2017 Child Welfare Fall Dialogue

So, welcome to the Fall 2017 Child Welfare Dialogue, it's really great to see a diverse group of people here today, from our students to community agencies and faculty, so we really appreciate you taking the time to spend with us this morning. For those of you who've never been to one of these, through the Title [?] training program, which is a grant funded program through the state of Wisconsin in partnership with our university. The purpose of the Child Welfare Training Program is to train and- to educate and train future child welfare professionals to help provide high quality stable workforce to our most vulnerable kids and families in the state of Wisconsin. And so we're really lucky that we're able to fund students to be able to come through the BSW's and the MSW programs at Madison, and through our partnership with the state and have them be able to go out and to work in our county and provide those services. So part of our program is in addition to the money that we provide to students and the educational opportunities that we provide to students, we also are able to bring in a speaker in the fall and in the spring to talk about some contemporary issues that are facing child welfare. So I'm always open to new ideas, the idea behind these dialogues is to get a diverse group of professionals, but also to get a diverse group of ideas and things that are really cutting edge in the field of child welfare. And expose our community partners as well as our students to some of these great ideas. So if you have some ideas about some things that are going on in the public child welfare system that you think we should find a speaker or someone you know of who is doing really interesting research in this area, feel free to contact me and let me know. So for today, we're very fortunate that we have Jared Best here with us today, and I'm gonna just read his lovely bio cause he has a really interesting background and history. So he grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, and moved to Portland, Oregon in 2006 on a whim after dropping out of college for the second time. He began his studies at the University of Utah in 2001 as a theater major, eventually finishing 9 years later with a degree in psychology from Portland State University in 2010. Jared returned returned to PSU in 2013 as a combined MSW PhD student and completed his coursework in MSW in June of 2016. During his time in the program, he's worked as a research assistant on multiple projects at the Regional Research Institute and also as an instructor in the child and family studies program. Jared's continued part time work in the community working with homeless and runaway youth as well as youth and juvenile justice and foster care system. He hopes to continue serving disenfranchised youth through his research and education. He's passionate about feminism, radical social work, social justice, anti-oppressive practice, and transforming pedagogy in educational spaces. During his free time, he enjoys sleeping and eating food, just like me. [laughter] So Jared's going to talk to you today about his research and his work with youth [voice?], and so I'll turn it over to Jared. JARED: Great, thank you so much. Hi, how's everybody doing? Good. That was a pretty solid intro, and sort of covered what I wanted all of you to know. Like Ellen said, I'm currently working at the Regional Research Institute which is a huge research institute connected to Portland State University. I also teach a course called "Sex and the Family," in the Children, Youth, and Family Studies program. If you have more questions about that class, you can ask me afterwards. I've been working on a lot of research projects that have to do with youth aging out of foster care. And much of my practice experience is with youth in foster care and juvenile justice. So that's my schpiel, and I kind of want to get a feel for who's in the room, this isn't– I have a lot of slides to get through, and based on yesterday I'm not sure if I'm gonna get through all of them, so this could be an information dump, but I would rather this be a conversation. So I want you to feel free to ask questions, or raise concerns or comments throughout this presentation. Fair? Great. So, yeah. I want to get an idea of who is in the room, there's a baby, which I love. Who here is a student in the School of Social Work? Okay. So mostly students. Who here is faculty or teaches at the university? Okay, couple people, doctoral students? One person. Who here is from the community? Not affiliated with the university? Okay, a handful of people. So most of you are required to be here. Right? Great. Captive audience. That gives me a good idea. So before I get started, I think it's important for you to know a little bit about my identity and how I got into social work and more specifically research. From the age of 12, I was in and out of my parents' house, and I had child welfare involvement at two points in my life. I had a case worker twice. I think it's really clear- I think it's really important to make it clear that I was never in state custody. So it's not- I don't seek to sort of co-opt the experiences of young people in care, but I did have child welfare involvement, I did end up under custody and guardianship of friends' parents a couple of different times and at 17 I did end up in a BRS: behavioral rehabilitative services program that was contracted through DHS. So at 17 I ended up in a program and when I was in that program, it was very clear to me that my experience was different than the majority of people who were in that program with me. And the reason why my experience was different was: I grew up in the right neighborhood, I went to the right schools, and my parents remain involved- remained involved, and also, my parents knew how to navigate systems. We had access to resources, both external resources that most of the other young people I was around didn't have. So at 17, I had a case manager in this program, and I remember I was picked up by the police, dropped off at this program, they did an intake, and I met my case manager. It was really late at night, and I remember thinking to myself, "I want his job." Because I knew that my experience was different, but I was still sort of going through something similar to a lot of young people who had fewer resources. I finished my bachelor's in psychology, I thought I was gonna do clinical work, and then I started researching graduate school programs and I realized I'm not a psychologist, I'm a social worker. I really care about social justice, I really care about contextualizing lives and lived experience. So that's why I'm here. Also in undergrad I learned that I really loved research and I felt like because I loved research, that would be a great way for me to make a bigger impact. I'm not here to make a buck off of people in foster care, I am here to use research to have a direct impact on practice. So part of that is, I want to gather information from other people who are doing this work, and who are in school, and who are part of the university community, and the larger community to sort of gather ideas about what works, what makes sense about what I've done, what seems useful, where are gaps? Fair? Okay. So this is phase two of a research project. The initial phase we administered surveys to 411 case workers in four different branches, regarding about 279 youth. Of those 279 we ended up doing interviews with 125, and the whole point was homelessness prevention. Because what we know about young people in foster care is that they are at much greater risk for experiencing homelessness in young adulthood. And what we learned about homelessness prevention was that social support was a crucial protective factor for young people who age out of foster care. So we saw social support networks as a really vital way to prevent homelessness, among many other outcomes, right, we all know what the outcomes are for young people who age out of foster care, right? They're not great. So this, this is phase two of this pilot project, and the purpose of this was to develop services and perhaps an intervention that could help enhance and support social support networks. So I traveled all over the state of Oregon, I did interviews with 22 youth, I had them map out their social support networks, and I'll show you some of those. Each interview lasted about an hour to two hours, and I got a lot of rich data out of it. I have about 1200 pages of transcripts. And young people were really candid about the relationships in their lives. They were ages 16-20, it was a diverse group in terms of race and ethnicity, and they came from rural, midsize, and urban areas. Again, I had them do their support network map, and then an in person, semi-structured interview, and it's all qualitative data. Any questions about any of this so far? Yeah. AUDIENCE MEMBER: So how long do people stay in care? They must be 21 right? JARED: Yeah. So they officially age out at 21, the– so the average time in care for this sample, just to give you an idea, for rural folks it was 2 plus years, for young people in midsize areas it was 4 and a half years on average they were in care, and then for urban areas it was five years. So anywhere from 8 months to over 10 years. But those were the averages. It's comparable– There might be a lot of tangents here. So I did a little bit of research on Wisconsin before I came. And what I learned was that the general population of youth and children is larger in Wisconsin but the population of youth in care is smaller compared to Oregon. For what it's worth. So whatever you're doing is working. Although, is it really? Okay. So here's the map. So each- I walked each person through this map, and we'll come back to this map because I think that this is a really useful tool and I think that this is potentially the intervention. So I'm just gonna plant that seed. So what I had the young person do was I had them put their initials in the center, and then I asked them, "Think about every person that has played a significant role in your life in the past year. Sort of the key players. Whether or not you like this person, have they been a significant person in your life in the past year? And I want you to list them in these four categories. Family ended up being a mix or bio and foster, some chosen family. I asked them about that later. Friends included significant