• Foster Parent Training for the Delivery of Independent Living Skills

      Alley, Kandy; Renes, Susan L.; Cook, Christine R.; Hutchison, Shayle (2013-12)
      Although training is made available to foster parents when they volunteer to share their homes with children in need, the required ten hours for single parents and fifteen hours for coupled parents does not provide enough training for foster parents who are working with youth preparing for independent living to give them the skills they need to succeed. There are many programs designed for youth, but fewer programs are readily available in Fairbanks, Alaska to teach foster parents how to deliver the skills to the youth. Youth leaving foster care continue to have lower outcomes in education, employment, housing, and fiscal management after exiting foster care than children who were raised in traditional homes. The outcome of this literature review is a pamphlet that will assist agencies in educating the parents of foster youth aging out of the foster care system. It will also provide quick access to resources and learning centers that offer training opportunities for foster parents working with youth preparing for independent living.
    • Grief counseling for adult pet loss: a primer for mental health professionals

      Sherman, Dawne G.; Gifford, Valerie M.; Hense-Nelson, Brenda J.; McMorrow, Samantha G. (2017-05)
      Grief counseling receives minimal attention in mental health training programs. Many mental health professionals are unprepared to support adult clients with pet loss and the associated bereavement process. Pets fill many vital roles in the lives of adults and the loss of a pet can be a profound experience. Adults sometimes develop intense attachment bonds with pets, and the quality of the human-pet attachment may influence the grief resolution process. Bereaved individuals may experience complicated grief reactions, including co-occurring mental health disorders. Understanding key clinical issues associated with pet loss can both help clinicians provide appropriate client support and facilitate positive treatment outcomes. As an outcome to this research, an educational webinar highlighting key findings gained from the literature review has been developed to assist clinicians with adults whose presenting concerns relate to pet loss.
    • Resources, support, and advocacy for Alaskan secondary school students who identify as LGBTQIA+

      Nickell, Jasmine L.; Gifford, Valerie; Dahl, Heather; Wilson, Hilary (2017-05)
      This comprehensive literature review presents findings associated with the needs of students in grades 7-12 who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, and/or asexual (LGBTQIA+). In addition, the roles of school counselors, faculty, and staff in addressing these needs are discussed, and policy decisions and legislation supporting safe and inclusive environments are examined. A comprehensive guidebook is included which explains the legislative process that can be used to promote systems change in order to address these needs. The legislative proposal in this guidebook would mandate Alaskan school counselors receive proper training, resources, and guidance to appropriately support and advocate for students who identify as LGBTQIA+. Although there are legislative bills currently being introduced to the Alaska Legislature that support more inclusive anti-discrimination state-based laws, Alaska has yet to pass such a bill and its efforts remain inadequate concerning the institution of state law preventing bullying, discrimination, and violence in schools based on a student's gender identity, gender expression, and/or sexual.