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A Family For Every Child 080617

Aug 2, 2017|

AN INTERVIEW WITH KIMBERLY LAUMAN, ADOPTION SOCIAL WORKER WITH A FAMILY FOR EVERY CHILD ABOUT THE WORK THEY DO IN THE ADOPTION PROCESS OF FOSTER CHILDREN.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

This is metro scope and Entercom radio Portland public affairs program and your blocks of have you and your family was considering adoption you know and listen up like to introduce you to an organization that specializes. In adoptions for Foster care children. On the show this time I would like to welcome Kimberly lawman Kimberly is an adoption social worker with a family for every child can get really hi how to go. Excellent Harry and do well. So tell me what is a family for every child. We are a licensed special needs adoption agency in Oregon and Washington and that just basically means that we assist families with adoption from the Foster care system. And you working exclusively with Foster children is that okay. Coming Foster children are there. Currently alien there's roughly 500000 Foster children in the United States. About 1101000. Are available for a types. And how about here in Oregon. With a ticket questions. Then there's a lot yet so we there's a lot we need some families out there are two absolutely a step up and do slid off pick and that's it you're agency does you help people. Find the right title for their family absolutely nuts and one of the core pieces of my job it is a sit down with the family and I learned about. Them and their their home life what they're looking for love would be a good match for them. And after home studies have been approved and I go out along with the family teaching families how to do this to. But we got together on the Internet and we find these children that are looking for her home and the best match how many families do you work with at a time. We as an agency we kind of soft rule that we don't go over Tony 25 families her social worker I currently have about ten. Going to keep you busy it gives us even with a much slower count on a lot of other. State agencies or other private agencies that have a lot of time from my family's. Now mr. met some amazing people I really. So here at the beginning you said it's been referred to this special needs adoption what does that what does that mean. So for our purposes special means adoption just means any adoption from Foster care. Any child in Foster care by the nature and being married is considered special needs who. Padraig has been doing this. Agency's been in business for about ten years you based in Eugene where we are. But you were here in Portland in kind of nationwide right. Yeah we kind of DO so we are able to place children in the state of Oregon and in the state of Washington. But we have access to children nationwide to bring them here to our families. And you yourself are a Foster parent I am yes and we are story. My Foster daughter has now aged out of the systems is an adult I was. Able to meet her in her mid to late teens and got to know her really really well through some work that we did together. And she came to me as she was getting close to being eighteen and asked if I would consider being her Foster parent. So that she could go to college because organ had at that time I believe it's still a case at that time they had the unique ability to offer. College to Foster children if they were able to stay in Foster care passed the age of eighteen. And so she came to me NASA that'd be her Foster parent and I said absolutely I would love to. That's great that you and on the college she didn't she went on Alex Perry nice to see average age of kids in Foster care. Or or what are the ages of he isn't every needs. Yeah we have been as a Foster care from zero to eighteen. And depending on the state that that aids has kind of changed. Some states consider 21 to be the top and the Foster care can. I would say average. Eat says fifteen. Cutting kids get in and of how they've what situations will. Lead them into being a Foster child. My children come into Foster care because they were removed from their family is due to either abuse neglect or abandonment by their biological families. They live in temporary placements while their states DA tests of some works to reunite with them with the birth family and that's appropriate. That's always our first. Plane intense as we really want these kids pack their birth families. If that ends up not being something that can happen in the end up available Fred Thompson. So that is the priority is give them you can leave act be blue biological family back together absolutely yeah. Add the states will work really hard to get the children back with their biological. Parents. And then if that isn't an option you'll be other biological family members are significant relationships. And then when all of those avenues have been exhausted as the best place for these kids to go then they become available. That's ultimately where the kids want to be too right now I think absolutely wanna be with their family now. And it totally makes sense does that happen is that of a normal outcome is they get back with a biological and Pamela. I wouldn't say it's a normal outcome it's it's definitely the goal in and we were really hard to make that happen and unfortunately. There's a large percentage of kids that well 1101000 kids who don't currently at hasn't worked out for. If somebody listening right now is intrusive in adopting. Totally gets more information that's a really good questions so they go to our website. Which we have that. A family for every child dot org they can also call the agency directly. Agency's numbers I for one. 343. 