Friday, June 3, 2011

Fixing the System

The story below from the Huffington Post is unfortunately very typical, and just about any state can be substituted for California. What can we do to make the system more user-friendly for prospective parents who want to adopt from the foster care system?

from the Huffington Post  May 25, 2011
For James and Stephanie, their experience with California's public agencies is where the adoption process became a story of frustration, unreturned calls, and irrational bureaucracy. It took over a year before they were even considered for a waiting child. Their struggle presents a case study in the obstacles that face anyone trying to adopt a child from a public agency in California.

1 comment:

Anne said...

In addition to the several excellent points in that article, I would like to add an opinion, as well. In my State, Virginia, there are apparently 1,800 children available for adoption, 800 or so that are NOT in "pre-placement" adoptive homes. (In other words, the remaining 1,000 or so children are expected to be adopted by their current guardians.)
As an approved, adoptive parent, I only have access to read about 120 or so of these kids. ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY OUT OF 800!!
when I asked where the other 680 are, my agency told me "well, who knows, sometimes the workers don't enter their children in the system." Why, in this case, do the workers take on so much of the permanent-family-planning themselves? Why not require the children to be posted - at the very least to a secure site for approved adoptive parents - and let the PARENTS decide if they are interested? Then you have a pre-filtered selection of parents to choose from! It think this would speed things up tremendously.
We all know that every child or sibling group is entirely different from the next, as are the particular thresholds/limitations/desires of adoptive families. Finding a fit is a difficult thing. I firmly believe taking that first "drawdown" of the population out of the hands of the worker could only reduce the workload and increase chances of finding the perfect match for a child/children and reduce the time the children are in the system.
Next step? Videos for all children! They are irresistable!