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Parenting Tip Tuesday with a great tip from kidshealth.org!
Catch Kids Being Good

Have you ever stopped to think about how many times you react negatively to your kids in a given day? You may find yourself criticizing far more often than complimenting. How would you feel about a boss who treated you with that much negative guidance, even if it was well intentioned?

The more effective approach is to catch kids doing something right: "You made your bed without being asked — that's terrific!" or "I was watching you play with your sister and you were very patient." These statements will do more to encourage good behavior over the long run than repeated scoldings.

Make a point of finding something to praise every day. Be generous with rewards — your love, hugs, and compliments can work wonders and are often reward enough. Soon you will find you are "growing" more of the behavior you would like to see.

www.childrenfirstffa.com

#fostercare #fosteragency #childrenfirstffa
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A difficult reality for teens in foster care. Consider working with teens today and visit www.childrenfirstffa.com

#fostercare #fosteragency #norcal #childrenfirstffa
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According to information collected from the Tehama County Department of Education, there are 506 students who lack regular nighttime residence. These students are either living with other family or friends, in motels, in temporary shelters, or are unsheltered. Since this information is voluntarily given, the numbers are often under-reported.

While these students may not technically be considered homeless, the data is a good indicator of families and students who are at risk of homelessness. "I work at Salisbury and I have seen and felt firsthand the difference the SFY fund has made in the lives of our students. Much gratitude to the people who make it possible!!" Find out how you can help at www.solutionsforyouth.org

#homeless #homelesskids #childrenfirstffa #solutionsforyouth
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Parenting Tip Tuesday with a great tip from kidshealth.org!
Boosting Your Child's Self-Esteem

Kids start developing their sense of self as babies when they see themselves through their parents' eyes. Your tone of voice, your body language, and your every expression are absorbed by your kids. Your words and actions as a parent affect their developing self-esteem more than anything else.

Praising accomplishments, however small, will make them feel proud; letting kids do things independently will make them feel capable and strong. By contrast, belittling comments or comparing a child unfavorably with another will make kids feel worthless.

Avoid making loaded statements or using words as weapons. Comments like "What a stupid thing to do!" or "You act more like a baby than your little brother!" cause damage just as physical blows do.

Choose your words carefully and be compassionate. Let your kids know that everyone makes mistakes and that you still love them, even when you don't love their behavior.

#parentingtip #fostercare #fosteragency #childrenfirstffa
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Parenting Tips Tuesday from Parents Magazine

Health Advice All Parents Should Follow

Protect that smile. Encouraging your kid to brush twice a day with a dab of fluoride toothpaste will guard against cavities.

Be vigilant about safety. Babyproof your home thoroughly, and never leave a child under 5 in the tub alone. Make sure car seats are installed correctly, and insist that your child wear a helmet when riding his bike or scooter.

Listen to the doc. If your pediatrician thinks your kid's fever is caused by a virus, don't push for antibiotics. The best medicine may be rest, lots of fluids, and a little TLC. Overprescribing antibiotics can cause medical problems for your child and increase the chances of creating superbugs that resist treatment.

Keep sunblock next to your kid's toothpaste. Apply it every day as part of the morning routine. It'll become as natural as brushing her teeth.

Put your baby to bed drowsy but still awake. This helps your child learn to soothe himself to sleep and prevents bedtime problems down the line.

Know when to toilet train. Look for these two signs that your child is ready to use the potty: He senses the urge to pee and poop (this is different from knowing that he's already gone), and he asks for a diaper change.

For more tips, visit https://www.childrenfirstffa.com/blog/
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📌Did you know?

The National Center on Family Homelessness states that a staggering 2.5 million children are now homeless each year in America. This historic high represents one in every 30 children in the United States.

The Solutions for Youth Fund is working to meet the needs of these youth in our local area. Below is a recent letter we received from a teacher: "Dear Solutions for Youth,

It is such a joy to see the excitement in the students faces when you present them with these wonderful gifts. The joy continues as you see them wearing these new shoes and clothing every day with pride. They truly walk a little taller. For most you are giving them not only material gifts, you are instilling confidence that many of us take for granted. You are showing them kindness that many are not used to. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!" Learn more about SYF here: https://www.childrenfirstffa.com/solutions-for-youth-program/

#homeless #homelessyouth #youcanhelp #endhomelessness #norcal #solutionsforyouth
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Parenting Tip Tuesday from Parents Magazine!

Boost Brainpower & Physical Activity

Teach your baby to sign. Just because a child can't talk doesn't mean there isn't lots that she'd like to say. Simple signs can help you know what she needs and even how she feels well before she has the words to tell you -- a great way to reduce frustration.

Keep the tube in the family room. Research has repeatedly shown that children with a TV in their bedroom weigh more, sleep less, and have lower grades and poorer social skills. P.S. Parents with a television in their bedroom have sex less often.

Get kids moving. The latest research shows that brain development in young children may be linked to their activity level. Place your baby on her tummy several times during the day, let your toddler walk instead of ride in her stroller, and create opportunities for your older child to get plenty of exercise.