others. And it's important for me to clarify that friends include significant others because those relationships were really important to young people. So I want us to think about how we support and legitimize romantic relationships for young people, because those are crucial relationships. School and work- a lot of young people listed entire schools, entire organizations, as their singular source of support. Often people listed employers and sometimes coworkers. And then community could include sort of religious community, but typically it included service providers. Case workers, ILP workers, therapists, formal mentors, skills trainers, sort of, teams. And then after that, I had them distinguish the strength of each relationship by drawing a line between their initials and the people on the map. So up here, strong is a thicker line, neutral, and weak. And then I had them indicate what type of support they received from each person. So emotional support's pretty obvious, informational support could be something like, "where do I get a driver's license? How do I do a resume?", academic advising. That typically came from ILP providers and case workers. And then concrete support would be like, a place to sleep. Money if I need it. Food to eat. A ride somewhere. Something concrete. And then I had them circle the people that they talk to or see on a daily or almost daily basis. The people they see the most regularly. And then, and here's the important part, I had them draw lines between the people on their map that knew each other. And that's called interconnection. And the interconnection was a crucial part for people who felt most supported. So, what I ended up kind of learning from this was family-like networks. So people who knew other people in the networks could rally around the young person especially in moments of crisis. Right? Foster mom can call boyfriend's mom and the case worker, and say so and so is in trouble, and they can all sort of rally around the young person. Versus more sort of separate and deseparate support network maps. Those young people felt less supported. Any questions about the map? I better blow through this, yeah? AUDIENCE MEMBER: I have a question here, sorry. JARED: No, no sweat. AUDIENCE MEMBER: So how did you come up with those three, you came up with emotional, informational, and concrete. What drove you to that? JARED: Literature. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Okay. JARED: Yeah, mostly. Mostly in social network analysis. That's how we sort of came up with the map and thinking about interconnection and then types of support, which mostly came from literature about young people in care. Yeah? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Are you factoring the quality of the relationship out? All these people would have been together and one big happy family and the kids wouldn't be in this [?] situation. JARED: Sure. So I that I captured the quality of the relationship both in the lines that the young person used, and then after they mapped out their entire support network, I went through each person. Tell me about this person. What makes this relationship close? How do you define closeness? Why is this stronger than other relationships? And we'll get to some of that. Does that answer your question? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Not really. Foster parents [unintelligible] and do everything they can to take from the biological mother [unintelligible] and that's an interesting [unintelligible] JARED: Okay, so maybe I'm not understanding your question. AUDIENCE MEMBER: So, I think in order for this to work, it must be a true, genuine interaction between the foster and the biological parents between [unintelligible] not somebody actually tries to take a child from the parent who might be in crisis but not necessarily hate the child and want to keep them away, but they are in crisis and there's this [unintelligible] on the surface. First [unintelligible] do everything they can to separate the child from the biological parents. JARED: Okay. So I think what you're talking about is a problem with the system, and maybe not so much social support networks. My hope is that this can serve as a tool to address some of that, I'm not here to fix the system today. I'm here to tell you about what I did. So let's see if we can get through this and figure out whether or not it's useful. So I'm going to go through some of these maps. Yeah? AUDIENCE MEMBER: I have a quick question. So the reality is that you can have family, you can have friends, you can have this holistic approach, but at 15, 16 years old and find the time to make a bad decision, there are repercussions, right, I mean you talked about, you know, you grew up with parents who navigate the system but obviously you made some choices that led to people being involved. JARED: Or my parents made some choices that got people involved. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah, I don't know what all the circumstances are, but yeah , you know, so the experience and choices and things like that happen that we have no control over, right? That lead to us maybe being involved in the system. JARED: Sure. I think we're going off the rails a bit, let me tell you what I found and then we'll get back to this. Does that seem fair? Okay. So this is a young person who grew up in a rural area and was living in an urban environment. When this guy came in to do his interview, he didn't know if he was still in care. And we ended up contacting his case worker and his case had been dismissed. He got kicked out of the foster home he was living in and was staying in a shelter. Months later, he was still staying in that same shelter. This is a person who- so, urban environments tend to be resource rich environments. This is a young person who was probably the most socially isolated. His mother and father lived in a rural area far away, so he had limited contact with them other than via telephone. This was his girlfriend, who he had never met in person. Urban ed and the employment resource center were drop-in services that he received. And then DHS, the Department of Human Services, his case worker, Outside In was the shelter he was staying at, and My Life was a research project that he participated in about three years prior to this interview. This is a young woman who lived in Portland, so lived in an urban area, and from my perspective, she had a lot of support. This looks like a pretty complex map with a lot of people on it. This young person felt that she was not getting the support she needed. Which I think sort of attends to the quality of the relationships that she had, right? I'm not going to go into a lot of detail about these maps, but I think they're compelling. So that's why they're on here. This is a young person who lived in- a young woman who lived in a rural area, she was in college, she lived with roommates, and she had older sister, foster mother, mom, and younger sister, case worker and counselor, and then three friends. This was a smaller map, this was somebody who, from my perspective maybe needed more support. She liked this. She liked that her map was small. She wanted to keep it small. She was really intentional about this. Yeah. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Um, were the hearts and the stars like a subcategory, or what? JARED: Yeah. The- so when you forget, the emotional information on concrete. So the types of support that they're getting from people. Right. Okay. This young man was from an urban area, and he- I asked this- I asked this woman if there were anybody on her, anybody who was on her map that she wanted on her map, and she said, "Neil Degrasse Tyson and Google." I thought that was really interesting. She's gonna be a doctor. This young man spent most of his time in care on the run. He said he didn't have friends, people weren't his friends, they were his bros or his homies, no friends. But he did talk about sort of strong relationships with a lot of support. This young woman– the only person– so she had two people in her friends category. And one of them was her significant other. She said she did not identify with peers because she had spent so much time in care, that the only people she ever really connected with were service providers. So most of her friends were people who were much older and got paid to be in her life. This is her brother, who was a half brother who she had only found out about probably two years prior to this interview, and she had never met him in person. This was the only family member. Her mother had died when she was a baby. OFCY is the Oregon Foster Youth Connection, Salem is the capital of Oregon She had her doctor, her ILP worker, case worker, therapist and CASA [?]. Yeah? AUDIENCE MEMBER: So this is kind of a general question, but in Oregon, are your, like teenagers in care, are they mostly in group homes? Or are they actually in like family homes or kind of what's the layout there? So, it seems that we have– I mean there is a foster home shortage, there's that crisis that's happening in Oregon, and if you've seen any of the news, a pretty high profile group home shut down recently and there was a lot of controversy surrounding that. I will tell you that right now, young people are being housed in hotels with case workers. And case workers are getting paid a lot of overtime and the whole thing is very exploitative, both of workers and of young people. Right, so there's a huge crisis happening in Oregon. And it's young people living in hotels for weeks on end. Yeah. It's bad. So, there are some group homes, and I'll get back to that. This young woman came into care because her mother emigrated from Korea and died shortly after she emigrated. So, of the 22 youth that I interviewed, 5 of them came into care because a parent, step parent, or primary caregiver died. One of them came into care because her mother was dying. So I think it's really important to consider that if death is a reason for young people coming into care. How do we support grieving a pretty tremendous loss and also addressing the trauma of that loss and coming into care at the same time? Next person. This person came into care, he was undocumented, he came into care because he was sent to the US by his grandparents and got caught. And he was living in a group home. And that's why he was in care. And then, in an effort to survive, he got caught up in some illegal