Step by step, our adoption and foster care caseworkers will help you create your Forever Family!
1. Our Online Form
Send an email through the contact us page to schedule a one-on-one orientation with an Adoption or Foster Care Specialist.
2. Attend Orientation & submit application
Orientations are designed to inform and educate prospective adoptive parents about our organization and the complete adoption process. All adult caregivers living in the home are required to attend. Sessions last a maximum of one hour and a half and occur at the convenience of the family. Potential adoptive and foster parent(s) must complete an orientation before an official Application can be submitted. Please call our office to register for our next Orientation.
3. IMPACT and
IMPACT Training is a training course developed to educate prospective adoptive families about the needs of children adopted through the foster care system. The training explores the types of children available for adoption, the challenges of raising a hurt child and exposes participants to the unique parenting skills needed to successfully adopt. Also required are the specialized trainings that will occur during the approval period:
· Education Training
· Trauma-Informed Care
· Mental Health First Aid
· Stewards of Children
You may also choose to have your CPR/First Aid training through our Organization as well.
Steps after IMPACT training...
A Home Study is a thorough description of a prospective adoptive families’ profile. Each Home Study provides detailed assessment information and is used to determine the families’ ability to parent a child with Special Needs currently in foster care. Home studies are conducted in conjunction with IMPACT Training and Trauma Assessments. All required verification documents must be received and approved by the end of IMPACT training in order for the Home Study to be completed. The process of completing a home study generally takes about three months. This allows families to complete all of the required paperwork, consents, and medical checks and their Family specialist to compile all of the information into the Home Study. Length of time to complete a home study may vary depending on how long it takes for individuals to complete paperwork.
What is a home study?
Your home study will be completed with our CHRIS Family Specialist over the course of three visits to your home. You will discuss your upbringing, your childhood and adolescence, and your transition into adulthood. We will talk about things that may have happened to you to learn about you as a person. It is important to be honest with your case worker throughout the process . This process allows our Family Specialist to get to know you better in order to be more efficient in assisting you in finding right match for the child to be adopted into your family. Your home study is also your chance to tell your story to the caseworker and the child that you will potentially adopt or foster.
Matching & Selection
Once a family has an approved home study, we work diligently to match families with children who need permanent homes. Our matching process places great emphasis on the needs of each child and the skills, abilities and expressed interests of potential adoptive parent(s). We work with county and state agencies across the country to identify adoptive families for children in the foster care system. When a match is made based on identified strengths of the family and strengths of a child, two things happen: 1) All available information on the child gathered by CHRIS Adoptions & Foster Care is provided to the prospective family in preparation for a formal presentation. 2) All information on the prospective family gathered by CHRIS Adoptions & Foster Care is presented to the child. Based on the two presentations a match is pursued.
Once a match has been initiated, visitations are scheduled. Counseling is provided throughout the process and in conjunction with visitations for both the prospective adoptive parent(s) and potential adoptive child(ren). Our Family Specialist speaks with prospective adoptive parents prior to and immediately after all visits with the potential adoptive child. This allows the prospective parent to process how they are feeling about spending time with the child and to gather any additional information the family may need to make a decision. Meanwhile the child is also speaking with their DFCS caseworker or therapist after each visit to determine if they feel comfortable moving forward with the adoption as well. Visitations gradually increase in frequency and duration until a placement date is agreed upon.
Placement & Finalization
Placement - The child is now a becoming a permanent part of the family environment and adoptive parents are now responsible for meeting the needs of the child(ren). Placement supervision and counseling continues during this phase. During this time the placing agency is still the child’s legal custodian. The state of Georgia requires that a child live with their adoptive family for a minimum of six months before you are able to finalize your adoption.
Finalization - Congratulations! The finalization of the adoption declared the child as a permanent and legal member of their new family and provides them with all rights of inheritance as a birth child.
After finalization CHRIS 180 is able to offer an additional six months of supports and counseling services for the child and family in the home or at one of the CHRIS Counseling Center locations. Many families can benefit from assistance following their finalization to ensure they are able to build on the progress they have made building attachment and family connections.
Continuing Education Training
Adoptive and foster parents are required to have 20 hours of continuing education training that will begin 60 days of approval of their home study.