For more tips, visit https://www.childrenfirstffa.com/blog/
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Join us as we celebrate the 27th annual Return of the Salmon Festival. The family friendly event is free to the public and will have over 50 booths with information and activities. Ride the free shuttle from the Anderson Wal-Mart to avoid the congestion and limited parking at the hatchery.
Visit our booth while you're there!

www.childrenfirstffa.com
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Today is the official kick-off of Nor-Cal Think Week! Join us tomorrow from 5pm-8:30pm at the Sundial Bridge to light it up PINK!

www.childrenfirstffa.com

#thinkpink #childrenfirstffa #fosteragency #fosterfamily
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This week's Foster Parent Spotlight is the Akana Family from Siskiyou Co! "We’ve been with Children First for about 7 years now. My husband, our daughter, and I work together to provide a ‘home away from home’ for our little guests.
I can remember like it was yesterday our first phone call. That night was for two little boys, probably 8 months and 3 years old. We said yes.
It was 9 or 10 at night when the babies arrived. We soothed, cuddled, talked reassuringly but when it came to lights out, the crying began. The littlest just cried and wouldn’t be comforted. As the midnight hour drew near, thoughts of my 6:30 am children I cared for, crept in my head. I quickly called the office leaving her a message “the baby will not be consoled and it’s almost midnight, and I’ve got daycare kiddos coming at 6:30 am. I don’t think I can do this.” Fast forward 7 years, we’re still doing it and sometimes now I have to pinch myself when I think how blessed I am. It’s not easy. Every time a new little one comes to stay there is the chaos of adjustment. Adjusting to one another, having to set behavioral boundaries, being resisted, pushed away and finally coming to the place of love and trust.
Oh, but the JOYS of love and trust. Hugs, songs and bedtime stories; talks at the breakfast table; backpacks and diapers. The sweetest little smiles. Being called mommy and daddy.

In one week we will adopt our first forever child. But in a month, we will also say goodbye to a precious baby we have cared for from birth. She’s now 6 months old. We try to just love and appreciate today and ask God for the strength and peace to go through whatever we must. That is our journey. We’re incredibly thankful we’ve been apart of this mission with you. God bless each and every family, their kiddos and the agency team that finds the best placement for the kids and assists the families. Thank you!" Tim, Tracey and Kealia Akana
www.childrenfirstffa.com

#fosterspotlight #fosteragency
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Parenting Tip Tuesday with Parents Magazine!

Always Say "I Love You"

Love your children equally, but treat them uniquely. They're individuals.

Say "I love you" whenever you feel it, even if it's 743 times a day. You simply can not spoil a child with too many mushy words of affection and too many smooches. Not possible.

Keep in mind what grandmoms always say. Children are not yours, they are only lent to you for a time. In those fleeting years, do your best to help them grow up to be good people.

Savor the moments. Yes, parenthood is the most exhausting job on the planet. Yes, your house is a mess, the laundry's piled up, and the dog needs to be walked. But your kid just laughed. Enjoy it now -- it will be over far too fast.

For more tips, visit https://www.childrenfirstffa.com/blog/
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For this week's Feel-Good Foster Care story, we meet Kevinee Gilmore. "Kevinee Gilmore knows what rejection feels like. After spending five years in foster care bouncing between different homes and high schools, she became homeless. For most of her young life, Gilmore searched for some semblance of normalcy. She realized that she and other foster care kids had that longing in common.

That’s why she created #FosterCare, a social media movement that advocates for foster kids by connecting them with access to opportunities and mentors they wouldn’t have otherwise. Gilmore recognized some of the privileges she experienced that a lot of others don’t have (like the chance to work on Capitol Hill). She also recognized the power of social media and our fascination with celebrities. Gilmore combined the two to create a platform designed to uplift and empower foster kids while working to end the many disparities they face." Read more about the advocacy efforts that Kevinee is doing here: http://ow.ly/imnz50wyKQj

Visit www.childrenfirstffa.com to learn more about foster youth.

#fostercare #fosteragency #norcal #childrenfirstffa
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This year we are excited to join in with NCCDI & Kids Spooktacular 2019!

Make sure to stop by the Children First booth for goodies & our Annual "Dreams on Wheels" Bike Drive kick off. Stay tuned for more information coming soon!

www.childrenfirstffa.com

#fosteragency #norcal
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One of our favorite things is to receive letters and pictures like these. It warms our hearts and makes us realize that we definitely are making an impact, just like our wonderful foster homes! "Dearest Robin,

First I want to thank Children First for the Water Works fun night. As always it was a huge hit in the house. The kids always enjoy the fun and food!! Second, I wanted to let you know that when you mentioned where we are at as opposed to a year ago, it got me thinking and reflecting. I do remember how hopeful and excited we were to foster children and make a difference in their lives. While it has not been anything like what we imagined it has been a worthwhile venture. There have been extreme ups and downs and twists that we could not have thought of and sometimes I wonder if we are really making a difference, but to see where the kids in our care were to where they are now, I do see a change and a difference. I would like to thank you for your continued support as it matters and means a lot.

