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Mental Health Professionals’ Attitudes and Expectations About Adoption and Adopted Children

April 16, 2014 Comments off

Mental Health Professionals’ Attitudes and Expectations About Adoption and Adopted Children
Source: National Council for Adoption

Many researchers have documented heavy use of clinical services by adoptees, but little is known about how much training mental health professionals actually receive about adoption, or their beliefs about adoption and adopted people. It is important to understand mental health professionals’ expectations for their adopted clients.

Previous research has shown that teachers treat students differently if they have high expectations for those students. In other studies, some adoptive parents have told us it was necessary to educate their child’s counselor about issues related to adoption. We have therefore investigated adoption-related expectations and training on adoption issues among mental health professionals. In this article, we will review some of the most current published information about the adjustment of adopted children, and present our own findings regarding clinicians’ beliefs and expectations for their adopted clients.

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The Role of Social Media in Adoption

October 4, 2013 Comments off

The Role of Social Media in Adoption
Source: National Council for Adoption

Smartphones and social media are revolutionizing the ways in which social workers, clients, and prospective parents connect and communicate with one another. Texting, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and YouTube are just some of the outlets changing how expectant parents learn about the option of adoption and seek support. Adoption professionals, too, are striving to find ways to accommodate changes in technology, information exchange, and communication while maintaining high professional and ethical standards.

Constant communication and the rise of social media have many implications for those seeking information about adoption. Finding the right balance between online or phone contact and traditional face-to-face interactions is important for social workers and adoption service providers, who must maintain client confidentiality, ensure a professional relationship at all times, and utilize the new resources available in order to reach out to, educate, and support clients.

Supporting Children and Families When Adoption Dissolution Occurs

August 20, 2013 Comments off

Supporting Children and Families When Adoption Dissolution Occurs
Source: National Council for Adoption

Disruption or dissolution is something that no one involved with an adoption wants to happen, and much has been written about the prevention of this occurrence. The reality is that some adoptive families, despite years of effort and multiple and varied interventions, find themselves unable to remain together as a functioning family. A small yet increasing number of these families seek dissolution as a result of the relational and functional crises their family faces.

The focus of this article is adoption dissolution, which occurs when parents that have finalized an adoption relinquish their parental rights to that child; the child is then either adopted a second time by another family, or placed in the state foster care system. The term adoption disruption is also sometimes used in this context; however, technically a disruption occurs when a family is planning to legally adopt a child – who is typically in their custody as a foster child – but decides not to complete the adoption finalization. Disruptions typically occur within a matter of months after a child is placed in a family, whereas dissolutions can and do occur years after the adoption.

Understandably, very strong opinions and emotions about dissolution and disruption exist both within and outside of the adoption community. This article describes some of the unique challenges in working with families going through dissolution, and seeks to identify the need for a best-practices model that seeks the best long-term interests of the adopted children involved while at the same time addressing the needs and limitations that exist within the adoptive family. In this article, we share the observations we have made while working with many families going through the dissolution process. We also discuss the outcomes we have seen and discuss recommendations for more formal study of outcomes in this population.

Adopted Children with Special Health Care Needs: National Survey Findings

January 21, 2012 Comments off
Source:  National Council for Adoption
In 2008, there were over 400,000 adopted CSHCN, representing 39 percent of all adopted children. Previous analyses based on the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (NSCSHCN),have shown that adopted CSHCN are more likely than the broader population of all CSHCN to be identified as CSHCN on the basis of elevated need for services; physical, occupational, and/or speech therapy; behavioral, developmental, and/or emotional problems requiring treatment or counseling; or limitation inactivity (but not on the basis of elevated prescription medication use). Additionally, they are more likely than the general population of CSHCN to meet multiple screening criteria (Bramlett & Radel, 2008). Almost half of adopted CSHCN were adopted from foster care, one in three was adopted from private domestic sources, and the remaining CSHCN were adopted internationally; see Figure1. Survey findings indicate that the majority of adopted CSHCN have parents who are satisfied with their adoption experience and their relationship with their child,and also perceive their child as having a positive view of adoption. Differences do emerge across adoption types, including variation in the types of services received after adoption and need for additional services.
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