Recruitment and Matching
Adoption Rhode Island is always searching for new methods to recruit the best possible family for the children in RI state care awaiting adoption. As every child is unique, we tailor a recruitment plan to each individual child. We find that when we are able to include the children in their own recruitment efforts there is often an enthusiastic response. Below are some of the recruitment and matching services we offer. If you are a waiting family or thinking about adoption, you will want to be aware of these services so that you can begin to learn who some of the children are.
The award winning news segment Tuesday’s Child on NBC 10 features a Rhode Island waiting child or an adoption-related story every Tuesday during the 12pm and 5pm news broadcast. Adoption Rhode Island helps to prepare the children and plan and coordinate the filmings. Many Rhode Islanders make their first inquiry about adoption as a result of Tuesday’s Child.
Wendy’s Wonderful Kids
Adoption Rhode Island is the local adoption partner for Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, a signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The program, with a stellar record of success, uses a child-focused recruitment model which is highly effective in increasing adoptions from the foster care system.
With the dedication of Angela Gomes, our WWK Recruiter, our WWK program, has helped to match 57 of the 62 children referred with pre-adoptive families, and has celebrated 43 legalizations. After 8 years of significant success in this program, the Dave Thomas Foundation and RI Dept. of Children Youth and Families invested funding for two additional WWK Recruiters at Adoption RI in 2014. More information about the The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, visit www.davethomasfoundation.org.
Together Forever Project A collaboration with Family Service of Rhode Island, RI DCYF, and Rhode Island College, funded by the Administration of Children and Families. This program provides trauma-informed treatment in conjunction with targeted recruitment, applying similar strategies as the WWK model. One full-time Recruiter and a part-time Court Liaison work together through this program to recruit families for youth in foster care who are at risk of aging out without a permanent family.
We recruit families through monthly information meetings. At an information meeting, families learn more about the process of adopting a child from state care and the rewards and challenges involved. As a result of this meeting, many families decide to go ahead and begin the adoption process. Families also learn about other routes they can take to become involved in the lives of waiting children.
Children Who Wait
Our photolistings take many forms. A photo with a detailed description and information about the adoptive family being sought represents each child. These can be seen in our “Heart Gallery” and in our photolisting of boys, girls, and siblings under ‘Meet the Children here on our website. These listing, along with the listings of children from other states are available at the Adoption Rhode Island office.
Adoption Rhode Island works with local newspapers, magazines, radio stations, skype, etc. to help find families for Rhode Island children. We also feature children on national and out-of-state websites. Adoption Rhode Island is one of four partnerships nationwide with AdoptUSKids and the Ad Council to develop localized public service announcements and other media and publication recruitment strategies.
Adoption Recruitment Events
Several times a year Adoption Rhode Island hosts Adoption Recruitment Events for waiting children, waiting families, adoptive families and DCYF caseworkers. These events are a celebration of adoption and offer many fun activities. There are many potential matches made between waiting children and prospective parents as a result of these events.
Photos and videos of children can be an important tool in helping us find a family for a given child. They offer the child a chance to introduce themselves and express thoughts, likes and personality to prospective families. The Heart Gallery is a traveling exhibit of professional portraits of children who have been waiting the longest for a family. Now in it’s 10th year, we are proud of say that the Heart Gallery has resulted in 50% of the featured children having been matched with a positive adult resource, such as adoption or mentorship.
Matching & Placement Supports
Adoption Rhode Island staff are in daily contact with social workers to discuss family resources and recruitment plans. We help to find matches between the children in state care and the families that have been approved for adoption. All family referrals are given to the child’s social worker. Upon DCYF’s match and/or placement of a child in a pre-adoptive home, Adoption RI’s Adoption and Permanency Coordinators support the match through child and family preparation, face to face visits with the family, and consultation with the child’s treatment team.
Out of State Registration and Matching
When waiting children need additional resources or cannot be placed in Rhode Island, we are able to register them with adoption exchanges in other states and nationally. We also help facilitate interstate adoptions by bringing together adoption professionals from several states to share information and resources and clarify policies and procedures. We not only have been able to assist Rhode Island children in finding homes in other states, bu we have been able to help Rhode Island families in finding children from other states.