Wednesday, September 06, 2006

What are the three biggest barriers to increasing the number of adoptions of children in the foster care system?

Parents? Professionals?

What are your thoughts.


Blogger Pattison007 said...

Judges that discriminate against gay\lesbian and single parent adoptions...except during election years.

Age and race of kids. I have read a number of profiles that only want the non-African American children, and plus, some of my older AA kids only want families of the same race.

Some of the general publics lack of knowledge and myths about foster kids plays a part in adoption barriers. When someone found out that I worked in adoptions, she asked why would anyone want to adopt a CPS kid when you can adopt from overseas? It took all I had to come back in a politically correct manner, but I think the reason for the stupidity is that the public doesn't realize that a lot of CPS kids are a lot better off than the kids coming from the orphanges from overseas.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Terrie said...

I feel the three biggest barriers, Are definetly the age of the child or children. Large siblings groups needing homes together.
I do feel strongly about keeping siblings together whenever possible. I am an adoptive parent of two children that were forever seperated from their birth siblings because it was Easier to place them seperatly.

The last barrier and their are many is the legal systems failure to make children free for adoption as early in the child's life as possible.

3:19 PM  
Blogger michelle said...

1. One of the barriers is education and recruitment of pre-adoptive parents. It is such a fine line social workers have to walk to find prospective parents with realistic expectations of the system and of the abuse many of these kids have been through while also able to maintain the hope and optimism to raise the children with love.

2. Lack of staff is definitely a problem. I don't know any social worker who isn't carrying a load to high nor any foster parents who haven't been through burnout. Some pre-adoptive families wait for years for a child when really it is a lack of staff at EVERY level in the process to handle things. They need more social workers on the front lines, but the needs go all the way down the line to things like needing more computer staff to help get other staff the tools to process information quicker.

3. When we told people we were going to adopt from foster care, more than once person took us aside asking us if we knew what we were getting into. People seemed to think we were naive or they treated us like we were bucking for sainthood. We appreciated the well-wishes from those who gave them but we just wanted to be parents - the bottom line was it was selfish action that drove us.

Some people seem to think adopting a newborn or internationally meant your child would be fine but adopting from foster care was this high risk thing that could ruin our lives immediately.

*Of course, in terms of the system's limitations itself the age of kids, amount of siblings and the time in care can impeded placement.

8:15 PM  
Blogger PKP said...

1. Differing "rules" from state to state.

2. The entire process that has kids waiting too long for termination of parental rights and/or matching. I think we can all agree the younger a child is the easier it is to find a forever home.

3. The length of time it takes to accomplish matching and placement--potential families can get discouraged. Limited information available to allow families to make a decision on how will a child will "fit" in their family.

6:24 AM  
Blogger Think Tank Moderator said...

Alissa, adoption worker in Florida, lists:

Paperwork/Bureaucratic Red Tape issues
Money issues
Lack of services for the families and children issues

Todd, who has been practicing adoption medicine for ten years, lists:

1. Racism.
2. Age
3. Legal system, which has trouble balancing rights of children and parents, i.e., chattel rights.

Chris, a foster and adoption program director in Texas says:

1. lack of staff
2. lack of staff
3. Lack of staff

Jennifer, adoption worker in Texas, writes:

1)ICPC taking too long for children to be placed out of state.
2) Children's ages
3) Children's behaviors and adoptive parents not being open to the many behaviors that foster children exhibit.

Robyn, another adoption worker in TX, says:

Older children, children of different races, and sibling groups. It is very hard to find placements for these children.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Think Tank Moderator said...

Meg, mom of twelve, if I am counting correctly, writes:

Public knowledge! People don't know about it! Just yesterday, someone said , "I thought it took thousands of dollars!!!!!!" She was amazed at what I told her.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Think Tank Moderator said...

Brenda, an Adoption Supervisor in Texas, resopnds:

WORKLOAD CONSTRAINTS - workers can only do so much
LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF HOW TO FIND FAMILIES - since families are out there
CHILDREN'S BEHAVIORS - and lack of adequate post-adopt services to help families to handle those difficult behaviors - they want the security of the CPS system if things get tough

11:07 AM  
Blogger Think Tank Moderator said...

Melody, an adoption worker in Texas, writes:

Case loads that are too large, that time can not be spent on the recruitment efforts--but instead is spent in putting out the biggest fire.

In my case, a hinderance is the behaviors and issues that my children on my caseload have. Its hard to find a family that is willing to meet some of these needs.

11:07 AM  

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