activity, and so had a bunch of attorneys on his map as sources of support for him. I have to remember who everyone is. Oh, okay. This young man was in a residential facility. He had no friends. He had no friends in the residential facility and he wasn't sure if any of the people he was friends with prior to entering the residential facility would even remember him. That's how long he had been in there. It was a very restrictive program, he had close relationships with family members, He had a teacher on his map. This was his ILP worker, this is his case worker, and this is his therapist. So I think it's important to think about once services end, what happens to these maps? And I believe this is the last map. This is another young man who was in a residential facility. Everybody on his map was an employee of that residential facility. Every single person. He had a half brother that he got close to, who died, who he had met once. He got close to his father, who he did not know very well but had regular contact with via telephone, who died. And his mother and step father wanted nothing to do with him. So here's what I learned. So, composition was sort of how we conceptualized who's on the map, where do people fall in certain areas, how is the map- what is the map look like? A lot of people said that they really struggled to come up with people to put on their map. They couldn't identify whether or not people who were paid to be there were actually part of their social support network. A lot of people were surprised by the amount of support that they had. And a lot of people said that most of their relationships were strong, but they wished they had more people on their maps. So those are sort of general things related to composition. Relationship strength. When I asked young people what makes a relationship strong, here are things that came up. Trust, and trust was sort of a, like a nebulous, vague idea that people had a hard time defining, but it's someting that came up time and time again. "I just trust them. They know me. They just know who I am and I can trust them." Reciprocity. "This relationship goes both ways. I get a lot of support, this person is there for me, I'm also there for them. Reciprocity was important for young people. And in a lot of situations, really empowering. Stability and duration. This especially came up with case workers. For young people who had the same case worker, that was really important to the strength of the relationship, because the case workers saw them through the trauma of coming into care. Saw them make a bunch of bad decisions and recover from them. Saw them transition from home to home to home. "This person has been there with me through the worst of it." Something else that made relationships stronger were people who supported the youth's goals. "This relationship is strong, because when I have a goal or when I want something in my life, they say yeah, go for it. And they support me." I'm a big fan of youth led approaches. So I was happy to hear this. Any questions about any of this so far? Yeah? AUDIENCE MEMBER: For the people that said they didn't have, like, lines for friends or anything, were they in social groups with people their age or anything? So they can meet people? To have friends? JARED: So this is one of the things that I asked, is, you know, how do you wish- what do you wish was different about your map, and for people who didn't have friends in the friend category, the whole idea was, we have youth voice and perspective on interventions and services that already exist. What we don't have is youth voice and perspective on interventions and services from the ground up. So youth involvement in building services. So one of the questions I asked is, "What would a service look like or what would an intervention look like or how could service providers help you get more people on your map?" And I'll get into that a little bit in a couple of slides. Yeah? AUDIENCE MEMBER: As I respect somehow factor probably gets somehow related to trust… but another thing that is striking, there's nothing emotional, nothing about the soul there. I mean [chef ????] clothes emotionally for protecting themselves or there's not much genuine care, you know, as in "I like you, I maybe even love you as a person." JARED: Sure. So I will tell you for everybody who identified a stronger relationship, those people provided emotional support. And I'll talk about the different types of support a little bit later on. Yeah? AUDIENCE MEMBER: For the peoploe on the maps that put that they had [unintelligible] close relationships with their parents, was there like a primary reason why they weren't with them? Jared: Yeah. A lot of — what do we know about young people in care is the majority of them are growing up in poverty, so a lot of young people's parents didn't have the resources. There were a lot of mental health issues, there were drug addiction issues, and again, parents died. Parents were dead. But primarily, it was– they didn't have the resources. Whether those were mental health resources, or housing resources. Okay. So I asked about each section, I asked about different relationships, and here are some quotes that sort of represent broad findings. A lot of people I interviewed didn't really know a lot of biological family. They grew up in fairly isolated families, there was sort of a lot of drama and conflict with family and extended family, there were half siblings in different parts of the country, there were step parents, there were young people who had been in care for over a decade. A lot of people– one of the questions I asked was, "If you could choose anybody in your family, who would be in it?" And a lot of people had already kind of done that work. They were familiar with the concept of chosen family. They had a chosen family. They had people they thought of as family. A lot of people who were– a lot of people who had sort of long term child welfare involvement who were doing well, used the word "lucky." DHS, Child Welfare, they've done a lot for me. I'm lucky. I'm doing alright. I'm one of the lucky ones. Geography was a huge factor, especially for young people in residential care. So family lived far away, and didn't have reliable transportation to have contact with them. And then a lot of people felt like they had become their case files, and it was all sort of this self-fulfilling prophecy, right? If like they did one bad thing, and they ended up in care, and then they become the bad one, foster parents, case workers, bio family, all sort of depended on facts, and not the young person's experience of what had happened. Does that make sense? I don't think any of this is surprising, it wasn't surprising to me. Peers. Peers were really important to young people. A lot of people considered significant others family, "I consider my boyfriend family, he's not just my boyfriend, he's my best friend as well." The guy who didn't have any friends, just homies and bros: "I don't consider anyone friends. Friends stab you in the back." So sort of mixed findings around friends, but typically, friends who had been there and had seen young people, it was like, often one or two friends, right, they were really selective about who were their friends. Case workers. Again, this was sort of a mixed bag, but young people who reported stronger relationships with case workers had case workers who had been around for a long time, and who didn't just do the monthly check in. So, some of that emotional support, some of that getting to know the person beyond their case file, right? "Our relationship needs a lot of work, she doesn't see me." ILP. These were- these relationships, while these were service providers, felt a little more informal to young people. "She's always there for me, she wants the best for me, she listens to me." So youth led approaches. Again, similar to case workers, "I've been trying to get in contact with her, I called her, I kept calling her, calling over and over" "She's kind of already out the door, so shes not really part of this anymore." This young people- this young person, this was the young woman who lived in a rural area who had the small network, there was an organizational shift in ILP services, all the ILP workers changed. So she didn't really know what was going on with her ILP worker, and she was already months into her 20th year, so months away from aging out of the system. "He's chill." I liked that, that was the guy, who, you know, homies and bros. He couldn't remember his ILP worker's name, but he felt really supported by him, which is great. Foster parents. So here's the thing to know about case workers and ILP workers specifically that I think a lot of us don't consider but I think it is really important. And I think there are a couple of problems here. How transparent are we with the young people we work with? Right? And how much a part of their case planning are they? Because almost every single young person I spoke with expected that they would have contact with case workers, ILP workers, foster parents, long after aging out of care. Organizationally, professionally, is that the expectation for service providers? That we would maintain contact with our caseload? No. No. In fact, there are policies that mandate that we don't have any contact. But most young people either don't have that information, or have forged what they feel is distinctive and special relationship with their service providers? One guy I was talking to- you know you age out at 2, his case worker was gonna take him to get a drink. Had done that with his brother. Which I thought was interesting. He saw that as a rite of passage. And he wanted his case worker to be there for that because she had been in his life for a long time. Okay, so foster parents. People wanted to reconnect with former foster parents. People saw them as huge sources of support still, after years of not having contact or having very limited contact. One person coined the phrase, and I have not heard this before, I mean, maybe some of you have, was "finesse kids." Kids that are– foster parents that are doing this work for the money. Those kids are called finesse kids, those homes are called finesse homes. Has anybody heard that before? You've heard that? Yeah. