Monday, November 14, 2011

Changing the Foster Care Adoption Process

The September issue of Children and Youth Services Review provides a qualitative study of nine families going through the foster care adoption process; three of them have already dropped out. Researchers noted the factors that support completion: a caring, competent social worker; supportive family and friends; involvement in counselling or parent-support activities. They also identified hindering factors including poor worker performance; the time-consuming and daunting nature of the process; and matching parameters that were too rigid. They also found that families needed to hear from workers often during the long waiting process.

The research recommends rethinking the manner in which agencies match children by having prospective parents check criteria they would accept or not accept and presenting only children who exactly match those criteria. Do you believe these suggestions will help expedite the process?

1 comment:

Kenya2010 said...

We have been foster parents for almost 4 years, with the intent of adoption. We have found the process to be slow and painful. We now have a sibling placement from a disrupted adoption, but their case has been appealed, so we wait in limbo to see if mom will be TPR'd. One problem we see is lack of communication from DHR. Another BIG issue we have faced is that case workers seem to want to place their kids from their county with you, and that is not always the best match. We have found it to be virtually impossible to do a intercounty placement, let alone to get our homestudy sent to a worker in another state if we identify a child or sibling group of interest to our family on a site like We have been matched with kids from other states and even other counties in our state, and nothing EVER happens. Wouldn't it be great if the goal of all workers was to place ALL kids, not just the ones on their case loads? We have been waiting for many years, and we are very open to kids of various ages, ethnic backgrounds and sibling groups. It should not be this hard. We have felt like giving up many, many times. I think for foster parents, like us, waiting, the key is educating yourself and getting involved. Support groups help. I also think that yes, matching parameters are sometimes too rigid. It just seems that with so many kids in care waiting for families, this process should be easier for families that really want to adopt.