Child Trends is providing consultation to the Virginia Department of Social Services on an in-depth look at current post-adoption needs and resources in Virginia. Dr. Anne Atkinson and Ms. Hayley Mathews, both of whom have worked extensively in the post-adoption field in Virginia, are working closely with Child Trends on this consultation. The work will also use knowledge gained to inform creation of a continuum of adoption support and preservation services, to include both preventive and early-intervention services and clinical interventions for very challenging situations. Ultimately, the goal is to help Virginia effectively support the permanency, stability, and well-being of adoptive families by ensuring equal access to a more standardized, evidence-based/informed continuum of services and supports to address challenges, regardless of where a family lives in the Commonwealth.
Over the next six months, Child Trends and its partners will:
- Review numerous official reports and available data
- Listen to experts and collect information from those most knowledgeable about adoption support and preservation in Virginia, including services providers and adoptive families
- Based on the findings and partners’ knowledge of best practices, assist the Virginia Department of Social Services, Division of Family Services (VDSS/DFS) in preparing a revised Statement of Need for RFPs for post-adoption contract awards for state fiscal year 2020
- Create a methodology for VDSS/DFS to assess post-adoption contract awardee performance and outcomes
- Develop technical assistance and communications strategies that include training for service providers, along with related information products for use with a broad range of stakeholder groups and designed to strengthen adoption support and preservation across Virginia
We both need and welcome the involvement of those most knowledgeable about adoption support and preservation in Virginia. During information gathering, opportunities for involvement will include:
- Interviews and focus groups in every region with selected services providers and adoptive families
- Online surveys of services providers and adoptive families
- Assistance with identifying and recruiting other professionals and families to participate in focus groups and/or share their perspectives via online surveys
Later, you can support a more standardized, evidence-based/informed continuum of services and supports by:
- Taking advantage of technical assistance to be offered
- Using the informational products and resources to continue to strengthen adoption support and preservation
If you have any questions or would like more information about this work, please contact Sharon Vandivere at firstname.lastname@example.org/240-223-9244 or Berenice Rushovich at email@example.com/240-223-9269.