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Sorry, at what point, and maybe it's age related, the youth is aware that the parent is parent is paid to take care of them? JARED: I think it depends on the young person. I think it depends on the case worker. I think it depends on how they came into care. But I think because there– there's a lot of financial stuff wrapped up with being in care, like clothing vouchers, and school related costs, and [?] and subsidy and all that, I think young people are pretty aware that money is part of the deal. And young people can recognize when foster parents, while they got paid, were still doing this for other reasons. Those relationships were closer. "These two people right here is my mom and dad…" This person wanted no contact with his bio family. His parents were chronically homeless, addicted to drugs, and abusive. This is not to throw bio parents under the bus, this is just this one particular person. And so– he lived in a rural area, rural networks were interesting because foster parents usually filled multiple roles. "Oh, she was actually my mom's best friend and she was a case worker in the same unit as my case worker." Or, "he was my pastor, and then he ended up becoming my foster parent." One person's foster mom was his school principal and his god mother. So, rural networks were interesting. There was a lot more interconnection Community and School. Again, people listed entire organizations, teachers were a huge source of support for young people in care. Map after map had a lot of teacher support on there. That was crucial. Especially when you consider that young people, hopefully, are spending the majority of their day in school. That in school support is really important. They didn't necessarily want their peers to know they were in foster care, but they felt like it was important for teachers and administration to know so that they could be supported in certain ways. Again , maintaining relationships with formal supports, this is what a lot of young people expected, reconnecting with former service providers, specifically initial foster homes and case workers that they had when they first came into care. And teachers, again. Support. I asked young people "which support do you feel like you have the most of?" Almost everybody said emotional. And then asked, "which support do you need more of?" Almost everybody said emotional. Informational was sort of, pretty okay for most people, a lot of young people needed more concrete support. A lot of people didn't have stable places to live, and were in uncertified homes on extended visits, usually with friends or friends' parents. One young woman I spoke with, she was living in an urban area, she took the bus to school every day. It took her 2 hours on the bus. She was supposed to live with her sister, who lived in a one bedroom apartment with two other people, and so the only place there was for her to sleep was on the couch. We got into a really long conversation about clothes, she had been trying to get in touch with her case worker for weeks, and everything she was wearing she had shoplifted. She showed me how to take the metal things, the ink things, she showed me how to take those off the clothes. If you have a lighter and a safety pin or a paperclip, that'll work. So yeah, people, young people really lacked concrete support. How we doin? Doing alright? Any questions? Yeah. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Okay, so a youth could be, in certain states at least, of legal age of 18. However they might be still in foster care til 21, is that a national norm? Or does that depend on the state too? And then if there is this three year gap, can they make their own decisions as the adults that they are officially, but independent…… of the foster parent? JARED: Sure. So, at 18, youth have the option to be done with the system. And services become, cases become voluntary after age 18 up to 21. Ideally, they're making decisions for themselves independently, I'm not sure that always happens. Did you have a question? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah. I was just wondering for the, you think interview that was closer to the age of 21, did any of them talk about how their map might change after they turn 21 or anything like that? JARED: Great question. One of the questions I asked, and I think that this is a really important point to make. One of the questions I asked was, "think about your map a year ago, what did it look like?" Every single youth except for maybe one or two, said that "my map looked completely different a year ago." Ages 16-20, every young person reported a complete transformation of their map. So what that says to me is that social support is pretty transitory. It's not stable. So how can this map serve as a tool to support relationships that are strong, and to strengthen weaker relationships? I see this as a really good way to assess what kind of support the young person has upon each transition right? Like if you're moving into a new home, I think it might be a good opportunity to map this out, when you first come into care, that could be a really crucial time to map this out. A lot of case workers do like genograms or similar types of things, but it's primarily for bio family. And then one of the questions I asked was, "what do you think your map will look like once you exit care or in a year from now, or maybe two years from now? And that's when young people said, "Uhhh, pretty much the same, maybe this person will go away and maybe this person will go away. I'll probably still talk to my foster parents, I'll probably still talk to my case worker." And then one of the questions I asked was, "what does your ideal map look like, and how can services support, or how do they support or how have they been a barrier to all of this?" Does that answer your question? Great. Placements. I talked about that. We'll skip it. So now I want to look at challenges and facilitators to services and intervention developments. "They cut me off, I can't get the help or support I need." Youth didn't know what was going on with their own case planning. There was no transparent communication and they were not part of the decision. "I was not part of this decision." So one young person, that last map that I showed you where the young person had no family and no friends, it was all people who worked in the residential facility. So this residential facility was very restrictive. He had a contact list, he was only allowed to contact certain people, he had to get that approved through his case worker, he had been in the same residential facility for I think three and a half years. He… when he first came into this residential facility, his case worker had contacted this facility and another facility that focused on independent living skills, where young people had access to the community, where they could get jobs, where they could go to regular schools. The restrictive residential– and this was the place where he wanted to go. The restrictive residential facility called the case worker back first. And that's how he ended up there. And, for a lot of people who are case workers, like, you know if there is a bed, we gotta take it. Right? So he ended up, for three years, in a place that socially isolated him. And it wasn't what he wanted. "When my mom passed away they sent me to programs." This was the young woman whose mother immigrated from Korea. When her mom died, her mom died. That's a huge loss. Her primary caregiver, her only family member, at the time, she ended up learning, she learned later on that she had two half brothers who also lived in the states that she didn't know about, but when her mom died she didn't have the opportunity to grieve. She was told to kind of get over it. And so she started self harming a lot, she started acting out at school, you know like very typical responses to trauma and loss. They locked her up. They sent her to psych wards. They sent her to residential programs. She… she was great. She was in a residential program that primarily works with young women and also pregnant and parenting teens. In the state of Oregon, particularly in Portland, this program is notorious for kind of sucking. Not being a great program. She learned that the way- she learned a way to get out of there, and that was to cause property damage. This woman went around the facility and busted out nine windows, just so she could go to detention and get out of this facility. When I met her, she was looking for a job, she had a boyfriend, she was living with a friend, she was doing really well in school, she was poised. She was articulate. She had goals. But she did this thing so that she could get out of this awful living situation. Because her case worker wasn't involving her in her case planning. Facilitators. So for a lot of young people self-advocacy was a facilitator for their maps. People talked about living in, again, restrictive residential placements and restricted foster homes. "I finally said something, I got us moved." This young man got himself and his brother moved. This is the guy that ended up living with his pastor. "The consistency is mostly in the paid people." The people who are stable supports in my life get paid. They're paid to be there. "I decided to work with the system, I'm alive because of it." People who were doing well felt like they were part of this work. That their goals were supported, that their service providers asked them for input, and that they were active participants. "I was in a carefree environment, I could focus on relationship building." So, one of the pitfalls of restrictive environments is having access to building natural relationships, right? Who are your peers if the only people you have contact with are people who are there out of circumstance? Right? Probably, maybe, potentially, not people you would sort of choose or gravitate toward in more natural environments. Implications. So what is the point of talking about social supports and social support networks? Permanency is not just about a permanent place to live, it's not just about signing a permanency pact, although young people really found that useful, they liked the permanency pact because it felt official. But permanency is also relational permanency. And not just with like one caring older adult, right, how do we teach and model relational permanency for young people? How do we, so, another interesting thing that came out of this is- so we monitor the lives of young people a lot, right? And young people are aware of that. So a lot of young people were really selective