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OCTOBER Dream Council & Regional ILP Meeting

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  We are holding a Dream Council meeting for youth in the Etowah Area and want to invite youth to attend. If you have youth who are current or would make great leaders for your county’s Independent Living group, this meeting is for them. Youth must be in the custody of the county referring them, between the  ages of 14 – 19  and have a desire to be a leader in their county IL program. During this time, county youth and staff will be a part of leadership training with Alabama’s Dream Ambassadors. Youth will be able to learn what it means to be a leader and how they can promote ILP in their area. Youth who attend will also assist with the Regional ILP Meeting held the following day. Registration should be completed by DHR county staff and should include no more than two youth and one adult from each county. Dinner will be hosted at training site by Children’s Aid Society. Transportation and lodging for Friday night will be handled through counties local IL funds. Registration is Mandator

Best Life Skills to Teach Teenage Foster Kids

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SKILLS THAT FOSTER YOUTH NEED If you have teenage foster kids, you want to prepare them as much as possible for adulthood. Life skills are not always taught in detail at school, and you can teach these skills at home so that the kids will be well-rounded and mature adults in the real world. You can draw from your own experiences and use other learning tools such as online videos, books, and visits to local community centers. Here are some important life skills to teach your foster youth. 1.  Basic Cooking Skills When your teen learns how to cook foods properly, he’ll save plenty of money as an adult. Talk to him about food safety and a few good nutrition principles. Show him how to make some simple recipes and how to use certain cooking utensils. It’s also a good idea to teach him how to shop wisely for groceries so that he won’t blow his budget on them. If he is headed to college, get him one or two cookbooks so that he’ll have a recipe collection to start with. 2. Health and Hygiene 

IL MOBILE APP IS NOW LIVE!

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In light of our exceptional progress over the past 7 months, we are pleased to announce the launch of our new IL app! We are extremely excited about the functionality of the app in hopes to bring a plethora of resources to our foster youth, social workers, and providers. Users will be able to view current and upcoming events, latest news, and adulting resources that we hope prepares youth for their future. Users can download the app by clicking on the links below! Apple App Store Google Play Store

Healing Trauma Through Art: Painting

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“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” We all need to find a outlet whether it's through music, writing, sports, dance, etc.  Whether you doodle mindlessly on a page or journal for hours, research suggests the act of creating art has powerful healing properties.  Art is healing because it forces you to forge a connection between your mind and your body. Unlike  exercise , which works your body, or  meditation , which clears your mind, art-making accesses both mind and body to promote healing. Every time you sit down to write a song or paint a picture, you’re using mental processes in a physically engaging activity.   Art therapy uses creative mediums like drawing, painting, coloring, and sculpture. For PTSD  recovery, art helps process traumatic events in a new away. Art provides an outlet when words fail. With a trained art therapist, every step of the therapy process involves art.  While talk therapy has long been used for PTSD treatment, sometime

Healing Trauma Through Art Series: Poetry

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"When we say out loud what is heavy on our heart, we set ourselves up to be freed from our silent suffering." We all need to find a outlet whether it's through music, writing, sports, dance, etc.  Whether you doodle mindlessly on a page or journal for hours, research suggests the act of creating art has powerful healing properties.  Art is healing because it forces you to forge a connection between your mind and your body. Unlike  exercise , which works your body, or  meditation , which clears your mind, art-making accesses both mind and body to promote healing. Every time you sit down to write a song or paint a picture, you’re using mental processes in a physically engaging activity. “ Reading or writing poetry creates a space for empathy, for seeing another person, for bearing witness to our common humanity.” Whether it’s written or spoken, poetry can be a powerful tool to aid in healing. It offers an opportunity for readers, writers, and speakers to feel both heard and

Foster Youth Holiday Care Package

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  IL Youth! Christmas is right around the corner. Our team realizes the holiday season may not be the most exciting time of year for you! We hope that these tips will help you work through the holiday season and maybe even give yourself a chance to enjoy it! Give yourself permission to stay well -  during moments of sadness and negative emotions, allow yourself to feel what you are feeling.  Be extra kind and gentle on yourself, and if you can, apply a healthy dose of self-compassion - talk to yourself like you would your own best friend.  It’s not about changing that way you think, but redirecting negative thinking into new ways through mindful practices. Do not isolate yourself -  Gather with other ILP youth or friends and have a  Friendsgiving! Put yourself at the top of your to-do list -  The expression ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’ means to avoid feeling burnout, you also need to replenish.  Try activities like taking a walk or having quiet time. This allows you to ‘fill up y

Special Pandemic Support

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COVID relief for thousands of foster youth has expired. Will lawmakers renew it? The pandemic package, passed in December of 2020, allocated $400 million to expanded relief and benefits for current and former foster youth.  That assistance, however, ended on Sept. 30 and left many former foster youth facing new challenges as the pandemic continues. Read this article to learn more about the bill designed to give States continued flexibility to assist older foster youth. This bill has unanimously passed the House, but still needs to pass the Senate and President to become a law.