Episode 259 - Dr. Annahita Ball, Dr. Elizabeth Bowen, and Dr. Annette Semanchin-Jones: Cross-Systems Collaboration: Examining the Perspectives and Experiences of Vulnerable Youth and Service Providers

Monday, March 11, 2019, 9:25:24 AM

Image of Dr. Annahita Ball, Dr. Elizabeth Bowen, and Dr. Annette Semanchin-Jones

Cross-systems youth, or youth who experience homelessness, child welfare involvement, and educational difficulty, often suffer due to lack of continuity and stability in their school and home lives, as well as in service provision. These children are at risk for a number of negative outcomes, which are in part a reflection of the failure of multiple systems. In this episode, three members of the University at Buffalo School of Social Work faculty (Anna Ball, Betsy Bowen, and Annette Semanchin-Jones) engage in a discussion on cross-systems youth. They highlight their research involving the perspectives and experiences of youth and service providers in relation to multiple systems – education, child welfare, and housing and social services – and provide suggestions to improve and promote collaboration.

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Average Rating: 5stars  podcast review, Monday, April 22, 2019

By Erika :

I found the topic of this podcast and the research provided very interesting. I think that the information can be utilized in a productive way by many people aside from those in the social work field. I was specifically drawn to the point of frequent mobility in this population of youth. As discussed in the podcast, these children have no control over this mobility and the change that comes along with it can heavily impact their lives. In some of these children, the impact of this trauma could be easily seen but others may not be as reactive. I think this part of the research done was something that every person that comes into contact with one of these children should keep in mind and in doing so will make a huge difference in this child's life. Later in the podcast, the collaboration of schools and service agencies is brought up. Since there is a difference in the goals of these agencies and the school system, there is a disconnect that can effect helping the children that are involved with both systems. My experience in working with children in the school system has proven this to be occurring. A lot of children that are utilizing outside services are never brought to the school's attention. These children are spending most of their lives in school so the existence of some sort of alignment between these two systems could be very beneficial for the youth that are involved with both. The research provided in this podcast was very eye opening and I feel could be very impactful for anyone that has interaction with youth. Just keeping this information in mind when interacting with a child could really change how we help this population.

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Average Rating: 5stars  much needed research, Friday, April 05, 2019

By Karan :

Personally growing-up in the foster care system here in WNY area I’m overjoyed that negative outcomes experienced by this vulnerable population due to multiple systems failing is being addressed for improvements. Now as an adult new to my fifties it’s refreshing to see light being shed on major concerns that have been the vehicle that has led to negative outcomes for many I know. When an eight year old walks to the Ellicott Square Building on numerous occasions complaining to his case-worker about being molested and not even a house visit occurs that system is in dire need of repair. Many systems failed this boy. He barely went to school, when he attended he wasn’t clean despite multiple systems knowing he was a ward of the state. Eventually he was homeless before he was twelve years old and got lost in the school to prison pipeline. As sad as this case maybe it’s one of many I know from others that were in a neglectful foster care system.
Having this discussion is essential toward eliminating the possibilities of negative outcomes being experienced in systems meant to provide security and safety. Those fundamental problems need to get fixed. It’s imperative that (Anna Ball, Betsy Bowen, and Annette Semanchin-Jones) continue this important research even if it’s at one systems level at a time. I must admit growing up in the system I have no quick fix solutions however, I do thinking making sure competent social workers are in place that’s can hear and understand a child’s plea for help. Another help I think would be to provide support groups that focus solely on the children in the system and making sure their needs are being heard/met. There’s no reason that a child makes it from junior high to leaving high school with a pair of pants when there is a clothing allowance provided by the state. The mention of cross-system collaboration is a promising prospect that can hold individual systems accountable. Looking forward to future research.

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