about their peers and had smaller peer groups because they knew that their case worker or their ILP worker, or their foster parent was gonna have an opinion about those relationships. But, they also knew when relationships were toxic. So we're all grown adults in this room, and as adults we've all experienced– well, maybe this is an assumption. Most of us have experienced toxic relationships. So why wouldn't we expect these young people in care to experience toxic relationships and how do we walk them through that as opposed to cutting off contact? This is particularly salient with bio family. Bio family is really important to young people in care. Research time and time again shows that young people wanna maintain contact with bio family, they want help resolving conflict with bio family, and many of them return to bio family after aging out of care. And again, family-like networks, the youth who felt the best supported, who have the strongest maps, there was a lot of interconnection. A lot of people knew each other and were working together to help that young person. Any questions about this? AUDIENCE MEMBER: When you were interviewing these young adults, did you talk to them at all about the relationship between their bio families and their foster placements? If those were positive? JARED: I did talk about– when we talked about interconnection I would say, "how do these people know each other?" I didn't talk about the quality of relationship between those people and that interconnection, I think that would have been valuable but my assumption is sort of, you're adults, just figure it out, work together, right? Maybe that's not a fair assumption. I did talk about how case workers and ILP workers supported relationships with bio family, but maybe not how well people got along. AUDIENCE MEMBER: In my experience in child welfare, I know that when kids go home to bio families, but they're able to still communicate with foster parents and when the bio family's okay with that and works with that, it can be a lot more successful, I was just wondering if that was reflective in any conversations you had. JARED: No, it's not something we got to. I appreciate that. In reflecting on my own experience, the people who had guardianship over me were important people in my life for a long time, and part of the reason– so I ended up going home when I was 17. And part of the reason was because my parents remained involved, and that caused a lot of tension in the home, like in the kin home I was living in, and when I went home I maintained contact with that family and that caused a lot of tension with my parents, right? No, I think that's really compelling. Thank you. I'll put that in my pocket. Anybody else? Any questions about any of this so far? Yeah. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Did you guys have seperate- so in Wisconsin in most counties we have initial assessment and then ongoing, and its different for social workers than case workers, is that true in Oregon too? JARED: It is. So assessment, they typically have a different case worker than if claims are substantiated and the case becomes open. Yes. AUDIENCE MEMBER: So if the purpose of these maps is to see how social service providers can strengthen all of these things, like relational permanency and things like that, was there [?] from the workers? Like [?] from the workers and saying he doesn't have any friends or he has very few friends and what's that gonna look like after he turns 21? Like who is gonna be there for him? Was there [?] from his worker or any of the workers to do something? So we did focus groups with ILP providers, great segway. We did two focus groups. We did one with urban ILP providers, and one with rural and midsize. And we did it halfway through this project, and we said, "here are what youth are saying so far, what's doable?" Right? Because for case workers, putting a piece of paper in front of them and saying like, "here's a type of assessment." Or, "here's another– here's more paperwork!" How are case workers going to respond to that? More paperwork. Right? They don't wanna do it. It's not sustainable, it's not realistic, caseloads are just too high. There's just too much work to do, and we just keep adding paperwork. I don't think that that's useful. But with ILP providers, so we– we have a working relationship with state folks and what we did in the past couple of years was we just helped develop new assessment forms for ILP providers because we're looking at outcome-based performance, or, yeah. Outcome based performance. Like what are the outcomes for young people and do these outcomes show that you're actually doing this work? So we developed assessment forms and one of the areas was relationships and relational skill building. So it seemed natural that this could be a tool for ILP providers. So we went to the focus group- we did the focus groups, we said, "here are what young people are saying so far, what do you think? What's doable?" Find out what they're interested in. Right? This is obvious. Find out what they're interested in and use your community resources. So one young person– and community resources could mean, and here's where we might run into organizational barriers, community resources include our own networks. So one ILP provider talked about how they had a person on their caseload who was interested in glass blowing. And they had a good friend who did glass blowing and had a studio. And so they were able, because their organization allowed them, to connect those people. And sort of help build kind of like an apprentice type relationship. "If a youth can track who's in their network that'd be really helpful." They wanted the young people to be able to visually see who's a part of their network. Who are the relationships that matter to them? So not just a tool for service providers, but a tool for young people. A lot of people, particularly– so this was a woman who worked for Native American Youth and Family Services. And services for — so, NAYAF, Native American Youth and Family Services, you know, it's a very different approach, right, it's more holistic, it's more community-based, it's more collective, they provided a lot of services for non-native youth, and those youth were doing really well. But one of the differences with this organization was that, you know, this is a tight-knit smaller community. So service providers from NAYAF are still going to be part of that community. And, other people, particularly in more rural areas, you know, said, "Yeah, I'm not your service provider anymore but like, I recognize that the nature of my work kind of means that you're gonna be in my life, and, I'm willing to go against organizational policy." Is that sustainable and realistic for all of us? No. Self-care is a thing. Right? Boundaries are a thing. But some people, this was doable for them. It doesn't have to be so formal. So, young people and ILP providers– there would be summits where foster youth would get together and a lot of people, a lot of young people felt sort of relieved to have this community who knew what it was like to be a young person in foster care. And a lot of young people were secretive about being in foster care, particularly in school, but they also wanted to have their own friends. And ILP providers sort of recognized this, like yeah, these summits are great, but it's not all like just go out and do something with your caseload. So I, in my MSW did a field placement with an ILP provider and I had a caseload of 5. Typical caseloads were 30. Which is high. But one of the things that we did was we– Portland's like two hours from the coast so we drove to the coast, we went kayaking on a lake, and we camped in yurts. It required a tremendous amount of planning, but it wasn't like, you know, it was like, we just went outside and did a thing. So, people saw value in sort of these less formal activities. "She made all the choices in her life." ILP providers saw their role as walking young people toward their own goals. Get them out of their little circles. Because young people in care tend to form smaller circles, ILP providers felt that to make these natural connections it was important to push them out of those circles, and ILP providers wanted cross county contact. So, I don't know how it works here, but the way it works in Oregon is that ILP services are supposed to play out the same way statewide. And then each county contracts different organizations to provide ILP services. So in Portland, there are three organizations that provide ILP services. How does it work here? Does anybody know? AUDIENCE MEMBER: It's by county. JARED: It's by county? So similar are they contract organizations? AUDIENCE MEMBER: It's actually [?] regionally, so there are, they're starting to do– it depends though on the age of the young person, right, so like if they're actually staying there it's county based but once they get to a place where they're- they've aged out, it's [?]. JARED: Interesting. Hmm. AUDIENCE MEMBER: So yeah, they still have an order, yes. By county and then- JARED: Gotcha. Any questions about this? Yeah. AUDIENCE MEMBER: [all unintelligible] JARED: So it's at 21, when they turn 21- AUDIENCE MEMBER: So when they turn 22, like [unintelligible] JARED: It depends. It depends on where you work, and whether or not you're willing to do that. A lot of that tracking- I know that there are different… I think- so I met with state folks yesterday, and what I've heard is that there is some service that does some tracking for youth who age out of foster care through like, age 25. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah. [unintelligible] JARED: Right, and getting them to actually mail in the card can be a challenge. Yeah. So this is like foster alumni, right? So there is sort of unofficial organizations that young people can opt into, or official organizations, but in terms of tracking, there aren't really any services that track youth after they age out of care. