At the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC), our core beliefs and organizational values are foundational to the work we do, how we interact with the community, and which strategies we use to fulfill our mission.
We know that families are central to a child’s optimal development and emotional security. While they are in foster care, children should have every opportunity to be in a family rather than in group or institutional care. Every child and youth, no matter their age, must have a permanent, loving family—now and for a lifetime. Birth parents and relatives form the foundation of a child’s lifetime family, but when they cannot safely care for them, adoption is the preferred plan. In child welfare, the definition of family is complicated. Each situation is different and each child should be able to determine whom they consider part of their family.
We strongly believe children and youth have a right to a strong and positive cultural, racial, and ethnic identity and to information about, and connections to, their birth families. We also believe that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth have right to their sexual and gender identity and to have it supported during their foster care and adoption experiences.
The effects of trauma on children are significant and life long. We know that post-adoption support helps children heal and ensures their parents can successfully raise them to adulthood. Adoptive and guardianship families must have access to supportive services to help them meet their child’s needs so the entire family can thrive.
Supported, informed communities can work together to effectively promote and support permanent families for children in foster care. We believe creating and strengthening networks of individuals and organizations ensures they can better advocate for and support adoptive, foster, and kinship families.
We believe supporting the well-being of children, youth, and families is a responsibility shared by the government and community.
Core Organizational Values
At the core of how NACAC does its work is the belief that relationships matter and that caring, committed people are the solution. We are responsive to the needs of the people we serve, make real connections with our community, and help parents and youth develop support and advocacy networks with their peers.
From its inception, NACAC has been an agent of change. We are committed to working to change policies and practices to achieve the best possible outcomes for children, youth, and families. We also work to inform and train a network of advocates across the US and Canada.
Children, youth, and parents touched by adoption and foster care should be active participants in directing their own lives and shaping their communities. As a result, our work is designed to engage these individuals and to inform and empower them to be advocates, teachers, and support providers.
Respectful and Inclusive
We accept, respect, and value the uniqueness of individuals and are committed to creating a culture of acceptance and inclusivity across a wide spectrum of diversity, including race, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, family composition, and much more.
We know that children and families benefit when effective, committed organizations work together to achieve their goals. We are committed to forming and sustaining informal and formal partnerships with other leading organizations both within and outside the child welfare field to ensure the best possible outcomes for children and families.
Informed and Ethical
We are leaders who are fully informed about the child welfare field and adoption from foster care. We strive to be a learning organization that develops knowledge and provides inspiring education. We have high standards of professionalism and take pride in performing our work with the highest levels of integrity.