Shasta County Foster Care Guide to National Adoption Month
It has been 19 years since November was officially recognized as National Adoption Month, and each year it serves to remind families that there are thousands of children out there who need to be placed in a loving home, to remind adoptive parents that there are plenty of supportive resources to benefit from and to remind children in the foster care system that they have not been forgotten.
The initiative for 2014, “Promoting and Supporting Sibling Connections,” is centered around increasing the efforts to keep siblings together during an adoption when it is in the best interests of all adolescents involved by raising awareness about the important bond that they share. In the hopes that less Shasta County foster care children will be separated from their brothers and sisters, Children First Foster Family Agency and other child welfare advocates around the nation will work to provide more information on this particular topic for the next month.
Steps to Foster Care Adoption
As with any adoption, the road to foster care adoption begins with carefully considering what’s best for your family situation. Once you’ve decided this is something you want to pursue, you can reach out to a local child welfare agency to learn everything you need to know about the requirements for adoption. After you have determined your eligibility, you can proceed on with the actual adoption process, which includes submitting an application, completing a home study, getting approved, being matched up with a child(ren) and making it all legal in the court system. From there, it will be all about developing and growing a successful relationship with the newest member of your family.
Social Media Tools Used to Promote Adoption
In recent years, social media has been a great resource for informing the public about adoption and connecting to potential adoptive parents. With promotional videos on YouTube, Facebook fan pages, Tweets, etc., people are able to gain a good perspective on the world of foster care and adoption from the view of children waiting to be adopted, the child welfare agencies that are dedicated to helping them and parents who have already taken children into their home.
Ways to Preserve Sibling Relationships
A sibling may be the only member of a foster child’s birth family that they still have a strong and healthy connection to. Because of this, it can be absolutely devastating if that relationship is taken away from them in what is already often a traumatic circumstance. There are many ways that organizations in different states have found to support the preservation of sibling relationships or the reconnection of those who have lost touch, such as strongly advocating for sibling adoptions, arranging consistent visits and allowing them to participate in social engagements together. Various programs and activities are specifically set up in different states to support the cause.
>Since 2002, nearly 10,000 siblings photolisted on adoptuskids.org have found families. For sibling groups in foster care that are available for adoption and don’t have an identified placement, the AdoptUSKids website can be a useful tool in finding prospective families. AdoptUSKids is a service of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Administration for Children and Families. See the full-size infographic
The more that siblings are able to maintain their connections with one another, the more they tend to thrive in their new environment, but it can still be a struggle to find families willing to adopt multiple children. Throughout this National Adoption Month we hope to educate the Shasta County community on foster care sibling adoptions and the positive impact they can have in the lives of all those involved.