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Well there is here in Wisconsin, we actually have- because there was such a problem [unintelligible] So every state has like their own questions and they track all they're supposed to, they're able to track young people so they can ask those questions. There's some standard questions but then there are also a number of questions that states add to that So for Wisconsin, because there was such a problem getting that information back, the survey center has been able to increase the number of responses just because they're professionals and they're really good at [unintelligible] JARED: So Oregon must opt into that, and I apologize for not knowing that, but in terms of formal services, I'm not aware of anything that sort of tracks and supports youth. AUDIENCE MEMBER: So [?] is a requirement for all states, but depending on what is in there or not [unintelligible] JARED: I had a bunch of- I had a bunch of statistics that I actually got from that website that I was gonna talk about, but I had so many slides I had to cut them. Any other questions about the ILP focus groups? Yes. AUDIENCE MEMBER: [unintelligible] JARED: So one young woman I spoke with had moved- her mother died of cancer, she was from Alaska, she had state involvement in Alaska because her mother struggled with addiction, but she was living with her mother, her mother died of cancer, she had an uncle who lived in Oregon, so she was moved to Oregon by Alaska child welfare, and then after a very short period of time, was put into care in the state of Oregon by her uncle. All of the youth services were in Oregon. So the state she ended up in was where she had services, and where her network was. So often people will end up in a different state because they might have family there. I was gonna tell another story. I won't. So the map as the intervention. Again, this, I think that this could be a really useful tool for understanding how youth perceive their networks, the type of support, the strength of relationship, the interconnection. I see this as a tool for case planning, so identifying important and impactful relationships and supporting those relationships and also identifying where there's conflict. So a lot of young people, again, reported conflict with bio family and wanted help resolving that conflict. Didn't necessarily know how to do that on their own. This is also, I think, an opportunity for permanency planning, right? Who would be a permanent stable adult in your life? Not just someone who's gonna sign the permanency pact, but somebody you feel really connected to. Somebody that you have that trust and that reciprocity and all three types of support and regular contact knows other people on your map. Right? What do you think is doable? Because here is sort of where I see opportunities for service development. Youth-led approaches, obviously. Like I'm gonna argue the case for youth voice until I fall over. I think that is key because, especially as social workers, youth becomes so disenfranchised and so minoritized that they become their paperwork. We completely decontextualize the lives of young people, but who are the experts on their own lived experience? The people who are living it. So I think that input from young people is crucial and I think that requires transparent communication about case planning. I think the map is a really useful tool. Because I think these family-like networks can be a protective factor for youth who age out of care. I think ILP services are a great place to house this. And sort of tangentially, mentors and peer mentors are important sources of support that don't really exist. A lot of young people talked about wanting a mentor, ILP providers said, "yeah, there's a mentor program through the state but it's not very good so we don't recommend it." How many of us have heard about the importance of mentors or young people wanting mentors? And, young people often felt strong connections with people who shared similar life experiences, particularly peers and significant others, and so peer mentors might be a great opportunity, right? So, in terms of information, what I've done, that's what I have for the slides and I'm curious to get feedback from all of you about what you think is doable. What do you think might work here? Or, what do you think is missing? Where's opportunity to build upon this? Yeah. AUDIENCE MEMBER: So I actually did research a little bit in my undergrad experience where I was looking at depressive symptoms and how they related to strengths of relationships and a lot of what I've found is family relationships were so huge in order to kind of be able to handle those symptoms, so I'm wondering if there's anything that could be done with having people outside of the system filling out this map in order to kind of [?] what kind of services would be more beneficial. Because as far as youth 16-20, I think regardless of where you're living or what your life circumstances are it would be beneficial to learn more about having stable relationships because that's really the point in life where people are learning how to have relationships and that could lead to having more community programs that are accessible to both foster youth and just youth in general. JARED: So my job in terms of this research project was to be able to go back to state folks and say, "here's the service that should exist. Here's the intervention we developed. Let's pilot it." And so that's why I talk about this map being housed with ILP services, this came up yesterday with state folks. Can anybody do this map with young people? Certainly I think it could be more valuable if people that the young person trusts, feels close to, potentially is not a service provider did this map with them. You might get a lot more information out of it. Right? Or different information. Yeah. AUDIENCE MEMBER: There should be no question about the role of mentors in any person's life, none of us got where we are no successful human being got where they were.. are.. without at least one strong mentor in their life. So even if you don't have your life in such a limbo, you need that mentor or mentors, usually is more than one person and besides your immediate family also. So I'm not even, I don't understand why is that being questioned by the social services or whatever system, especially in the life of these young people? JARED: I think it often comes down to money, resources, developing these programs and paying for them, and sort of proving that we should fund them. One of the questions I asked young people was, "Who's like a parent to you? Who do you see as an older adult role model? Who's like an older brother?" Right? "Who do you look up to for sort of, guidance?" And a lot of people were able- I think everybody was able to identify these informal mentors. These sort of natural mentors that existed. Should we make this a service that exists for young people who don't have those mentors? I mean, is there utility in professionalizing the role of mentor? Yeah. AUDIENCE MEMBER: I work for… [unintelligible] JARED: So in the first phase of this project, when we were sort of talking about ways to prevent homelessness and asking about different relationships, a lot of young people had really favorable things to say about their CASA's, court appointed special advocate, which is a volunteer program. Right? And the volunteer nature of that relationship seemed to sort of change the quality of it. And young people are, like you said, able to say like, "oh you just do this cause you're paid to do this. This is your job." Right? I think that- this is going to go off the rails for a little bit. But I think that what this attends to is larger cultural issues of individualism, right, we live in a self-serving culture, we don't have any sort of, you know, we talk about things like self-care, but we don't talk about community care. Right? We don't figure out how to do things for the good of our community, we figure out how to do things for the good of ourselves. Maybe a much broader issue than what I'm doing here. But, in sort of this cultural context, how do we implement these kinds of programs, right? Like how does Big Brothers Big Sisters remain in existence? How does it stay sustainable? AUDIENCE MEMBER: We– there's some grants, a lot of people think we get a lot of grant money and we don't. We're 80% donor driven. And so 80% of our [?] to sustain ourselves is to pay for background checks and [?] [unintelligible] JARED: And those donations, I would guess, are impacted by political climate, by economy, by media representations of what's going on with certain populations there's some evaluation being done and I wish I knew more about this, at The Regional Research Institute where I work, around Big Brothers Big Sisters, and, you know, they're finding similar things to what you're saying. Any other… yeah. AUDIENCE MEMBER: And this is very much related. So there's very [unintelligible] and so negative information about what's wrong with the parent if they're still alive that the child ends up in the system and there so much questioning and even asking by others who could do it [?] where the mentors are necessary, they are good enough. But for the people who get paid to take care of these youth, okay, the fosters, other than criminal background, what test are they subjected to? Do they undergo thorough tests? Do they undergo mental health surveying because we heard from the factual stories, horror stories in foster care in the media. So the people who actually get paid and it's their job to do it, what kind of critiquing are they undergoing other than criminal background which is really low, let's face it for a parent ? JARED: Sure. I can't speak to the background process for foster parents, particularly in Wisconsin, I don't know much about that. AUDIENCE MEMBER: I actually, um– this– there's an extensive foster care licensing process where they have to go through very, very extensive, very intrusive interviews with licensing agents in order for them to be able to be licensed foster parents. They're looking at their mental health, they're looking at their alcohol and drug abuse history, they're looking at– they're analyzing the relationship between the married couple, if they are a married couple, to see if there's going to be any issues there that could affect kids, JARED: So there's a whole protocol. AUDIENCE MEMBER: There's a lot that goes into it as opposed to just a background check. And I think the reason that you hear horror stories is because it's easier to sensationalize a horror story than foster parent parents. So. JARED: I would encourage everyone ever to be very critical of media representation, because it's often not representative of what is actually going on. It's often sensationalized, a lot of news networks are for profit entities, and also, read about how the rest of the world is talking about The United States. Right? Don't just stick to news sources here. Total tangent. Yeah. AUDIENCE MEMBER: [unintelligible] had a lapse in care in a sense that like when they turn 18 they chose to be done with the system, and then maybe turn 20 and they're like "hey I had some time and space away from the system and people in my life and and now I would like some additional support." And reached out to like an independent living program? JARED: Yeah, that's not uncommon. People come back into care after deciding to separate themselves from the system. I've seen that, yeah. