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This program works with the Child Dependency System to identify children who have resided in foster care and whose parental rights have been terminated. These children, who have experienced abuse and/or neglect, generally range in age from 8 to 17. Younger children occasionally become available, but they are generally in sibling groups and are minority children.
So I heard I can go through the State and not have to pay any fees. Why would I go with Finally Home?
- Extensive training and preparation to parent a child impacted by abuse and/or neglect
- Match Services that conscientiously identify children that would fit into your family
- Family Coaching Services to assist in developing effective parenting skills for your child and your family dynamics
- “Buffer” between you and the often confusing and overwhelming child welfare system
Public Adoption through the Foster Care System:
1. Orientation Meeting:
The Orientation meeting is the introduction to the agency and the adoption process. The orientation meeting is mandatory for all applicants that live within a 100-mile radius of the agency.
Complete the Application and the Adoption Disclosure Form.
3. Background Checks:
Applicants complete Background Checks.
4. Pre-Adoption Training:
All applicants are required to complete twenty-four hours of training provided by Finally Home Christian Adoption Services or a State-approved MAPP or Professional Parenting Site. Adult family members are welcome to attend with applicants (i.e. grandparents, adult children, siblings).
5. Home Study Packet:
Applicants are provided a home study packet from Finally Home and complete the required documents. A home study is a screening of the home and life of prospective adoptive parents prior to allowing an adoption to take place. Florida law requires a completed home study.
6. Home Study & Home Visits:
Once the above steps are completed, the adoption specialist will contact the applicants to schedule the two required home visits and complete the home study. Once the home visits are completed, Finally Home will notify applicants in writing of their approval as prospective adoptive parents. The social worker will write the home study from the documents completed by the applicants and the information gathered in the home visits.
7. Profiling Process:
Families that have been approved through the home study process are eligible to have Agency staff begin the process of searching for an appropriate match. Each family is also encouraged to review online sites of available children and submit the information to the agency for follow-up. In addition, we recommend that each family register with AdoptUS Kids.
8. Matching Process:
Children that match an adoptive family’s profile will be pursued. The Agency will contact the child’s social worker and obtain additional information. If the additional information is favorable for confirming the potential of a good match, the Agency will submit the home study to the managing agency. Once a family has been matched through that agency’s process, a meeting will be set up to provide full disclosure on the child(ren). The family will take a minimum of 48 hours to review all the documents and decide whether or not to proceed with the match. If a family opts to move forward, Finally Home will submit the Home Study packet to the Case Management Agency, and a meeting with the child will then be scheduled. A Finally Home staff member will accompany the family to the first visit.
Once the first visit has occurred, Finally Home will work with the child’s case manager to develop a visitation schedule for the transition process. That schedule will be placed in writing. Finally Home will attend any subsequent visits at the request of the family. Finally Home will also meet with the adoptive parents within one week of the first visit to discuss effective parenting strategies for the child(ren) with whom they have been matched.
Placements are child-driven and time frames are decided upon by the entire team—Case Management, Therapists, Foster families/Group Homes, Finally Home, and the Adoptive Parents. These details will vary with each individual case.
11. Post Placement Supervision:
The state of Florida requires that the adoptive family receive monthly visits to their home by an adoption caseworker prior to the finalization of their adoption, which will occur a minimum of 90 days post the placement. The case management agency will be responsible for those visits; Finally Home will be available at visits, as requested by the family.
12. Judicial Review:
Every six months a Judicial Review is scheduled for each child in the Dependency System. This hearing is for the purpose of updating the judge as to the status of the child.
This hearing will take place no sooner than ninety days after placement. Finally Home staff accompanies adoptive families to the Court House for their hearing. Adoptive families are welcome to invite other family members to the hearing to participate in this celebration.
14. Post Finalization:
Finally Home desires to continue to support families throughout their adoption journey. Families can contact the agency at any time to arrange individual post finalization services.