Removal events are stressful for all parties involved. Laurel Life CARE staff serve as a presence to emotionally support the child(ren), allowing the caseworker to focus on the essential logistical and legal components of the removal. Together, this team approach helps bring children to safety while implementing supports to promote resilience.
The CARE specialists focus primarily on the child, being attentive to feelings of failure, rejection, guilt and loss, and allow initial exploration into these emotions. By attending to the youth, CARE allows the caseworker to focus on communicating with the caregivers and explain the court and agency requirements of the placement. CARE also can assist the caseworkers as requested with tasks such as gathering needed and preferred items for the child(ren) as well as using developmentally clear language to promote understanding of the pending move. The CARE specialist then meets the caseworker and children at the new placement, continuing to engage in emotional First Aid through listening, connecting, and modeling. CARE's presence during and after removal events allows for the caseworker to proceed with reviewing the necessary legal requirements for the new caregiver.
The CARE Specialist involved will meet with the identified child in their new setting (foster, kinship, et al) within one week after placement to debrief the removal experience, with the goal of reducing the long-term traumatic impact of the event. The CARE Specialist will also develop the CARE Plan that identifies any current therapeutic supports and allows for recommendation of future supports.
The CARE Specialist will continue to meet with the child as-needed for up to 90 days, to provide direct emotional support and insight on care planning for the future.