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Was there any feedback that you received from those individuals about how a service provider could affect [?] them when they were 17 or 18, so I guess one of the things that personally I've struggled with working with young people is that I get it. Like [?] I've been here for 10 plus years, and you don't want people knocking at your door anymore, but at the same time I know like that court date comes and then you choose to not extend your order and then it's like, "Oh, that's really tough," I was just wondering if there's any feedback that they provided you where service providers should have been more engaging or offered different options for them? JARED: I think when young people get to that point where they make up their mind, there's not much that you can do besides respect that decision, which I think is really crucial. Even if it would be, especially from your perspective if it would be better for the young person to stay in care but they don't want to, they don't want to. In the work that I've done with young people, I throw [?] on the table. You want help with college? You want help with housing? Stay in care. Right? Like you'll have more independence, but like here's all this money available for you, why not take advantage of it? Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Yeah. AUDIENCE MEMBER: So when they're in care, from, I guess, I [unintelligible]…. are they starting to talk to the kids at their early age about like what life will be like once they age out of the system? JARED: So… and I don't know if its the same here, but I think it might be. ILP services, case workers are mandated to refer every single youth to ILP services, and then the youth decides whether or not they want to engage. And those start at age 16. They used to start, where I live, they used to start at age 14, but they but off 14 and 15 year olds. So case workers have to refer them to ILP, and then the ILP will reach out to the young person, and then the young person says yes or no. Most of the time they say yes. So not every person age 16-20 is involved in ILP. Does that answer your question? Maybe? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah, I guess I'm just like wondering because I feel like that's like more of a structured approach with the ILP. Yes or no, but like… [?].. is there anybody in that age you see that provides those services that gives like a realistic you know, response to what's going to happen once you turn 18, like this is what, you know, is possible if you do take this route or if you don't take this route, just you know, talk to them in a realistic way instead of like having them take surveys or you know, I don't know. JARED: It depends on the person. It depends on the service provider. If you're the type of person who is willing to engage and interact with young people as you would anybody else in the world, you'll have a very different conversation than if you're being more maternalistic, that if you think you're protecting the youth, that if you think you have better ideas about how the youth should live their life, those conversations are going to look really different. And that varies from worker to worker to worker. Personal choice, organizational support is also a big part of that. Did you have something? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah, I was just going to clarify, ILP, is that like "independent living…" JARED: Independent living program. Yep, mhm. Yeah. AUDIENCE MEMBER: I was wondering if any of the youth in the community or if you have any insight as to the proportion of youth in care that have special needs or.. [unintelligible] …obviously the more emotional issues and trauma related issues are kind of across the board, but I [unintelligible] JARED: So… every single minority is disproportionately represented in the foster care system. And this includes young people with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities. Racial and ethnic minorities, um, undocumented youth often end up in care, LGBTQ youth are vastly disproportionately represented, Yeah, like every… pardon? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Oh, I said, we think. We don't totally know. JARED: Yeah, that's tricky because of self-disclosure, but pretty much every tool has found that- of the 22 people that I interviewed– A lot identified as LGBTQ, I can't remember the number off the top of my head. I apologize. Yeah. AUDIENCE MEMBER: So as far as youth-led approaches and their case planning and just in kind of their, their cases in general, at least in Wisconsin, it is part of our standards that once a child, I wanna say turns 13 that when you're developing their permanency plan, you discuss with the child at least two other people that they identify as outside of their service providers about what they want their permanency plan to be, so, and I'm thinking that's kind of a, a national thing that should be occurring, so how do you kind of take the evidence that you got from your study and implement that and just try to have case workers to have the time and ability to truly kind of meet those standards? JARED: Sure. Um… so you can have policies and you can have paperwork that dictates things, but, like, with ILP providers and the types of conversations they have with young people, whether or not case workers really do that and are able to do that is a whole different story. What we often hear from young people is they're not a part of it. That a lot of this permanency planning, they're led. Right? They're led to make certain decisions, they're sort of talked into certain decisions, or certain decisions are just made without them. Right? You have an individual with their own values and their own biases who's documenting all of this case work, right? Like we're not immune to that. So there could be missing information there for sure. How do we support case workers doing this work? Man, I don't know. More money. More money, but also a lot of the case workers that I've worked with, particularly newer case workers, their personal lives are suffering because of the vicarious trauma that they're experiencing in the work that they do, but they get paid just enough, and their benefits are pretty good that it's incentive for them to do this work. People that I have spoken with in DHS say the way to make this work sustainable is to transfer departments and go to different branches. Just keep moving around. Just keep getting different positions. AUDIENCE MEMBER: So I know we talked a lot about how ILP providers should be using this map, which I totally agree with, but I was wondering if during this process and going through these maps with these youth, did they ever like look at their maps and be like, "wow, I really have a shortage here," or "wow I have more than I thought I could?" And did they ever talk about how they might be using this map as they move forward? JARED: A lot of people, so- at the end of the interview, I asked the young person, "do you want a copy of this? I'm gonna take this map, do you want me to send you a copy of it?" And almost everybody did want a copy of it because they found it really useful to sort of have a list. Like who's important to me? One of the questions I asked is, and I said this earlier, like, "Who's not on your map that you wish was?" So yeah, I think that young people use it to sort of track who's in their life probably more because it's just interesting to see it, visually, could young people use it as a tool? Why not? I kinda want to do my own map. Right? I did- when we were piloting this we did- we had a bunch of MSW and BSW students map out their social support networks, and they loved it. They kept copies of it themselves. Yeah. AUDIENCE MEMBER: So that was so interesting to put Neil Degrasse Tyson by a woman, that doesn't happen in mainstream- can you give us a little bit more of what people they wish they were on those maps? What they were– JARED: Yeah, I mean like that was a, that was a sort of special, funny case. But people they wanted on the map were bio family that they had lost contact with, and former service providers, particularly case workers and foster parents. Kind of across the board, who's not on your map you wish was? Number one, family members. Number two, former foster parents. Number three, caseworkers. Yeah. AUDIENCE MEMBER: So I like the idea that the map is certainly a data collection tool, but I think you touched on it also as an intervention tool is you know again how do you identify the things, the ideal for you? You know, this is what you have, this is what you'd like to have, and what are the steps to make that happen? For them to identify the folks that are important to be on there? And I think for all of us to do it over a period of time and recognize that these relationships change so if you think about the people you hung out with in high school, you're probably not hanging out with those folks these days. And so to normalize that these maps change over time, not just for kids in care, but for all of us as human beings. And I'm an outpatient clinician I work primarily with adults now and I saw that map and I would like to use something like that for my older folks. Who, again, who have lost parents, who've lost spouses, children, to help them look at really what do you have? Because if you just think about it in your head, it's very different than seeing it on paper. So if you do a genogram, you do a timeline, you do a map, and using these tools to be able to sort of objectify a little bit. And then it becomes a little bit sort of more manageable because they say, "oh I do have this, and in my mind I didn't have any of that." JARED: Yeah. I really appreciate that. And this is actually something that came up yesterday with state folks, is how does this compare to