Each family is assigned a worker to help them through the adoption process and to meet and evaluate their family. If a family is approved through this process, then placements could occur. Our adoption process has basic components that are common to most adoptions:
Adoption Information Meeting/Orientation
Held in a group setting or individually with a family, the adoption information meeting/orientation provides prospective families with an overview of the types of children who need adoptive families, the adoption process, information about foster-to-adopt and legal risk placements, how to apply for adoption services, and possible costs/fees. For information about adoption meeting times and locations, please contact the Adoption Department.
An application is required to begin the process. The application is a preliminary gathering of information pertinent to the process and an initial review of the interests and capacity of the family. Things for families to consider are: the strengths and weaknesses of the family; the type of child that would be a good fit; preference for a child such as age, gender, race, or ethnicity; how well could your family meet the needs of a child with physical, emotional, or mental challenges; and willingness to adopt siblings or older adolescents.
Family Profile/Approval Document
Also known as the home study, it is a lengthy document compiled by a Permanency Specialist through interviews and written materials supplied by the family. Numerous documents are required for submission by the family, as well as the completion of several agency-provided documents. The Family Profile is a comprehensive depiction of the family and current circumstances, the strengths of family members, and an examination of critical factors, which serves as the basis of evaluation and recommendations for an adoptive placement.
Family Preparation Training
Training is required as part of the Family Profile process. CONCERN requires 24 hours of family preparation training, which covers such topics as how the system works, who the children are, child development, parenting, attachment, grief and loss, trauma, who the foster and adoptive parents are, and resources. Trainings could take place over the course of several Saturdays or during the week, depending on the office location. The trainings are offered in our regional offices located in Bethlehem, Eynon, Fleetwood, Lewisburg, and Willow Grove, Pennsylvania.
For families who are looking to be matched with a waiting child, when the Family Profile and Preparation process is completed, the family’s worker will help with the process of identifying and matching children with the family. Most children waiting in the system are older than five with moderate issues. Younger children do become available, but the waiting time can be lengthy or a child may need to be placed at “legal risk.” Matching is the process of sharing family and child information to ensure the child and family are a good “fit.” After a match is made, the family participates in a series of pre-placement visits with the child before the child is placed in the home.
Post Placement and Post-Permanency Services
Once placement has occurred, the child is supervised in the pre-adoptive home for a period of six months prior to the finalization of the adoption. Ongoing support and information is also available, as needed, after the adoption has occurred. Post-Permanency services are available to all families in Pennsylvania who have adopted or provide permanent legal custodianship. Families can contact the SWAN Helpline at 1-800-585-SWAN to request Post-Permanency services in their area.