19, No. 2
NC Kids: A Key Partner for Achieving Permanency
Social workers with public and private child-placing agencies in North Carolina should take advantage of the resource that is NC Kids Adoption and Foster Care Network (www.adoptnckids.org). Part of the NC Division of Social Services, NC Kids is accessible, effective, and free. In short, NC Kids can enhance outcomes for children and families and make your job easier.
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:
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.
At the request of child-placing agencies, NC Kids uses its registries to conduct preliminary screenings of adoption matches. For example, they might compare a child's traits 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 open up physical 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.
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.
All children in the custody of a North Carolina DSS must be registered with NC Kids within 30 days of becoming legally free for adoption. To register a child with NC Kids, please fax either a registration packet (DSS-1820) or an exemption form (DSS-5303) to 919/715-9286.
NC Kids is an able partner, eager to help you find families for children. Foster care and adoption workers, give them a call!
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, 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, including use of the Heart Gallery, a traveling photo exhibit created to find forever families for children in foster care.
Call the hotline. NC Kids' knowledgeable, responsive staff are standing by to help you. Hablamos espanol.
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 NC.
| Families with a completed pre-placement
assessment registered with NC Kids
|NC children legally free for adoption
|NC children for whom NC Kids
is actively recruiting adoptive families
|NC children registered with NC Kids
but on hold (awaiting approval of the
selected prospective adoptive family)
|NC children classified as legal risk
(do not have TPR on all parents, or
TPR has been appealed)
|Children exempt from listing by NC Kids
(most are in an approved adoptive
placement and are awaiting final