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2011 Jordan Institute
for Families

Vol. 16, No. 3
July 2011

NC Kids Adoption and Foster Care Network

Social workers with public and private child-placing agencies in North Carolina should know about NC Kids Adoption and Foster Care Network (www.adoptnckids.org). This resource, a part of the NC Division of Social Services, is accessible, effective, and free. In short, it can enhance outcomes for children and families and make their jobs easier.

NC Kids Statistics, May 2011
Families with a completed pre-placement assessment registered with NC Kids
298
NC children legally free for adoption
769
NC children for whom NC Kids website is actively recruiting for adoptive placement
228
NC children registered with NC Kids but on hold
(awaiting approval of the selected prospective adoptive family)
107
NC children classified as legal risk
(have not met TPR on all parents, or TPR has been appealed)
17
NC children classified as exempt
(placement has been approved and awaiting final decree of adoption)
417
  • Percent of these exempt children who have been in their current placement for over 12 months
50%

Although NC Kids focuses on one goal—finding families for children in North Carolina—it is not a child-placing agency. It accomplishes its mission by supporting our state’s foster care and adoption social workers through the following services:

Registries
Registry of waiting children. Through its website NC Kids maintains a database of North Carolina children awaiting adoption, which makes it easy for prospective adoptive parents to learn about available children.

Registry of potential families. Families who have completed a pre-adoptive assessment can participate in this registry, which child-placing agencies use to find families for children awaiting adoption. Families can contact NC Kids directly and ask to be added to this list, or they can be referred by the assessing agency.

Preliminary Matching
At the request of child-placing agencies, NC Kids uses these registries to conduct preliminary screenings of adoption matches. For example, they might compare a child’s characteristics against the traits of registered families and come up with 15 possible matches. They then pass information on these possible matches to the child’s social worker and to each family’s social worker.

Matching and referrals made possible through NC Kids registries really open up boundaries, helping agencies learn about and consider families—even those who live in another part of the state—so they can make good matches for children.

Hotline
NC Kids operates a hotline (877-NCKIDS-1) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Social workers can call this number to have a child placed on the adoption registry or to obtain community outreach or technical assistance—for example, to get help responding to a large volume of calls about waiting children.

Families who call the hotline speak to NC Kids staff members who can answer their questions about foster care and adoption and connect them with child-placing agencies. NC Kids also follows up with each caller to ensure no family is lost while navigating the system.

Conclusion
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!

Let NC Kids Help You!
  • NC Kids is a partner, not a competitor. NC Kids is a state-sponsored organization that recruits foster and adoptive parents and supports child-placing agencies.
  • Encourage prospective adoptive parents to register with NC Kids. By registering, these families may have a better chance of adopting.
  • Plan an adoption promotion event. NC Kids’ provides consultation to help you plan and hold successful adoption promotion events.
  • Call the hotline. NC Kids’ knowledgeable, responsive staff are standing by to help you. Hablamos español.
  • Tell them what you want! NC Kids strives to provide individualized support to every social worker when it comes to recruitment, matching, and referrals.
  • Reach out to the media. Do you have a good relationship with newspapers and TV stations in your area? Let NC Kids know and they will contact them to request periodic features on waiting children across the state.

References for this and other articles in this issue