At the January Katelyn’s Fund Support meeting, individuals directly connected with international adoption, Foster Care, and Safe Families shared personal experiences and knowledge about how to get involved if you are feeling led into one of these three areas of care. 

According to Nicole Van Ginkle, Social Worker with Holt International, international adoptions have decreased in number over the past few years but continues to be an avenue for individuals who would like to adopt. The adoption process begins with researching which country a family would like to adopt from or can adopt from. Each country’s adoption requirements are different and unique to the country.  Flexibility is very important because the speed of adoptions can vary.  Toddlers tend to be the youngest children available for adoption internationally.   Infants tend to be adopted domestically within their own country, leaving mostly older children needing a home. Once your family determines a country, then the paperwork begins: background checks, home studies, parent training, etc. Once all the necessary paperwork and education is completed, parents can be matched with a child. Once being matched, your family begins waiting to bring home your child. Travel to the child’s birth country and well as varying lengths of stay in your child’s birth country are to be expected.  Finalization typically happens in your child’s birth country’s court system.  Depending on your agency, post-placement visits and counseling may occur.

Foster Care is caring for a child who has been removed from his/her parent(s) by the court due to an unsafe situation.  The goal of foster care is to provide a safe environment for the child until his/her parent(s) are able to provide adequate care for him/her.  Reunifying the child with his/her family is always the goal.  To become a foster parent, you must complete background checks,  take a free ten-week class, pass a home study, decide what your preferences are for a child (age, gender), and wait until a child-in-need is placed in your home. After becoming licensed, you must continue to do six hours of training per year. Attending Katelyn’s Fund Support meetings is one way to continue your education and receive continued training credit. LSI: Foster Care and Adoption

Safe Families is emergency care in which parents voluntarily seek a safe place for their child due to a number of reasons including an unexpected illness, homelessness, or the lack of extended family support.  Safe Families is not foster care in that it is not court ordered but rather sought out by the parent(s) in time of crisis. Safe Families provides temporary care for children up to eighteen. To become a Safe Families host family, a family must go through an application process, a background check, a home study, watch training videos, and be prepared for if and when a child comes into your home. The goal is to be able to help parents in tough situations by providing a safe place for their child(ren) while they regain stability in their home. Bethany: Safe Families

Zoom Recording

The organizations/speakers/businesses are sharing from their own personal experience(s).  Katelyn’s Fund doesn’t directly endorse any of them.

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