To avoid unnecessary delays to permanency, planning for adoption starts at the beginning of the case when the children are in shelter status and continues until the adoption is finalized. Family finding, establishing paternity and diligent searches for parents should be done immediately and documented. Throughout the dependency case, the CAM and volunteer should review home studies and determine whether a temporary placement is suitable as a permanent placement; ensure all of the children’s birth, medical and mental health records are filed and kept current; and address separated siblings at every hearing. When the goal is changed to adoption, the Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) petition must be timely filed and accurate. Once the TPR trial has been held, CAMs should monitor the case for a timely issuance of the final judgment. Should a parent appeal the TPR ruling, which will delay the process, the GALP can continue to advocate for the children to be assigned a secondary adoption caseworker and for movement toward adoption to continue. When TPR has been achieved, the case should transfer fully to adoptions and child studies and adoption home studies expedited. If the children are not in a pre-adoptive home, recruitment for an adoptive home will be needed. PRIDE classes may be required for adoptive applicants, and CAMs should understand when there may be the need for the Adoption Applicant Review Committee (AARC) to review a home study, be included in that process and ensure the timeline for such is followed. The final items to be done pre-adoption are usually a full disclosure meeting with the family to review the children’s histories and completion of an adoption subsidy request. Getting there is a process, but the final outcome is priceless – seeing a child adopted into their forever family!
Amy Robertson - CAM II, 5th Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program
MAry K. Wimsett, Esq. - Special Counsel, Statewide Guardian ad Litem Program
Original Webinar Date: February 12, 2021
For those with the Guardian ad Litem Program, this 1 hour course does apply towards in-service hours. Please select training topic "Staff Development" and specify the title of the training "Adoption Training for CAMs" and a summary of the topic when inputting into Optima.
Adoptions Training for CAMs
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