NEBRASKA (January 2015) Right Turn® is expanding! As of December 1, 2014, Right Turn® serves ALL Nebraska adoptive families. Families formed through international, domestic infant, private or foster care adoption now have full access to Right Turn’s® adoption-specific supports and services.
Families served by Right Turn® have received quality support and 98% share that they would refer a friend: “I loved your program! Your staff was very helpful and very respectful to our situation.” – Parent, 2014 “In Right Turn, I found a “safe” place to talk about our issues to someone who had real strategies to help us deal with and understand our son’s issues. Staff did an amazing job of listening and at the same time, helping us understand our son.” – Parent, 2014.
Since its inception, Right Turn® has become a leader in post-adoption services, supporting adoptive and guardianship families, plus identifying gaps and barriers to services and responding to those needs. Originally designed as a support service primarily for families who adopted or took guardianship of children formerly in the foster care system, Right Turn® has grown to include six core services: Permanency Support Services, Respite Care Connections, Mental Health Connections, Parent2Parent Network, Training and Education, and Support Groups and Family Activities.
Right Turn® helps families stay together. All children in the Nebraska foster care system have experienced extensive trauma and loss in their lives. The symptoms of trauma and loss often interfere with healthy adjustment and stability. Despite these challenges, 99% of the 730 families who participated in Permanency Support Services (just one Right Turn® service) say they received the support they needed to remain together as a family. In total, Right Turn® served over 150 families in Permanency Support Services in 2014 alone.
Not only does Right Turn® work to improve the lives of individual families, program leadership has focused on creating long-term impact by building a powerful statewide adoption community through education and support for professionals working with adoptive families. Because the adoption is such a specialized field, Right Turn® now offers regular and consistent training opportunities across Nebraska – from Omaha to Scottsbluff. Right Turn® has implemented ‘Training for Adoption Competency’ (TAC), a national program that trains mental health practitioners to better understand adoption as a specialty. Training for Adoption Competency has been offered in Omaha, is currently being offered in Kearney, and has a class beginning in Lincoln in March. The training has been made possible through a partnership with Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska and the Center for Adoption Support and Education.
In 2014 alone, other individual family successes include: A family got an accurate mental health diagnosis for their child and was able to connect to a therapist who is making a difference. A child who did not like to be touched now asks for hugs from his mother. A family struggling financially was able to access community resources to alleviate the stress. A child received answers to unanswered questions about his/her birth family. A teen is now on track to graduate high school with some additional school supports. A parent struggling with a health condition obtained respite to have additional time to rest and recover.
Right Turn® was created in response to the post-adoption and guardianship issues that arose from Nebraska’s original Safe Haven law in 2008. Right Turn® is a program of Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska and Nebraska Children’s Home Society. More information regarding Right Turn® is available at www.RightTurnNE.org.