§4 ch28: Selecting Adoptive Families
28.4 Adoptive Family Selection Committee and Staffing Process
The purpose of this committee is to apply a team effort and objective analysis to the practice of selecting a permanent family for a child in Children’s Division (CD) custody who is in need of an adoptive placement. Additionally, it recognizes that the child’s placement provider and other foster/adoptive families along with professional staff and resources are essential, vital members of this selection process.
Committee Membership - The following persons are mandatory members:
- Child’s Children’s Service Worker and his/her supervisor, if applicable;
- Case manager and his/her supervisor;
- Adoption specialist and his/her supervisor;
- Child’s placement provider (if placement provider is not an adoptive applicant for the child);
NOTE: The staff representative from a child-caring facility should be that person who has the greatest knowledge/rapport with the child.
- Other foster or adoptive parents of special needs children;
- Juvenile officer;
- Child’s counselor, therapist, psychologist, etc.;
- Community representative;
- Any other person who has vital significance in the child’s life; and
- Adoptive family workers, if geographically feasible.
NOTE: RE: Conflict of Interest: If a relationship between a member of the team and the person being staffed exists, that member of the team shall be excused from the discussion and selection process.
The child’s placement provider must be invited to the staffing and every possible effort should be made to include them in the staffing decision. When geographic constraints exist, conference calls are an option. If the placement provider cannot participate in the staffing, staff should request the placement provider review the prospective families and provide recommendations (preferably in writing) as to their first, second and third choices. Again, staff should work hand-in-hand with placement providers to obtain their feedback and participation.
NOTE: If the placement providers have indicated an interest to adopt the child, they are not members of the formal staffing.
The foster or adoptive family appointed to serve as standing members of the committee should be well versed in the philosophy of permanence and achieving the best interests of the child. They should be chosen on the basis of:
- Their skill/knowledge about out-of-home/permanency planning for children;
- Demonstrated ability to successfully foster/adopt special needs children;
- Availability to participate on a regular basis; and
- Ability to effectively participate as a team member.
The representative of the child-caring facility should be the staff member who has the greatest rapport with the child.
The community representative should be one who is interested and knowledgeable about public child welfare services.
Have each non-Division member complete a CS-8, Statement of Confidentiality for Non-CD Members of the Permanency Planning Team.
Before asking the member to complete this form, make pen, ink or typewritten changes (underlined) as follows:
Statement of Confidentiality for Non-CD Members of the Adoption Staffing Committee.
On becoming a member of the Adoption Staffing Committee, I ____________________
______________________ Foster Parents, and Prospective Adoptive Parents
The Children’s Service Workers for the prospective families should attend whenever it is geographically feasible. If they are unable to attend, their opinions should be sought about their first, second and third choices. Their participation may be obtained by a variety of techniques such as conference calls, telephone calls during the meeting, etc. If they are unable to participate, their agreement with the committee’s deliberations/decisions must be sought before proceeding with placement implementation.
Other members - While the membership is mandatory as is notification of each member of the formal staffing meeting, it is not mandatory that all be in attendance. However, their opinions must be sought and utilized in the staffing discussion. Their participation could be obtained via the use of conference calls, telephone calls during the meeting or by asking them to submit their preferences in writing prior to the meeting. The basic intent is to obtain as much participation as possible from those who have significance in the child’s life while recognizing practical issues of busy schedules and geographic constraints.