2856. And absolutely welcome to contact me as well. And my my numbers 3607736267. Series here locally and school. You're helping a lot of of area families. Yes doing this this is that amazing stuff because if. Yes is really have been very rewarding them island doing it putting together a couple of different info sessions. For people are just lake Boone maybe that's what I wanna do or maybe this is going to be the right thing for our family and they just don't know. I'm working to put together those those components of people can come out learn more given in tonight coming up a deal I have one scheduled in September. September 16 at 11 AM. The affording to her regional library. Back to what kind of information can people dip in the come to the info night. They're gonna find out a lot about adoption in general Foster care in general I'm available to answer any of their questions. Most commonly as they're gonna ask me questions like we're talking about here today and then we'll just go into it more adapt. Yes really the process. You know what what goes in to being able to adopt my even eligible to top so we'll go through. All of those things a big one is always money how much does that cost and can we talk about the process will absolutely what is the process of adopting a Foster time. So the process we'll start with your home study which is a written representation of fear family is that can be presented to the social worker. And that in this case the social workers going to be the child's social worker. So when you work with a credit agency like ours you have an adoption social worker like myself who represents you and your family. And then the child we'll have a social worker who's our present in them. The two social workers are who are gonna do all this negotiating and figuring out. What's the best thing for this child in the family. So it's a really straightforward process that involves background checks and interviews but it's completely painless. You just get to hang out mean for. Several hours and we're gonna talk all about it you know the ins and outs of your life. When you're looking for her way your past has been light here you're family history and where you wanna see your family go. After your home city is complete you begin the matching process. Where your family is actively seeking a child or sibling groups to be placed in your home. Then you'll have your transition and placement and post placement which will lead to final as a nation. An entire process on average takes two to two and a half years. It is it is a process cannot find the right kids we don't want these kids moved again we want this to be their last home there essentially they're growing up home. So we want that to be the way that echoes. Here. Include house about the process I think I've pretty much sums it up it's. During this process to that child lived with the potential parents. They will. Toward the end when we get to placements at that transition placement final as Asian. We're going to be transitioning the child into your home cooking then the placements is six months to a year where. They're there and their living in your home I ask yourself so your option social workers gonna come out and he. How things are going there can help you with the bonding in the transition into being a blended family. And then once everything's good and where everyone agrees that this is an excellent situation. And final as a nation occurs and be sending states over the child. Came from we'll finalize an option. That's got to be probably the most intense six months to a year. And they can feel that way he a lot of the families describe the waiting period is being brilliant sense to not because a lot of hurry and wait. And a lot of hope. Fear for finding kids. To think kids skip to help pick up the family they want to go to. Not usually OK some states well allowed children over the age of twelve to have some input towards those final steps. And there's a part of that process in most states that's called committee where are they sending social worker will contact. The receiving social worker and they were interested in your family we'd like to have you come to committee. At the committee mean there's a big presentation made about the child living their life and their background as well as presentation about the families that are beating considered. So at that point some seats will allow older children to come into the room and in saying this is what I want. I want X type of family I want to live in the country and wanna live in the city. That they don't get to know anything about the specific family is that are being considered. We're talking today with Kimberly Loman she's a social adoption social worker with a family for every child. Now do we go through some may be misconceptions. About Foster adoption sir so maybe you like to have to be married to do this. That's a great when I do hear that quite a bit you do not have to be married. We've helped many single and non married couples adopt. That's couldn't. 'cause a day at that I sometimes people think well you have to be O oh complete family. And you can be single Kelly. You're single or not married he can be non married couple living African how about do I have to stay at home. No as long as there's a safe place for the kids to Staley can take care our school program working is not a barrier to tops. How about aids the parents' age and bit me it is there a point where you're too old to adopt or maybe too young to them. Not necessarily there are a lot of factors that go into determining if you're eligible to be an adoptive parents who can about a two I have to own a home. You do know I have to own a home. You rule. As long as you have a safe home for the told and it's not a problem. It doesn't make a lot of sense anymore for people to have to room. Africa's it's a well we know we live in this area it's hard to find homes owned. Yeah absolutely there's like housing shortage going on absolutely. So what makes saved both good. Adoptive parent or the user profile. They're there's a profile. There's definitely certain things that we look for among summer you know safety. And stability. Love your ability to provide love and caring. IE I tend to look for Harlem that's gonna provided a lot of enrichment and I don't necessarily mean like extracurricular activity they. These kids are coming from the place of trauma and neglect. So what what can your home provided that is gonna make their life much better than when it. What do you blues organization providing the training to the parents to adopted the we people are adopting it gathers planning and training that are available to adopted failings. Each state will require that certain training is like the foundations training through. We