Successful Adoption for Southmountain Children

Posted by: swright 6 months ago

When children come into care at the Foster Community of Southmountain Children and Family Services, permanency is our primary goal. When possible our staff will work diligently with the children and parents in order for them to be reunified. However, when reunification is not possible, adoption becomes the primary plan. The staff of Southmountain will assist our Social Services partners to facilitate adoption so children can become part of a “forever home.” For these children, successful adoptions are a source of celebration!

One recent story began about 3 years ago when a brother and sister, ages 2 and 4 came into care at our Foster Community as a result of child abuse. Unfortunately, after lengthy attempts of reunification failed, the parents’ parental rights were terminated and the goal for the children became adoption. The Department of Social Services began looking for the perfect adoptive family for the children. Once a possible family was identified, Southmountain staff began the preparation process for the adoption. It is important to understand that most of the children in our care have experienced trauma through suffering child abuse and/or severe neglect as well as the impact of the removal from their biological family. Adoptive parents need to understand this fact and be willing to learn and apply the skills needed to care for children who have experienced trauma. The staff of Southmountain works closely with the adoptive parents both before and after the adoption to help them gain the skills and knowledge necessary for a successful union of these precious children into their new families. The last thing these children need is a failed adoption, which could have devastating effects on their already fragile mental and emotional health.

Center of Excellence Staff Complete Training

Posted by: swright 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Seven staff from the Center of Excellence and the Foster Community recently completed training that will expand their professional skills so they can better serve children and families. Rhonda Soirez, Foster Community Therapist and Jonathan Rhoades, McDowell County Therapist completed training for Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) through the North Carolina Child Treatment Program. Mary McKinney, Watauga/Avery County Therapist is expected to complete this training within the next month. Dr. Holli Sink, Director of Clinical Services for Southmountain and Danica Ciaramita, McDowell County Therapist served as Senior Leaders for the TF-CBT training. TF-CBT is an evidence based therapy proven to reduce trauma symptoms in victims in about 20 sessions.

Two other staff, Sonya Farr and Stephanie Dvorak, recently completed training for Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS) through the NC Child Treatment Program. Sonya is a Clinician at the Foster Community and Stephanie provides services at the Foster Community as well as McDowell County Schools. Brenda Patton, Foster Community Program Administrator was the senior leader, and Andrea Bradburn, Foster Parent, completed the training as a support person. SPARCS is a group therapy for teenagers to help them cope with on-going stress and the impacts of abuse and neglect. Danica Ciaramita also recently completed training for Parent Child Interaction Therapy through internal training.

The Center of Excellence provides clinical services in 6 counties in Western North Carolina including Burke, McDowell, Yancey, Mitchell, Watauga and Avery Counties and serves children and non-offending parents impacted by abuse, neglect or other loss.

Eulogy for Bill Brinkley

Posted by: swright 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Eulogy for Board Chair William M. "Bill" Brinkley