The Child Preparation service is available to any child or youth in the legal custody of a county children and youth agency, CCYA, in out-of-home placement, regardless of their permanency goal. Child Preparation is an intense preparation that helps children and youth make the transition to the permanency option (reunification; adoption; permanent legal custodianship, PLC; fit and willing relative; or another planned permanent living arrangement, APPLA), selected for them.
The preparation work explores core issues of children and youth in out-of-home placement: grief and loss, abandonment, identity, control, loyalty, attachment and shame. It includes the collaborative development of a written plan with input from the identified child preparation team and outlines the preparation activities conducted during a minimum of 10 meetings with the child or youth over a period of six months. It requires highly skilled and qualified affiliate staff using techniques such as the life book, timelines, genograms and support through individual intervention or preparation groups.
This service is child and youth focused and driven, used in hopes of preventing placement disruption, reducing the time to reach the permanency goal or finalization and providing youth with insights and positive connections to increase their success after leaving placement. The goals of child preparation are to “Give Children a Voice,” “Honor Children’s Past,” “Answer the Questions,” “Create Connections” and “Look to the Future.” Referrals are made by the county and must be certified by the county. Certification indicates the work is completed as outlined in the benchmarks and to the county’s satisfaction.