Thank you and Children First staff!!" --Tracy Collins
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"Life's most persistent and urgent question is,
What are you doing for others?" - Martin Luther King, Jr.

www.childrenfirstffa.com

#fostercare #fosteragency #norcal #childrenfirstffa
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The Solutions for Youth Fund was formed upon learning about the amount of teens in our local area who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness. One recent response we received from a school counselor stated: “Another awesome job picking out clothes! The teen girl who received them was so grateful that her and her mom cried. She wore the new shoes to school today - after having to go in ones that had a hole previously. The mother said "Thank You" does not begin to express how they feel about the help for their daughter.” Find out more about the Solutions for Youth Fund here: https://www.childrenfirstffa.com/solutions-for-youth-program/

#homeless #homelessyouth #norcal #calltoaction #solutionsforyouth
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Parenting Tips Tuesday with Parents Magazine!

Don't Stress About Dinner

Serve a food again and again. If your child rejects a new dish, don't give up hope. You may have to offer it another six, eight, or even 10 times before he eats it and decides he likes it.

Avoid food fights. A healthy child instinctively knows how much to eat. If he refuses to finish whatever food is on his plate, just let it go. He won't starve.

Eat at least one meal as a family each day. Sitting down at the table together is a relaxed way for everyone to connect -- a time to share happy news, talk about the day, or tell a silly joke. It also helps your kids develop healthy eating habits.

Let your kids place an order. Once a week, allow your children to choose what's for dinner and cook it for them.

For more tips, visit https://www.childrenfirstffa.com/blog/
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Happy Monday! We love starting off our week by recognizing the hard workers here at Children First. Our employee spotlight this week is Vincent!

Vinny is very humble so after finally getting him to speak about himself, I learned that he received his degree from Humboldt State, worked for 2 years at a group home, and December will mark 10 years with Children First. One of his colleagues then stepped in to help brag a little.

Vincent is known around the office as the "do-er." He will go out of his way to help do whatever a kid or co-worker needs. He's known as the "yes man" and is always there to help. Parents often request Vincent by name when a new child is placed in their home, even if their home is far from his home office. He is the ultimate team-player and as a fun fact, he always has any phone number that someone might need.

We appreciate everything Vinny does for his co-workers, but mostly for the kids! Please join us in celebrating him today!

www.childrenfirstffa.com

#socialwork #fosterfamily #fosteragency #childrenfirstffa
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Our Feel-Good Friday story this week is about Mr. Guy Bryant!
Mr. Bryant is a single dad in New York City and here is his story: "Having fostered more than 50 young adults, Bryant has found that he gains their trust by spending more time with them and ultimately getting to know them better. He plans fishing expeditions a few times a year and sometimes cooks meals with the young men, developing bonds over time. “The difficult thing about building trust is their past interactions with adults. If I can get you to engage in conversation with me about how you’re feeling and what’s going on, then that right there, my job is done. They constantly need to be reinforced that ‘I am here. I am going to do what I say.’ My kids will tell you whatever I say, I’m going to do for you. I always do it because I don’t want you to look at me like one of those adults who let you down,” Bryant said.
Read here for more: http://ow.ly/MVTk50wyJ9w

Visit www.childrenfirstffa.com to learn more about becoming a foster parent.

#fostercare #fosteragency #norcal #childrenfirstffa
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Our Foster Family Spotlight of the Week are the Weber's! They became foster parents with Children First in 2015 and here is what they had to say about their experience: "It had its up and downs but we have loved every up and down tossed our way. We have had the opportunity to be a part of 3 amazing placements. Our first one were sisters and they were just a blessing. Their mom and dad worked their butts off to get them back and it was such an amazing thing to watch (they are still with mom and dad and are doing amazing). Our second placement was another beautiful set of sisters. These girls touched our hearts like NO other!! We had them for 15 amazing months. Don’t get me wrong, we had our ups and downs, fits and melt downs, but all worth it! The work their parents put forth was amazing to watch. It was sad and emotional to watch them hit rock bottom, but amazing to watch them work their programs and climb from the bottom back up to the top. We are still very close to mom, dad, and girls. Our hearts are forever changed and Riley was even the flower girl in our wedding.

Then our Joe. Yes, he is a bundle of fireworks, but he is ours. I feel like Joe was the missing piece to our family and maybe the whole reason we were put on this path. I am, and will forever be, grateful for all the help we got from the agency and for being allowed to walk this path with the families that we did! Being a foster parent has been a life enlightening experience." The Weber's have recently brought Joe into their lives permanently and we would love to congratulate them on growing their family. Thank you to for everything you do for these great kids!

www.childrenfirstffa.com

#fosterfamily #fosteragency #norcal #childrenfirstffa #fosterspotlight
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