Wilson just lots of different trains where you depending on the types of issues that your you can lose your interest and are coming to US so we work very closely with our feelings to get them the necessary training that that will help them be successful. And how does that training and work is that is that local team meets during meetings review and myths. Other people that are professionals unless. Some of them are local Ali the foundations stringing is generally held a DHS office and it'll be lots of other fostered. Parents that are coming together to get information in and certified to be a Foster home. A lot of it can be online training certainly continued education classes that you take on the Internet. Some of it's just books and tossing just like hate and really think this would be helpful to you and your handling that's. We got look in the we'll talk about it. And Simone it's just conversational. Definitely calling your not so our current scene I'm really. Concerned about X sleazy behavior what can you help me left and. And where available it's great and there's tons of information available on your website absolutely our website has a lot of stuff and it's a family for every child dot org. Specialist tons of information so they can go a little overwhelming a gift because what hour I start but it's a good that's a great place to start is this gonna peruse this website. We're kind of unique that way we want our family is to be. It's sort of self sufficient and be able to find what they need when they needed in case we're not there at 2 AM in year out all night worrying about a particular circumstance with your kids. You should be able to find information through us. If nothing else it'll be a link to a really hopeful race. Having a parent is the 24 hour seven day week jump very absolutely perfect absolutely. You can attest to that I can't. But I. Telly we talked to the U hinted just a little bit about the cost what is the cost of adoption. Through. Our agency is 15100 dollars. And then there's a travel agreement with your tops of workers appear we have a travel radius that we work with and and we don't act and the details are a little more than we need to talk about today that basically there's. And a radius that we work in and if it's outside of my radius then there's. A fee for me to travel to see my feelings. There will be some travel expenses for the family to go and meet their children most states are gonna require at least one meeting some require multiple meetings prior its placement which makes sense them. Given nine year old kid who has no idea who you are. It's going to be better to go and meet them and spend some time with them before their likes prize is you're moving. They're not there's really no cost. That seems relatively inexpensive it is we've tried to keep our costs very low our director has been great about pop. When their family is considering adoption they were they work with the U securitization do they were other social workers may be from VHS or anything like that too. No once they've contract and with a thinly for every child we are your. Your point of contact we are your agency. Some states will allow the family to have contact with the sending in social workers and some won't at all. Regardless we ask our families to go through their adoption social worker. Just make sure there aren't any hiccups and bumps that there Finley wouldn't be aware of throwing you know that they don't. Get themselves into hot water and they had no idea it was there. Can you tell me about some of the programs that apparently for every child. There's a whole list on the website like the heart gallery of the child matching events to me about some of them. Asked a heart gallery is where families can go to look at it's essentially profiles and available children to adopt. That is open to anybody so people listening today can go to our heart calorie NC. Cecil of those profiles. Most states will have a heart gallery available they may call it something different but they'll be eighty. System setup that way. And now will be where we're gonna start and when that process and matching begins. Notching assistance program is rather unique to a family for every child. Once you've been approved. To be an adoptive family we'll set you up with the national assistance profile. And it'll have basic information about your family name and the beast and photographs of your family. And then analysts and things that you're looking for in your future children. And that will be available to descending State's social workers so that they can also view you. If they -- run through our matching assistance family isn't really hope that's a really great feeling for this child and they'll contact us. So we don't just have to wait for us to bump into the kid's tale. Every family dynamic is this different resolutely. It's crazy. So you really can we talk about another misconception. Excellent how about the LG BTQ community are available to to adopt Foster can. Absolutely. A family for every child has always been supportive of the LG BTQ community and in turn they have been supportive of us. About 25% are placements have been with LG BTQ family is and we would left earth map number. That's that's something that it seems like in the past. Gave him his couldn't really adopt. Got a dusting like dead and conception and had and possibly even reality. In a lot of communities but here in our community in with our agency we're very very supportive also. Because chaos and I'm and honestly the sending states have been to I've worked with several states now. Half. On the behalf of families here in their very open to it. I've had states called me and ask me if I have these same sex the only available because kids are starting to say I would really like to have two dads are two moms. Really yeah I wonder why they wouldn't request that. There's some sort of attacks and maybe they've had a significant relationship in their past so significant relationship can really can be spark notes or a teacher that was really. Importance than someone that they've connected with him so somewhere in there they're stories they have had someone. Of LG BTQ community that was really supportive and loving to lemons and