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2004 Jordan Institute
for Families

Vol. 10, No. 1
December 2004

Post-Adoption Support Assessment for Individual Workers

Directions: Find a partner who can use the questions below to interview you. Ideally this person would be a good listener. The interview should take about 20 minutes.

  1. What do you value deeply? How are those values reflected in your work?
    Give the interviewee sufficient time to formulate an answer.

  2. Take a minute and think about your most outstanding, significant success in supporting a family after the final decree of adoption. Tell me the story of that success.
    If the interviewee has not provided post-adoption support, ask: “Tell me about your most outstanding, significant success working with an adoptive family.

  3. What about you made this achievement possible?
    Be patient, honor the time it takes the interviewee to be comfortable with sharing his or her story. Encourage confidence— even boldness—as they describe themselves. Above all, listen.

  4. What factors outside yourself contributed to the success?
    These factors might include people, resources, events, the culture of the organization he or she works for.

  5. What did you learn from this achievement?

  6. Are there areas of your personal or professional life now that might benefit from remembering the lessons you’ve learned from this success?

About this Assessment
This assessment is informed by a philosphy and change methodology called Appreciative Inquiry (AI). One of the primary assumptions of AI is that what we focus on becomes our reality. Thus, if as an organization (or a family, or an individual) we focus on problems—on what is not working—then our ability to identify solutions and positive directions for growth is significantly undermined. To combat this, AI focuses on success by asking questions that strengthen our capacity to identify, capture, and use our positive potential.

Since it was developed by David Cooperrider in 1980, Appreciative Inquiry has been used successfully with a wide range of corporate, human service, and governmental organizations. If you are interested in learning more, consider the following resources:

References for this and other articles in this issue