2011 Jordan Institute
16, No. 3
Overcoming Adoption Ambivalence
Especially when working with older children and teens, there are misconceptions and fears that can hold people back from making a permanent commitment. As state and federal policies have urged agencies to more quickly achieve permanence for children, many child welfare workers have learned to move past common barriers brought up by youth and potential adoptive families in early conversations. As one adoption program manager stated, “When a child says ‘I don’t want to be adopted,’ it’s the beginning of casework,” not a change in the permanency plan (Boo, 2010).
The table below reflects some of what we learned from reviewing the literature and speaking with NC social workers about overcoming ambivalence on the path to permanency. For more details on preparing and involving youth in recruitment efforts, check out Chapter 10 of Treat Them Like Gold: http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dss/publications/docs/Ch10.pdf.