NACAC believes post-adoption services must be available to families—including all members of the adoptive family and the birth parents—whenever they are needed. Each state and province should develop a system for ensuring that all families who adopt—especially children adopted from the foster care system—have access to the continuum of services including those listed below:
- Information and referral from a single entry point
- Support groups for adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoptees
- Support for connections with birth parents and other birth family members and former foster families, whenever possible
- Training on special needs and adoptive parenting
- Educational and information services
- Therapeutic counseling
- Respite care
- Full disclosure of all background information
- Case management services
- Advocacy and support for school-related problems
- Adoption assistance payments/adoption subsidy for children adopted from foster care
- Other short-term financial assistance when needed
- Crisis intervention
- Mental health services, both in-home and residential
As part of our work with AdoptUSKids, NACAC researched effective adoption, foster care, and kinship care support programs. We encourage you to download the AdoptUSKIds publication Support Matters: Lessons from the Field on Support Services for Adoptive, Foster, and Kinship Care Families.
Support Matters offers specific tools that can help advocates seeking to implement programs in their community, including:
- research on the value of support
- sample support programs
- information about implementing programs, including funding and evaluation
Visit nrcdr.org for more information about the guide and its contents.
Model Programs and Ideas
- Developing a Parent-to-Parent Support Network, North American Council on Adoptable Children, by Janet Jerve, April 2009. http://www.nacac.org/adoptalk/parent2parentnetwork.pdf
- Starting and Nurturing Adoptive Parent Groups: A Guide for Leaders, North American Council on Adoptable Children, by Janet Jerve, October 2002.
- Taking a Break: Creating Foster, Adoptive and Kinship Respite in Your Community, AdoptUSKids, October 2008; updated 2013.
- Creating and Sustaining Effective Respite Services: Lessons from the Field, AdoptUSKids, September 2012.