20 Mar Celebrating Spring: A new beginning for children in foster care
Happy Spring! The ice is melting, revealing the tender life that has survived winter’s harshness. Now is the time for nurturing warmth.
Second Nurture and our communities are dedicated to the warmth of family and community for all children and teens, the young people for whom life has been, until now, a cold winter.
In our mission to grow kids, we are growing as well, partnering with communities to form cohorts of foster and adoptive parents, creating networks of support for these families, and incorporating foster and adoptive themes into the community culture.
Second Nurture Communities
In Los Angeles, we are partnering with Wilshire Boulevard Temple. We have our first cohort of twelve families, five are already fostering children, four of whom are seeking to adopt and one providing emergency shelter. In Columbus, we are partnering with Harmony Project to use the Second Nurture model to promote mentorship of foster children. We have 80 Harmony Project members volunteering to either mentor or support the mentors and mentees. The mentees will come from our partner agency, Huckleberry House. The Huck House offers a residential program for young people ages 18-21 who are getting their lives back on track after having been homeless and/or trafficked. Those young people will have the opportunity for a Harmony Project mentor and will be welcomed into the choir itself.
Through a collaboration with Hebrew College in Boston, and in consultation with psychological and educational experts, we are creating a series of resources for rabbis, educators and other Jewish community leaders to surface existing traditional Jewish themes of adoption, and explore Jewish literature that touches on relevant subtexts such as loss, creation and re-creation, mystery, belonging and identity. These resources will work on two levels: 1.) so that adoption and fostering is a highlighted communal value and 2.) adopted children and their families see themselves and their experiences reflected in the shared cultural identity. We welcome you to read our first educational resource for Purim and test it out in your community! It includes materials for K-12 and adult educational settings, as well as for carnival.
In Columbus we are at the early stages of exploring a partnership with a church to work with children and parents that have experienced opioid addiction. Our initial plan is to form two different sets of cohorts, 1) a cohort to foster children removed from their families because of opioid addiction and 2) a second cohort in the same community of people who will be mentor-friends to the recovering parent—all with the goal of minimizing the child’s trauma, supporting the parent’s recovery and reuniting the family.
In Washington, DC, we are working with Ohev Sholom, a synagogue. The rabbi is bringing home a sibling pair from Haiti. During their process, Second Nurture is providing education around issues of adoption and foster care. As families in his synagogue observe the rabbi’s family experience of adoption, Second Nurture will help develop a cohort.
In Newton, MA, we have been in conversation with the Department of Children and Families about Newton being the first Second Nurture city! We had our first meeting with city stakeholders (nonprofit and community leaders, funders, and city staff) in February.
We are so excited about the coming spring —and it is fitting that we got a generous grant from The Aviv Foundation, since “aviv” is the Hebrew word for spring! We are, as always, thankful for all of you and your abiding support!