though they want to be in a home that's like that. Well very cool yes you never think of of police eye and all of the kids having their own opinion and having. They're history of makes up their journey rates so they they wanna continue on the positive path if they were having something positive path after exactly. To live of biological parents ever get to meet the Foster parents is that four is one we Streeter to history. They so Foster parents they could meet in their Sunday states the adoptive parents with a lot less likely. If it's an open adoption and meaning that we have. An agreement with the sending a statement that the biological family will still have contact. They're not going to be an agreement that's been made. By everyone way up front. There's no surprises about. I've not heard of any situations where there's a real tight connection. Between the biological family in the adoptive family but there may still be contact him. And generally that'll be handled through the agencies so it could be they you've made an agreement with the sending state in the biological family. That they will have contact Christmas. So the bio family would send me means Christmas cards to the agency and we would for them to the adoptive family. So that we can keep some separation their for the kids but it's not coming contact. When you say sending states thome thome what you mean by that. So listen Nancy it is going to be where the child came from and so if you happen to live in Oregon and you've adopted a child from Kentucky. Kentucky would be your sentenced. So your Muir agency doesn't only work with children in this area correct we work with children aren't national okay. Well so there's. Kids from all different walks of life coming in this area how cool. Yeah yeah we do a lot of of work with our our family is to help them understands that background as well. So I recently had a family who was looking at a child from the East Coast. And we went to committee on the child only had two really good conversations about how. That tiled state. Ends. Socioeconomic. Environment was much different than ours here on the northwest coast. Them and we talked about those differences and got the Stanley ready for the fact that this child has probably never lived in a suburb or seen. This life fray if so that's going to be another transition for the tile than what can my failing to. To be prepared for I'm into mass support their child not transition. Can you tell me about how old ways people can get involved maybe you. We knew they don't think they can be an adoptive parents but other other ways they can get involved with a Finley for a return. Down there were on the web say we have several other programs there's an mentoring program down in Eugene there's also. A program that allows you mix scrap books for the kids. And I believe you can you can get involved with that kind of remotely concerned supply as you want to. There we always accept donations of supply has earned cash donations to help us with our our programs. Balance a lot of fun there that we call life books and so it's these kids often removed so you know seven plus times over the course of their childhood. So they don't. Always have family pictures that don't always have pictures of the Foster home or that dog. You know one dog that was really important to them and they have a memory of them that they're not really sure what they looked like they may not have that which we can all take for granted. So we have an entire team of people that work to make these life books and we go back through a child's history in contact and the social workers and we try to gather up as much as we can and create this scrapbook for these kids that's the history of their life. Smiths while Leavitt that's the treasure yes. Mean my and a lot of value in mountain especially as they get older. How that. Now because so many things can get lost along the way or they just don't have them in their position along the way to do exactly yeah you just don't get to take them with the because sometimes you're moved pretty quickly. Absolutely yeah. Especially those initial movements from the bio home in to care. I can be very abrupt and a seeming not have pictures and your mom and dad you mean have pictures grandma and grandpa. So we have we've teams of people that tried to pre treat those things if we can't basilica angels' fifth and they are in Canada that's an amazing thing. Do you know him about some volunteer opportunities with the organization. I know we have several listed on our website and I mean I went through the volunteer application myself and me winning came to join the team. I believe a lot of summer in the Eugene area and I would have to double checked. Now for the for the web says he's replaced yeah Westinghouse a lot of great information and that again is C a a family for every child dot org. So the last minute or so we have here are one and askew in about the information you have coming up and tell me when and where and oh yeah. Absolutely so of. Info night that I have planes coming up is going to be. On September 16 at 11 AM at the four hurting your regional library in downtown Vancouver so it's nano one see street okay. We'll meet fur hour hour and a half ask questions answer questions. And I go over all of this process in detail. Just a little more investment of deciding to end. To really get to ask your question and that's a great place to start re absolutely there's no cost involved to just coming out mean for an hour and a half on a Saturday at. Late morning. And find out what this is all about. And value given just under tons of information today this has been really cool that they can crowding me hoping to being on the show up we were talking today with Kimberly lawman. And adults and social worker with a famous for every child. Mitchell's bill is an Entercom radio Portland public affairs program I'm Gary blocks of if you're involved with a nonprofit or public affairs organization or do you have an idea for an upcoming show I'd like to hear from you. Visit microscope PDX dot com and submit your ideas you can also go to the station's website handsome richer information there. Thanks for listening to metros go and enjoy the rest of your weekend.