relationships.


Consider using this activity in family work.  Family members can be asked to prepare construction paper strips that are then provided to the youth to create a paper chain.  Family members can write favorite memories or messages to the youth, for example.


Excerpt from The 3-5-7 Model © Workbook