VALCPA Adoption Committee and ADOPT Policy Committee
The following is a compilation of comments reported during a conferency call with members from both
VALCPA Adoption Committee and ADOPT Policy committee
comments on proposed Minimum Standards for
Licensed Child Placing Agencies
150 B. 1. Staff development: Required Training
Orientation timeline of 30 days in relation to the topics that need to be covered are unrealistic.
An orientation period of 60 days is more achievable.
170 B. 1,2 Program Statement: Prohibiting acts of discrimination…
Many faith based agencies expressed concern regarding the inclusion of sexual orientation and family status. The concern was that the inclusion of this standard could have legal implications for faith based agencies.
Part V Provider Homes
180 E. The licensee shall conduct 3 face to face interviews on 3 separate days…
For prospective parents where one is in the military or temporarily out of the country, it would be helpful to include an option for conducting interviews through Skype or through video conferencing.
180 F. Interview conducted with all individual who reside in the home…
In the current standards VAC 40-130-400 B. 2. There is a requirement to interview all of the prospective parent’s children who live outside the home as well. It is strongly recommended that this standard continue to be included. Perhaps with the option of conducting the interview over the phone, Skype or video conferencing in the child is unable to be present at the home visit. Include provision for documenting reasons for being unable to interview the child if the child is not willing or able to be interviewed.
180 G. References: At least one reference shall be non relative…
To avoid bias it would make more sense to include 2 non-relative references and 1 relative.
180 J. 1.b Tuberculosis screenings
Include Tuberculosis screenings…add or tests
180 J. 1. e. (4) Corporal Punishment
Understands he is prohibited from using any form of corporal punishment on the child and also prohibited from giving permission to others to use any form of CP on the child….INCLUDE “while in the care and/or custody of a LCPA or until a final order of adoption is issued.”
190 A. 3. Bed, furniture, equipped with clean, safe and comfortable sleeping furnishings.
For infant and International adoption, it may be years before a child is placed in the home. (most of the time the child’s room is still an office). Not realistic for those parent to furnish a room that may not be occupied for 3 years. May want to specify: Bed, furniture, equipped with clean, safe and comfortable sleeping furnishings...before a placement occurs.
190 R. Possession of any weapons, including firearms in the home or independent living arrangement shall comply with federal and state laws and local ordinances.
Not certain how this will be verified. How will social workers realistically be able to ensure that the home is in compliance unless they become aware of every State and local ordinance?
200 E. Within 7 business days the decision of approval or disapproval of and applicant , the licensee shall notify the applicant in writing….
This proposed standard no longer requires the agency to offer to meet the client in person to discuss the disapproval outcome. Not good social work practice.
200 H. 1. The licensee shall provide orientation and ongoing trainingfor each provider,
For providers seeking and international or infant adoption placements, this is not a realistic requirement. Families may wait years before a placement so this requirement could have significant fiscal impact for agencies to continue providing ongoing training. Suggestion: The licensee shall provide orientation and ongoing training for each approved foster or resource parent.
210 A. Provider training: The licensee shall ensure that preservice training to resource, foster, treatment foster and adoptive home providers. This training shall address….
For providers seeking International adoption or infant adoption, items 4 through 11 and numbers 15 and 19 do not relate. Suggestion: The licensee shall ensure that preservice training to resource, foster, treatment foster and adoptive home providers “is relevant to the needs of the children being placed with the providers. Below are the Hague training standards. Pehaps the VALCPA adoption committee could compile training competencies for infant adoptions.
FYI Hague training for Intercountry adoption includes:
Hague Intercountry Adoptive family Training
Section 96.48 Preparation and Training of Prospective Adoptive Parent(s) in
96.48 (a) C The agency or person provides prospective adoptive parent(s) with at least ten hours
(independent of the home study) of preparation and training, as described in
paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, designed to promote a successful intercountry
adoption. The agency or person provides such training before the prospective
adoptive parent(s) travel to adopt the child or the child is placed with the prospective
adoptive parent(s) for adoption.
