As you know, a leap year is a year containing one additional day added to keep the calendar year synchronized with the seasonal year. The name “leap year” comes from the fact that while a fixed date in the Gregorian calendar normally advances one day of the week from one year to the next, the day of the week in the 12 months following the leap day (from March 1 through February 28 of the following year) will advance two days due to the extra day (thus “leaping over” one of the days in the week).
In our child welfare systems we are charged to stay focused on time frames to achieve permanency. We cannot, however, “leap over” the work that our children and families must do to be in readiness for new relationships. WE CANNOT “FIX” KIDS in the same way that we have “fixed” the calendar; IT IS THEIR WORK TO DO!
Ours is to follow their work, at their pace, as they tell their story, a story of horror, craziness, pain, joy, heartache, fear, and on and on. We are merely witnesses to the telling of these stories as they make sense out of what happened to them; as they try to establish who they are, and, as they determine who will be there for them in their daily lives to protect and love them.
(Excerpted from Henry, D. L. (2010). The 3-5-7 Model: A practice approach to permanency. Stories of hope & healing for children, youth and families. Kearney, NE: Morris Publishing.)
So, I encourage you to support the journey with your children and families as they grieve losses and give meaning to their important relationships!