Discussion and Reflection paper

Chapter 12 provides an overview of the history of adoption, types of adoption (such as open vs. closed, independent vs. agency assisted, transnational, etc.) and their strengths/weaknesses, and the experiences of those involved in the adoption process. You will also view a documentary titled The Dark Matter of Love, which follows the Diaz family after they adopt three children from a Russian orphanage. As you view the film, you should try to identify concepts from the chapter that are evident in the film, and analyze how well the Diaz family adjusted and coped with the challenges they faced based on information from the text.

Chapter 13 discusses the history of residential settings for youth who are court mandated to be placed outside of the home, typically due to delinquency or severe psychiatric problems that cannot be adequately addressed at home. There are various types of residential settings which are designed for different purposes and vary in their level of security. Generally speaking, residential settings have three categories of staff: custodial staff, clinical staff, and educational staff. Residential settings are not without their problems. Staff turnover is high and there is potential for children to be abused by other residents or by staff. Children cannot succeed in these settings if they do not feel safe. Trauma-informed care has become a priority in residential settings to increase feelings of safety and trust.

Assignments/Tasks for this week:

1. Read chapter 12.

2. Post your primary response in the chapter 12 discussion forum by Tuesday at 11:59pm. Secondary responses should be submitted throughout the week (but no later than Saturday at 11:59pm).

3. Read chapter 13.

4. Post your primary response in the chapter 13 discussion forum by Thursday at 11:59pm. Secondary responses should be submitted throughout the week (but no later than Saturday at 11:59pm).

5. Submit your Issue Brief by Saturday at 11:59 pm in Assignments.

Discussion Questions:

1-Read chapter 12 of the text and then view the film Dark Matter of Love. The film follows the Diaz family, a husband and wife and their biological daughter, after they adopt three children from an orphanage in Russia. You can read about the film here: https://www.thedarkmatteroflove.com/about.html.

The viewer is given an intimate view of the family’s struggles and successes in the year following the adoption. Some of things we are able to see are the issues surrounding international adoption, adopting children from orphanages, cultural differences and language barriers, the emotional impact of adoption on parents, biological children, and adopted children, changes in family functioning and dynamics, etc. The family participated in an intervention designed by child psychologists to support adoptive families through the process, so a lot of scientific information is also provided about the importance of attachment.

After viewing the film (and/or reading about the film), discuss in what ways the film relates to the chapter. What concepts and issues from the chapter are evident in the film? Think about how everyone in the film was impacted by the adoptions. What challenges did they face?

2-Brainstorm about what it might feel like the first night in an institutional setting. What might congregate dining feel like for those who are not used to it? What about having little privacy in the bathroom? How would this be compounded if the person knew that he/she was at this particular institution as a “last resort” or because his/her behavior, problems, or disabilities could no longer be handled in a home setting? How might children with this knowledge be feeling?

Reflection Paper:

At the end of each week, students will submit a one-page reflection (double-spaced) of what they learned during the week from the assigned materials and discussions. Students will be evaluated on their ability to identify important concepts and ideas from the chapters, their understanding of the implications of these concepts/ideas for practice, and their analysis of the strengths and weaknesses in the information presented

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