The Children’s Action Network Los Angeles Adoption Initiative Summary

The Los Angeles Adoption Initiative is a three year effort spearheaded by the Children’s Action Network,
devoted to placing increased numbers of children in adoptive homes. It is designed to address three key areas in adoption; recruitment of adoptive parents, retention of adoptive parents and support for adoptive families.

The initiative will focus initially on finding homes for the children legally freed for adoption in Los Angeles County, and put in place best practices to assure more expedient and stable adoptions with the goal of affecting systemic change.

It assumes a collaboration between four lead fost/adopt agencies who will share the additional resources accrued from the initiative and in turn devote staff and agency time to the initiative’s goals. The Children’s Action Network will serve as the convener and coordinator of the initiative.

The goals of the initiative are as follows:

  • To recruit additional families for waiting children using innovative community outreach
  • To retain and support adoptive families by providing comprehensive and ongoing support services.

The programs of the initiative will include:

  • A mobile unit designed to reach into communities with a message about adoption as well as provide face to face contact with adoption agencies
  • Assessments and psychological services for children and families
  • Home visits for each new adoptive family
  • Post adoption supports including a hosted chat room and respite care

Participating agencies include:

  • Institute for Black Parenting Holy Family
  • Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services, Adoption Division
  • UCLA TIES for Adoption
  • Vista del Mar
  • Westside Children’s Center

Narrative for Los Angeles Adoption Initiative

The mobile unit is a vital, unique new way to reach directly into communities with a message about adoption. The unit will travel to community fairs and events as well as religious and school gatherings. Sites will be determined by the four cooperating agencies. When the unit is in a particular area it will be staffed by the agency that covers that area. A follow up visit by the unit will always be scheduled so that families who visited can be recontacted and have a forum to address their concerns.

In order to know best how to serve the children that have been placed through this project, the Ties for Adoption team and an itinerant psychologist will perform a comprehensive assessment of each child placed in a family. The assessment will identify the services needed to insure the child is functioning at the highest possible level so that the family can avail themselves of the appropriate services.

Parents that begin the adoptive process through this effort will receive the three part TIES training module in addition to the regular MAPP classes. The participating agencies will collaborate to conduct the TIES training model

Once parents have completed the adoption process, they continue to need support. This initiative will provide for a social worker to go to each adoptive family subsequent to finalization. The home visitor will help families access the services they need for their adoptive children.

In order to address questions as they arise and enable families to access expert advice, a web site will be developed. It will link to agencies that can provide assistance with issues such as adoption benefits as well as provide a hosted chat room where an expert on a particular issue will be available on a bimonthly basis.