While the holidays are merry for many, children within the child welfare system may not feel quite the same way. In fact, some may feel acute grief and loss.
Many of the images we see during the holiday season are of family, friends and being home. Imagine not being able to get home to your family and friends? Children within the child welfare system typically face circumstances outside their control, circumstances that separate them from family, friends and home.
It was a dark and stormy night…
While this may be one of the most clichéd first lines in literature, it appropriately describes the start of the 22nd annual Pennsylvania Permanency Conference.
The hot July night before the conference began, a quick but powerful storm ripped through Lancaster County, leaving must of the region without power including the Lancaster Host Resort & Conference Center, home to the conference. In addition to power, water usage and air conditioning were lost. It was a very long night.
A less-hardy group may have packed it in, but certainly not all of the individuals at the conference—who are dedicated to bringing together waiting children with loving adoptive and foster families. Understanding that coming together was more important than everyday amenities, conference attendees, staff and hotel employees never lost faith.
People remained in good spirits and weathered the conditions. Eventually, when electricity was restored, people were able to shower, and the conference center cooled down, the event got fully under way with the apt theme of “Finding Futures.”