Standards for private organizations

2020 Edition

Adoption Services (AS) 11: Post-Placement and Post-Adoption Support and Family Preservation

A comprehensive continuum of post-placement and post-adoption services are available to ensure safety, well-being, and long-term stability and permanency.

Interpretation

Whenever possible, services provided by others should be provided by adoption competent professionals with experience in trauma informed care.

Interpretation

 All individuals involved in an adoption have their own unique experiences and needs related to adoption. People may experience few or frequent needs, minimal or extensive needs, and may experience those needs at any point in time throughout their lives.

NA The organization provides home study services only.

NA The organization provides child-focused recruitment only.

2020 Edition

Currently viewing: ADOPTION SERVICES (AS)

VIEW THE STANDARDS

Purpose

Adoption programs establish permanent family relationships for children in need of permanency, and increase the well-being, functioning, and stability of children, birth parents, adoptive families, and adopted individuals.
1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • List of services provided by the agency and/or available in the community
  • Procedures for referring individuals to services
  • Procedures for responding to crisis situations
  • Procedures for post-placement monitoring, visits, and reports
  • Procedures for the collection of information, record keeping and retention, and information disclosure
  • Reports related to any adoption related crisis situations reviewed through risk management or performance and quality improvement activities
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Clients
  • Review case records

AS 11.01

The program provides or refers children, youth, adoptive parents, adoptive families, and adopted adults to an array of preventive and supportive services including:
  1. information, education, and counseling;
  2. social and cultural events and activities;
  3. preventive care for medical, developmental, and mental health needs;
  4. respite care; and
  5. support and advocacy groups.
    Examples: Engaging families in social activities and basic supportive services can help to keep them connected to the program and increase their likelihood of requesting help when more significant needs emerge.
     

    Examples: Examples of common adoption related issues which may benefit from preventive and supportive services may include:  

    1. difficulties with grief or feelings of loss or abandonment;
    2. challenges in developing trust and establishing and maintaining relationships;
    3. identify formation;
    4. difficulty navigating developmental milestones and events such as birthdays, holidays, addition of children to the home, death of a family member; and
    5. unknown medical, developmental or mental health needs.

    Support for transracial and transcultural adoptions can include cultural and social events such as picnics, camps, educational activities, heritage tours, and peer support.


    AS 11.02

    The program provides or refers children, youth, adoptive parents, adoptive families, and adopted adults to an array of intensive and therapeutic services when needed including:
    1. medical, developmental, and psychological evaluations;
    2. crisis intervention services;
    3. individual, group, and family counseling and therapy;
    4. early intervention and other developmental and educational supports;
    5. mental health and substance use services; and
    6. medical or rehabilitative care and residential treatment.

    AS 11.03

    The program completes required post-placement and post-adoption visits to monitor and assess safety, permanency, and well-being.

      Examples: Agencies have developed a variety of strategies with mixed results to encourage full participation from families. Examples of strategies some programs have used to promote completion of required visits include: 
      1. making visit and report requirements known in advance through the contract and training;
      2. keeping the family engaged with the program through social and other supportive services; and
      3. requiring families to pay refundable deposits or pay post-placement fees in advance. 

      Fundamental Practice

      AS 11.04

      The program acts promptly in situations where the placement is in crisis, a child may be in danger, or where conduct relating to the adoption may be in question.  
      Related Standards:
      Examples: Examples include situations where:
      1. the placement may be at risk of disruption or dissolution;
      2. adoptive parents are considering, planning or have completed an unregulated custody transfer;
      3. allegations of child abuse or neglect are made;
      4. a child discloses a prior history of being a victim of sexual abuse or human trafficking;
      5. a child experiences a mental health crisis or suicide attempt; and
      6. a question or concern is raised about the consents to the adoption or other fraudulent or unethical conduct relating to the adoption.

      Fundamental Practice

      AS 11.05

      When the program believes that a child is in danger if he or she remains in the placement or that the placement is no longer in the child’s best interests, it:
      1. acts promptly, in accordance with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements, to report the situation to the appropriate authorities; and
      2. assists as needed with transitioning the child to another appropriate placement.  

      Interpretation

       In an international adoption that is not considered a final placement, the program must coordinate with the primary provider, foreign central authority and the Department of State, and in all international adoptions the program should take appropriate steps to prevent the return of the child to the country of origin without authorization from the foreign central authority and the Department of State.    
       

      AS 11.06

      For individuals interested in searching for and making contact with relatives, the program provides information, counseling, and support in accordance with applicable confidentiality requirements. 

      AS 11.07

      When a child is placed prior to the final adoption order the program takes steps to ensure:
      1. an order declaring the adoption final is sought by the adoptive parents; and
      2. the child’s US citizenship is obtained and documentation of the final adoption order and citizenship is maintained when it is an international adoption.

      AS 11.08

      The program provides or refers birth parents to supportive services including:
      1. information and counseling;
      2. ongoing receipt and maintenance of updated medical or social information, including, as appropriate, contact information so that it can be made available to the adoptee in accordance with applicable requirements; and
      3. support and advocacy groups.

      Interpretation

       If the program works on cases where the birth parents’ rights were involuntarily terminated, the program should consult with the public agency or its designee to determine what services, if any, would be appropriate for the program to provide directly to birth parents. In intercountry adoptions, it is unlikely for the program to have contact with birth parents. In either instance, the program should at a minimum have procedures to address element (b) of the standard.