1.5 Finding Adoptive Families for Children
The Division’s commitment to permanency for every child is the basis of the following search and recruitment plan. It involves sequential activities designed to utilize all possible resources in Missouri, the region and the nation in finding a permanent family for a child.
No later than the end of the first month following the decision that a child is available for adoption, the worker shall carry out the steps outlined below:
- Workers shall complete the Consent for Special Recruitment Efforts – CD-AE-1b and obtain a court order allowing special recruitment for the child.
- Workers shall write the child’s adoption profile, including long profile, and media profile. Workers shall obtain a photograph of the child or sibling group available for adoption. Please attempt to utilize professional photographers for pictures of the children, you can utilize the photographers from the Heart Gallery or the Adoption Exchange is able to assist in connecting workers with photographers in their geographical location.
- Supervisors shall review the adoption profile.
- Workers shall complete the Waiting Child Registration on-line via The Adoption Exchange. The Waiting Child Registration will also serve as the referral for the Heart Gallery, The Adoption Exchange and AdoptUSKids. Once the registration has been filled out on The Adoption Exchange website, an email should be sent to Vickie Stoneberger with Heart Gallery typed in the subject line and the court order or CD-AE-1b attached to signify that media recruitment by the court has been ordered.
- Workers are responsible for the referral of children with a goal of adoption that do not have an identified adoptive placement to The Adoption Exchange. The Adoption Exchange has the responsibility of adding the children to the AdoptUSKids website and The Adoption Exchange website.
- Send a statewide e-mail request for adoptive assessments of approved families including the following information:
- Name and county of sending worker or agency;
- First name only, gender, cultural identity, and age of child for whom you are seeking an adoptive family placement resource;
- Brief description of child’s legal status, appearance, health and handicap status, background and interests/hobbies;
- Preferred characteristics of family sought for child;
- Information about screening/formal staffing plan including date, time and place.
- Refer minority children to any Children’s Division (CD) special recruitment projects.
- Within the first two months when needed; the worker shall initiate other child specific recruitment activities, i.e. Wednesday’s Child appearances, A Place to Call Home appearances or involvement in the Linking Hearts Adoption Event. Requests for assistance and additional information are to be made directly to the Adoption Unit in Central Office.
- Following the establishment of the goal of adoption, there will be regular supervisory reviews of each child for whom an appropriate resource cannot be located. The review will be conducted weekly for children 12-months and under, and monthly for children over 12-months. This procedure includes:
- Reviewing recruitment activities and responses to recruitment,
- Identifying barriers to placement,
- Reviewing the child’s narrative profile to ensure that the child’s strengths are presented in an appealing manner,
- Determine additional plans and activities for continuing to meet the child’s goal of permanency through adoption, such as: participation in various adoption fairs/carnivals around the state; and
- Record in the child’s narrative in FACES under supervisory consult that the supervisor has reviewed the recruitment efforts and documented any additional efforts that will be utilized. The supervisor should review and approve the narrative.
- When required procedures have not been implemented, the immediate supervisor must outline with the worker a process for recruiting families for any child waiting for adoptive placement.
- It is the Division’s preference that children obtain the permanency of adoption rather than permitting the child to remain indefinitely in out-of-home care. Therefore, the following activities should be carried out on a regular basis for any “waiting” child:
- Follow-up immediately on any subsequent referrals from exchanges, recruitment activity, etc.
- Initiate additional e-mail requests at reasonable intervals; i.e., every three months.
- Continue indefinitely, recruitment activities and other methods of making known the child’s need for permanency through adoption
Related Subject: Chapter 3, of this section, Resource Family Assessment and Licensing Process