96.48 (b) F The training provided by the agency or person addresses the following topics:
(1) the intercountry adoption process, the general characteristics and
needs of children awaiting adoption, and the in-country conditions
that affect children in the Convention country from which the
prospective adoptive parent(s) plan to adopt;
(2) the effects on children of malnutrition, relevant environmental
toxins, maternal substance abuse, and of any other known genetic,
health, emotional, and developmental risk factors associated with
children from the expected country of origin;
(3) information about the impact on a child of leaving familiar ties and
surroundings, as appropriate to the expected age of the child;
(4) data on institutionalized children and the impact of
institutionalization on children, including the effect on children of
the length of time spent in an institution and of the type of care
provided in the expected country of origin;
(5) information on attachment disorders and other emotional problems
that institutionalized or traumatized children and children with a
history of multiple caregivers may experience, before and after their
(6) information on the laws and adoption processes of the expected
country of origin, including foreseeable delays and impediments to
finalization of an adoption;
(7) information on the long-term implications for a family that has
become multicultural through intercountry adoption; and
(8) an explanation of any reporting requirements associated with
Convention adoptions, including any post-placement or postadoption
reports required by the expected country of origin.
Council on Accreditation 03-2007
230 Monitoring and re-evaluation of provider homes
There are a number of items in this section that are not realistic for new born adoption foster care. In particular, 230 B. 1. Monitoring the home every 90 days: In infant adoption foster homes, a provider may not be used except for once a year in some cases. This is realistic for TFC foster parents but not for newborn foster parents.
230 B. 2. Is also unrealistic for infant adoption foster care since agencies may not be realistic for the reasons mentioned above but also because it is often the case that infant adoption agencies receive calls from hospitals where infants need to be placed within 24 hours (sometimes less). It can happen any day of the week or holiday.
250 Intake, acceptance and placement
There is no section B. it goes from A to C
250 E. Prior to placement of a child for adoption, the licensee shall secure written authority to make a placement. The written authority shall be…a notarized entrustment agreement signed by both parents.
Agencies providing infant adoption services often do not have an entrustment signed by both parents. Usually the birth mother at first. This provision as proposed would restrict agencies from taking children into care if the birth father did not sign an entrustment. Suggestion: …a notarized entrustment agreement signed by one or both parents.
250 H. Prior to accepting a child for placement the licensee shall gather, review and document…
For agencies providing infant adoption placements, Most of the information in this section is not available to the agency until After the child isaccepted for placement. In fact, those agencies do not have the authority to receive most of this information until the child come into care. (i.e., hospital discharge summary…hospitals will not release medical information with out custodial authority) Suggestion: This information is all covered in the Foster Care assessment and Placement study under 260 C. for a child less than 1 year.
360 F. Discharge from Care
Upon discharge from care, the licensee who holds custody should ensure that the parents receiving a child for placement are provided with a copy of the child’s birth certificate. This information is confidential in many agency infant adoptions. Identifying information cannot be disclosed to the adoptive parents
490 Adoption counseling and services for birth parents
490 D. 2. Counseling was provided to the birth father. Such counseling shall be documented. It is very common that the birth father does not agree to participate in an adoption plan; therefore counseling cannot be provided or documented. Suggestion: Substitute “the birth father was offered counseling” instead of wasprovided counseling
530 C. Adoption placement agreement
The adoption placement agreement shall include the requirements of the foster care agreement specified in 22VAC40-131-280 B and C.
The above requirement is completely irrelevant and unnecessary for agency infant adoption. Rarely are infants placed with foster parents. In the vast majority of cases an adoptive family is already identified.
When the adoption placement agreement is signed, the foster care provisions in the above mentioned standard do not apply.
Suggestion: Provide a separate section in the regulations for agency infant foster care.