Every child in foster care has a different situation, so it is difficult in our field to uniformly measure “success”. While success to one child might mean returning to her biological family, success to another might mean identifying stress triggers and managing her reactions. Every day, we encounter small victories. We do this work because we know that every minute spent helping a child will be multiplied.
Within our Foster & Adoption Program, one way we identify success is by measuring positive permanency. In case you aren’t familiar with the term, positive permanency is reunification with a parent or parents, transfer of custody to a relative or extended family member, or adoption. DFPS staff seek a positive permanency outcome when engaging in permanency planning for all children in DFPS care.
This month we have a lot of permanency to celebrate in our Foster & Adoption Program!
- A year and a half ago, a sibling group of four was placed with one of our foster families. This month, they left that foster family to live with a biological aunt. We always hope to reunify children with their family. If that isn’t workable, we try to find a family to adopt them and give them a forever home. We are thrilled that this sibling group is in a safe home with a family member!
- Another foster family that we licensed has had a sibling group of two in their care for a year. Today, we celebrated the adoption of one of those children, Alejandro, into that family. Sometimes, sibling groups have individual CPS cases, and the second child in this sibling group will be adopted later this year. We are so excited that this family is able to create permanence together!
- Yet another of our foster-to-adopt families is celebrating today. They consummated the adoption of three brothers, Mason, Tommy and Joshua, who were placed last August. This adoption will bring our total adoptions as an organization to 100, and we are ecstatic!
- The process to become a foster or adoptive family is detailed. We currently have 20 families who are in various stages of the process to be licensed to foster or adopt. We appreciate all that families do to ready themselves to bring children into their home. The consistency and support they provide to each child is paramount to a child’s development.
- We have seen major growth in our Foster & Adoption Program recently. To support that growth, we are growing our staff team to five people (up from three in the last six months!) With more staff, we can maintain the quality service we provide to families and find forever homes for more children.
- Last year, we set a goal as an agency to achieve 100% positive permanency with the children we serve. Today, we are well on our way to reaching that goal with a rate of more than 95% of the children we serve leaving our program to adoption, placed with relatives, or reunification!
Children are successful when families are successful. We are glad that our program is helping so many families achieve permanence! Through this process, children benefit. Not only are they in a safe place, but they are getting the support they need to heal from their trauma. They can also learn to make attachments and connections in a family setting.
We would love to share information with you about how to create positive permanency for children in foster care. We have a foster and adoption information session coming up on June 26 at 6 p.m. at our Williamson Family Campus, 1607 Colony Creek Drive, Austin, 78758. There is no commitment in attending – just answers to your questions. No RSVP is required. Contact Jessica Murry Zellers if you have questions: 512.832.1223 or [email protected].