MCFD Funding to Help Speed Up Adoptions

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New funding to speed up adoptions for children in care

VICTORIA - A new online adoption education program and training for social workers in effective recruitment techniques will help children in care find permanent homes faster.

The Adoptive Families Association of BC (AFABC) is receiving $290,000 from the Ministry of Children and Family Development to develop an online Adoption Education Program - a preparatory program that all prospective adoptive applicants must complete. Currently, the program is administered by social workers but, by offering the educational component online, social workers will have more time to complete home studies. This will increase the number of families and individuals approved to adopt children and teens.

Home studies involve a series of interviews and discussions between adoption social workers and prospective adoptive applicants. Home study assessments focus on adoptive applicants' strengths and parenting skills so kids are matched with the families and individuals best able to meet their needs.

As well, AFABC will train adoption social workers in recruitment techniques that actively engage British Columbians who might not have considered adoption but have specific skills that would make them ideal parents for a child or teen with complex special needs. Presently, the focus is on prospective adoptive parents who have already shown an interest and begun the adoption process on their own.

AFABC will also use the funding to assist in preparing teens for adoption and provide post-placement supports, such as counselling and enhanced parenting skills, for families and individuals once matches are made.

Cowichan Tribes' Lalum'utul' Smun'eem Child and Family Services agency has received $15,000 in funding for recruitment of foster and adoptive parents for Aboriginal children and to raise awareness about the need for permanency in Aboriginal communities. Lalum'utul' Smun'eem is the only delegated Aboriginal agency in B.C. and the second in Canada to take on full responsibility for adoption planning within their Aboriginal community.

In the past five years, more than 1,400 children in care have found permanent families through adoption. However, the need for more adoptive families continues as more than 1,000 children in care in B.C. are still waiting for a permanent family.

Quotes:

Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Children and Family Development -

"We are committed to increasing the number of adoptions, raising awareness and prompting open conversations about children who are waiting to join loving and secure homes through adoption. This funding will provide advanced training for adoption workers, help educate adoptive families and increase cultural awareness so we can get kids into permanent homes and reduce the amount of time they spend in care."

Karen Madeiros, executive director, Adoptive Families Association of BC -

"We commend the ministry for providing these dollars, which will ensure that waiting children and families come together more quickly. I'd also like to acknowledge the hard work that ministry social workers do every day, and we look forward to building improved services with them this year."

Lise Haddock, executive director, Lalum'utul' Smun'eem Child and Family Services -

"We are excited about receiving this one-time-only funding and about being able to provide venues for adoption and permanency planning within the Aboriginal community. Stronger partnerships need to be built between the ministry and the Nations to start bringing our kids back home, and it is encouraging to see the ministry recognizing adoption and permanency as a greater priority."

Quick Facts:

  • In the past 10 years, B.C. has averaged more than 290 adoptions of children in care annually - a significant increase from the 165 adopted in 2000-01.
  • In 2011-12, permanent families were found for 23 children over 12 years of age - an increase from 10 in 2001.
  • Approximately 64 per cent of Aboriginal children adopted in 2011-12 were placed with Aboriginal families, up from 27 per cent in 2000-01.
  • When placing Aboriginal children for adoption, requirements are for an initial search for placement with extended family, then within their community, then within the larger Aboriginal community before looking at a non-Aboriginal home.

Learn More:

For more information on adopting in B.C., please go to:
To find out more about the Adoptive Families Association of BC, please visit:
www.bcadoption.com

Contact:

Sheldon Johnson
Manager, Media Relations
Ministry of Children and Family Development
250 356-1639

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