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We never stop learning, especially from each other. Each of our triumphs and defeats is the raw material our colleagues use to improve their own work. On this blog, we communicate among ourselves openly, freely and with the goal of making our work a collective and supportive endeavor. Subscribe to Just Beginning and let us know what is happening in your professional lives.
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Carole Shauffer
04/13/12

Over the past two weeks, I have had the pleasure of spending time with George Sheldon, who is in charge of the HHS’s Administration for Children and Families. I was especially fortunate to accompany him on a visit to Dr. Charles Zeanah at the Tulane Institute for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health’s clinic outside of New Orleans. There, I observed the coordination between child welfare agency and child development/infant mental health professionals working together to reunite families or otherwise find permanent homes for children. http://www.infantinstitute.com/index.html

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Carole Shauffer
01/30/12

January has brought change to Just Beginning and the Youth Law Center. As you can see our new site design and modified content are now live thanks to the heroic and unremunerated efforts of our editor, Eric Berkowitz, and our designer/architect Rick Erickson. (No, you don’t have to have at least one “ric” in your name to work on this, but it helps.) We’re interested in your opinion of the new look and functionality. We hope it’s easier for you to find useful information and that there is more information to find. Let us know how we can serve you better.

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Carole Shauffer
12/21/11

Sometimes, the challenges we face seem overwhelming. Our efforts to change lives in the foster care system are great and the results are not always immediately apparent. But as the holiday season comes upon us, let us stop for a moment and notice that good changes that have already taken place. Our challenge in the coming year is to make sure that foster care system supports and enhances important family relationships rather than, as happens too often, making such relationships impossible.

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JB Editor
04/06/10

The impact that the Baby Elmo Program has had on incarcerated teen parents is perhaps best told by “graduates” themselves. Here are some letters from youth who have recently participated in the program talking about their experiences and thanking us for making the program available.

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JB Editor
04/06/10

The impact that the Baby Elmo Program has had on incarcerated teen parents is perhaps best told by “graduates” themselves. Here are some letters from youth who have recently participated in the program talking about their experiences and thanking us for making the program available.

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Rachel Barr
03/30/10

What have we found out so far?

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Rachel Barr
03/23/10

What we already know

  • Parent-child interaction is critical during the first 3-years of life
  • On any given day more than 100,000 youth are under California’s juvenile justice system, and 30% of incarcerated males are teen parents
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Rachel Barr
03/15/10

The Baby Elmo program, coined by one of the first groups to participate in the program in an Orange County facility, focuses on strengthening family ties between incarcerated teen parents and their infants. The program involves planned visits between incarcerated teen parents and their babies. Prior to the visit the teen parent and trainer (a line staff member at the juvenile detention facility) work on a goal and during the visit the teen uses this new skill to interact with her/his baby.

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