A place where professionals and parents connect to make a difference in the lives of children.
posted by Claudia at 4:58 AM
If there was a way to streamline the process to save time, that would be helpful. If more could be done by email and less by regular mail. As with anything, I'm sure more staff would help.
Deborah Hage writes:The ICPC process always worked well for me and my agency. I think largely that was due to the fact that the agency holding the ICPC administration contract in Colorado, Adoption Alliance, has an excellent worker, Kathy Tirone, assigned to administer all ICPC work. If the worker responsible is efficient and responsive then the process appears to work well exactly as it is. DEB
Kelly, Pastor, private school founder/administrator and Mom of 17 fromWest Virginia writesI agree with the previous poster who said that the right worker can make ahuge difference. However, I think that "right worker" is rare for mostfolks. I have heard many more complaints about the process thancomplements. Some states handle the process better than others. So whilefolks in one state may report having an excellent record of ICPCadoptions, folks in another state may be going through nightmaresituations to try to get their adoptions through the system.ICPC is a sore spot for me right now. Of our 17 kids, 8 were from out ofstate. We had problems with ICPC for 7 of our 8 out of state adoptions. We had one good experience with ICPC - six years ago - for an infantadoption.More recently, we had an ICPC worker who objected to our adoption of sixsiblings. She didn't care that the evaluations from social workers inthree different states were all positive. The recommendation from thecourt appointed psychologist (who lived in our home for a few days) waspositive. In fact, everyone who had a voice was in favor of thisadoption, except the ICPC worker. She even admitted to holding thepaperwork on her desk in order to try to find a reason to deny theadoption. She had a personal bias against both the sending state and ourfamily. It was obvious to everyone involved, but was actually stated atone point.The ICPC worker kept insisting the our current children had to betraumatized by the additions and required additional homestudies to provethat there were doing OK. She didn't seem to care the the psychologistwas pleased during her second visit. She didn't seem to care that all thesocial workers had positive things to say about everyone's progress. Eventually, a judge had to intervene on our behalf in order to get theadoptions completed. The ICPC worker threatened to appeal the judge'sdecision. The only thing that saved us was that it was the holiday seasonand she would have had to fly to another state to process the paperworkfor the appeal.Three months later, when we tried to finalize the adoption of our 3 yearold granddaughter - who had lived in our home most of her life - the ICPCworker fought us again. She once again insisted that the baby was beingtraumatizd by her new siblings even though all of our home visits reportedthat all of the children were happy and appropriately well adjusted. Shethen required that our homestudy be updated - for the sixth time in lessthan a year, despite everyone else's insistance that it was current andlegally acceptable.In other words, this woman had too much power over the situation. She wasable to manipulate the process according to her own interpretation. Weended up having to work with regional supervisors for our state DHHRoffices, attorneys, judges, even our state senator's office. The localworkers and even the sending state's ICPC workers were intimidated by herand many were hesitant to challenge her because they would have to workwith her again on other situations.Based on our experiences, as well as those of friends who have gonethrough ICPC, I see several things that should be changed.1. ICPC regulations need to clearly define the purpose. Is the purposeof ICPC to make sure that all laws are followed - as some states seem topromote? Or, is it to make determinations about the appropriateness ofplacements - as other states seem to say? If the latter, then ICPCworkers need to either investigate the situations themselves, or learn torely on the professional evaluations of those who have already done thelegwork.2. There need to be deadlines for steps within the process. For example,a friend of mine just waited almost a month for a single sentence to beadded to his homestudy so that his adoption of an out of state teen wouldbe approved. The missing statement wasn't discovered until the packetreached his home state. And, it was his local agency - for whom he hadprovided foster care for over a decade - who slowed down the process atthat point. They sat on it for a couple of weeks trying to decide what todo. They checked with the home state's ICPC office who told them to addone sentence to the study. Then, they called the sending state's ICPCoffice for clarifiation. Then, they called the child's local worker forfurther clarification. Then, it was another call to the home state's ICPCoffice. On and on it went. Finally, after a month of putting it off, thelocal worker wrote the sentence that was initially requested, added it tothe homestudy and everyone was satisfied. Add this delay to the delays insubmitting the initial paperwork, the delay when it was sent back becauseof the failure to include the homestudy and the inherent delays in thesystem itself and we've seen months added to a process that should havetaken weeks at most.3. The entire process should become automated. The time span would beshortened considerably and kids wouldn't have to wait so long to move intotheir forever family homes. In this day and time, there is no reason tosend all this paperwork via the USPS. There are dozens of ways to doelectronic signature authentication, so falsification would not be anissue.4. Requirements need to be either standarized from state to state or moreclearly defined. One state's homestudy does not necessarily satisfyanother state's requirements. However, the differences aren't alwaysclear, so it can take weeks to resolve the discrepencies.I'm sure other things will come to mind as time goes on, but this iscertainly more than enough for now.
Wow, what a lot to think about......I am equally concerned the opinions of one person, especially against the opinions of many others have control in this situation. I know that part of being a social worker should be to use intution and and "feel out a situation" but how often it seems that personal judgements and biases come into play in decision making. Scary.
It's definitely outdated as it stands. I don't understand why it is not electronic. I feel like I'm living in the 1980s as I make 3 copies of everything, separated by colored paper. Meanwhile, my kids sit there in a cloud of uncertainty as I tell them, "I don't know how long it'll take, but it will be a while!"
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