the general population of youth? Because young people in general, people in general do experience a lot of transition in their maps. I feel that it might be more drastic for youth in care. But, if that's the, so– another part of this- I have so much data here, and so many different things are coming out of it. And one of the things I'm working on is I am interested in the stories of why these maps change. So when I ask that question, typically the response was a story. You know, with an arc, and a plot and key players of why their maps changed. So I think what I'm gonna find is that reasons for maps changing for young people in care are a little more specific than potentially the general population. But, taking into account the fact that all of our maps are going to evolve and change over time, how do we walk youth through natural endings, right, or relationships ending, or loss, right? Any other questions? Who… yeah. AUDIENCE MEMBER: This is more of a comment, but when you were talking about, or showing the map of the child [unintelligible] cause I work with kids [?] in different states, and I know one [?] in and out of state [unintelligible] …and one was moving to another facility because of their behavior and they couldn't have any more contact by me cause the facility stated you can't have contact, phone or letter contact with past peers. And I think it's to be kind of advocating for that, [unintelligible] cause that's how it really would be in like a school setting for normal teens that, "hey you moved, you can't call or talk who you just lived with for the last year and a half. But to be aware of how some, like, policies and things that do get put in place kind of to restrict our kids [?] in that section. How are you going to [unintelligible] JARED: Yeah, so, I've also worked in a lot of residential facilities and the one I worked in for like five or six years, youth could call the facility and speak with people who worked there but they couldn't have contact with any previous or current clients. And, and I was really troubled by this, when youth found out that they were leaving there was a lot of number and email and facebook exchanges that happened, and we were required to monitor and shut that down. That feels awful. Right? And, I live in, I live downtown, it's more densely populated than the rest of Portland, its a metropolitan area, I get around by the train and the street car an my bicycle and I walk and downtown Portland is the hub for people experiencing homelessness because of the intersection of two freeways and the temperate climate, and the resources that we have available. So there are a lot of young people that I've worked with that end up in sort of these tent cities, they're are a lot of street kids in Portland, and I've run into people that I've worked with from like five years ago. All the time. On a weekly basis. Right? You know, I do the thing where I wait for them to approach me, and initiate contact, but for me, I had to expect that that kind of contact would continue after I stopped doing this work or after youth sort of transitioned to other placements because of where I live, and because of the way I engage in this work. Right? I think that organizational support around people who choose to maintain that contact is really important, especially for the young people. And, how do we let them maintain contact with their peers? And why don't we? Are we doing young people favors by dictating who their peers are? I'm not convinced. Maybe that's controversial. Who thought this was terrible? Who has serious critiques and qualms with this? I wanna know. AUDIENCE MEMBER: I think it could just be expanded. And it could be a more quantitative study if, like, to, you know, have more youth make maps and try to track the calendar of the relationship, you know, whether it's strong, weak, or neutral. So, it's- it's a great model and it could just be expanded. JARED: Great. So I have, um, a co-investigator on this project who's a quantitative researcher, and she's doing a lot of social network analysis, that, um– quantitative social network analysis that my brain doesn't understand, so there is some quantitative work happening, the way the interview was set up was definitely qualitative. I think that numbers can tell stories, and statistics can be compelling, especially if we're trying to implement something. So more quantitative data. Thank you. Yeah. AUDIENCE MEMBER: I would like a component, although I cannot tell right now how I would– but that's where you to think- I would like um a confidential component. So you wouldn't know who said what, you know? And they would be confident to actually write as it is and how they think and feel and I think there might be surprises there. JARED: So this was all confidential, their, um- AUDIENCE MEMBER: But you know that's a man who did so, that's a woman who did so- you know who the subjects are. But at some how blinded at least JARED: Oh, like the interview, the interviewer– AUDIENCE MEMBER: Not the interviewer, on the paper it has to do around life somehow that you won't know who wrote it and then you worry after you find out in there if that's the case. JARED: Potentially. So we did this with the phase one of the project, we made this interview, we made this interview- we created a link. And they could fill it out online. And the people who did it in person vs. the people who did it on the phone vs. the people who did it online, there was a clear difference in the amount of information that they provided, and I will tell you that in person interviews yielded more information. And that depended on the interviewer. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Again, talking about quality. And that's my criticism and and criticism to otherwise beautiful and very useful maps The quality as we agreed quality of relationship, you know, it's critical because they already know they are statistics. People are in their life to be paid. But they wanna be treated as normally as possible and they want to know that somebody is there because they care. JARED: Sure. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Whether they get paid or not. So. JARED: Okay. Yeah. AUDIENCE MEMBER: I think it would be interesting to add something to the map about how the relationships kind of work with the social media aspect of things, I know I work with a lot of kids in care who, who have all these friends and relationships that they've never actually met. I know you'd mentioned that some of them they hadn't met, JARED: His girlfriend. Who he met online. Who he'd never met. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah. Kind of investigating that more cause I've also seen it as detrimental for a lot of my girls who have been trafficked in Milwaukee and things like that, or they're meeting people on these online kind of forums. So kind of seeing how those relationships play out would be an interesting. JARED: Yeah. I think the role of, understanding the role of social media is really important, um- I would have to bring on somebody else to do that. Technology overwhelms and terrifies me. Especially social media, right, like I can't, you know, I'm like right on this end of it and I can't quite wrap my head around a lot of the social media stuff, um, particularly how the lives of young people are impacted by it and how they use it as a tool, um, yes. Like the woman who noted Google as well as Neil DeGrasse Tyson, right? It's a tool of technology. Yeah. AUDIENCE MEMBER: I found this very interesting and the only thing I would love to see is follow-up at different and later stages, um, I'm curious to see how maps do change because anyone's map will change [briefly unintelligible] I'd be curious to see how they would change and also different quotes about their feelings about workers in foster care and seeing after becoming an adult themselves possibly having children to see if they still feel the same way about them. And how they, you know, were treated or if they were like "oh they really were there for me." Just as a, maybe, mentee or something I realize this. So I would just be curious about that kind of follow up about [unintelligible] JARED: So sort of understanding maps in retrospect. Every single youth that I interviewed, I asked them if I could contact them in the future, and they all said yes. So, I don't know. Maybe in a few years we'll see what happens. But it would be really hard to find all of them, I imagine. Yeah, back here. AUDIENCE MEMBER: I appreciated being able to actually see it and like learn from you the different aspects to it because I've been a worker in the child welfare system for over 5 years now, and when we have these [unintelligible] when you ask for, "okay, what is it or how do I do it" like, we'll give you materials, and you figure it out. Actually hearing your experiences with it, I think it helps both [unintelligible] JARED: So experiences using the map as part of a training tool? Okay, cool. AUDIENCE MEMBER: [unintelligible] JARED: Okay, so some fidelity there. For sure. Thank you. Anybody… yeah. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Is your map proprietary? Is it copyrighted? JARED: It's not proprietary as of right now and I don't imagine it will be, so, um, you know like I said I'm not here to make a buck off of foster youth, so, and the person with whom I developed this map, she came into this work because she wanted to have direct impact on practice, so a lot of her research and materials like open source, I would have to convene with her and just make sure that it's something I could more widely share, but as of right now it's not proprietary so, excuse me, if you wanted to rip me off there's nothing I could do about it. [Audience laughing] Yeah. AUDIENCE MEMBER: I just wanted to say I thought your study was excellent, I thought your map was very creative and practical. And I'm looking forward to see where this goes. JARED: Thank you. Thanks. AUDIENCE MEMBER: So it is published in an article already this. Voila that's how you put your name the best map and it's gonna make history. JARED: It's gonna be huge. We're gonna make millions as a social worker researcher. [Audience and Jared laughing] Um, anybody else? Well, thanks for hanging the whole two hours, I appreciate all of your feedback and I'll make my contact information available somehow if you have any other questions.

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