No. 3 April 2004
Kids: Good News for Adoption and Foster Care in North Carolina
Want to hear some good news?
Social workers with public and private child-placing agencies in North
Carolina have a resource available to them that can make their jobs easier.
Its a resource that is accessible, committed, effectiveand
Were talking about NC
Kids Adoption and Foster Care Network, a dynamic organization sponsored
by the NC Division of Social Services, in partnership with the University
of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Everything NC Kids does focuses
on one goalfinding families for children in North Carolina. But
NC Kids is not a child-placing agency. It accomplishes its mission by
supporting foster care and adoption social workers.
Sound too good to be true? Its not. Just ask Jon Hunter, who recruits
and trains foster and adoptive parents for Rowan County DSS. The
people at NC Kids, he says, really have compassion for children
and families, and they really go the extra mile. They have never failed
to meet one of my requests.
To illustrate, he tells about
the time a seven-year-old became available for adoption through his agency.
Even before this boy was listed, Hunter says, I knew we would be
inundated with calls. His solution was to ask NC Kids to be the
initial point of contact for inquiries about the child.
NC Kids was happy to oblige.
They answered questions and provided basic information to many callers.
They also searched their registry of families who had already completed
homestudies. In the end, NC Kids informed Hunter about 60 families that
were trained and ready to adopt. Rowan DSS then used this information
to match the child with a family, and he was adopted.
NC Kids Help You!
- NC Kids is a partner,
not a competitor. It is a state-sponsored organization that
recruits foster and adoptive parents and supports child-placing
- Encourage prospective
adoptive parents to register with NC Kids. By registering,
these families may have a better chance of finding the child they
- Plan an adoption
promotion event. NC Kids provides consultation to help
you plan and put on a successful adoption promotion event.
- Use the NC Kids
hotlines. Social workers: call 1-888-NCKIDS-5 to place a child
on the adoption registry or 1-888-NCKIDS-7 for technical assistance.
Families: call 877-NCKIDS-1 to get information about foster care
- Tell them what
you want! NC Kids strives to provide individualized support
to every social worker when it comes to recruitment, matching,
- Reach out to the
media. Do you have a good relationship with a newspaper or
TV station in your area? Let NC Kids know and they will contact
them to request periodic features on waiting children across the
NC Kids Approach
NC Kids has developed several services designed to create success stories
for social workers, families, and children:
NC Kids maintains an adoption exchange comprised of two registries:
Registry of waiting children.
NC Kids maintains a database of children across the state waiting for
adoption. To make it easy for prospective adoptive parents to find a
child, this listing is available at <www.adoptnckids.org>.
Registry of potential
families. Families who have completed a pre-adoptive assessment
can participate in this registry. Families can contact NC Kids directly
and ask to be added to this list, or they can be referred by the assessing
When families register with
NC Kids, they may also choose to participate in a photolisting of potential
adoptive families, which can be found at <www.dhhs.state.nc.us/dss/childrensservices/adoptions/docs/listing.pdf>.
NC Kids uses these registries to conduct preliminary screenings of adoption
matches. For example, they might compare a childs characteristics
against the traits of registered families and come up with 15 possible
matches. They then pass information on these possible matches to the childs
social worker and to each familys social worker.
Debbie Gallimore, a trainer
and consultant with NC Kids, says that the matching and referrals made
possible through their registries have really opened up the boundaries
of the counties: Before, counties often had no way of knowing a
family at the other end of the state was a good match for a child. Now
Gallimore also helps agencies promote foster care and adoption in their
communities through one-day events. She is available to speak to foster
parent associations and other groups, too.
Hotlines for Social Workers
NC Kids operates two hotlines for social workers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday through Friday. To have a child placed on the adoption registry,
call 1-888-NCKIDS-5. For community outreach or technical assistancefor
example, to get help responding to a large volume of callscall 1-888-NCKIDS-7.
Hotline for Families
Last but certainly not least, NC Kids operates a hotline for families
(877-NCKIDS-1). From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, NC Kids
staff members speak with callers about foster care and adoption, explain
the steps required, and connect callers with child-placing agencies. NC
Kids also follows up with each caller to ensure no family is lost while
navigating the system.
If foster care and adoption workers in North Carolina are not using NC
Kids, they should give them a call. NC Kids is an able partner, eager
to help you find families for children!
NC Kids Stats, February 2004
registered with NC Kids
from North Carolina=250
from other States=950
Children who have
either been adopted, placed for adoption, or pending placement
due to a referral from NC Kids since 1999=381
children for whom NC Kids is currently seeking adoptive families=255
children for whom NC Kids is currently seeking adoptive families=55
For more information,
call the NC Kids Adoption and Foster Care Network toll free at
1-877-NCKIDS-1. Online at <www.adoptnckids.org>
© 2004 Jordan Institute for