When children come into care at the Foster Community of Southmountain Children and Family Services, permanency is our primary goal. When possible our staff will work diligently with the children and parents in order for them to be reunified. However, when reunification is not possible, adoption becomes the primary plan. The staff of Southmountain will assist our Social Services partners to facilitate adoption so children can become part of a “forever home.” For these children, successful adoptions are a source of celebration!
One recent story began about 3 years ago when a brother and sister, ages 2 and 4 came into care at our Foster Community as a result of child abuse. Unfortunately, after lengthy attempts of reunification failed, the parents’ parental rights were terminated and the goal for the children became adoption. The Department of Social Services began looking for the perfect adoptive family for the children. Once a possible family was identified, Southmountain staff began the preparation process for the adoption. It is important to understand that most of the children in our care have experienced trauma through suffering child abuse and/or severe neglect as well as the impact of the removal from their biological family. Adoptive parents need to understand this fact and be willing to learn and apply the skills needed to care for children who have experienced trauma. The staff of Southmountain works closely with the adoptive parents both before and after the adoption to help them gain the skills and knowledge necessary for a successful union of these precious children into their new families. The last thing these children need is a failed adoption, which could have devastating effects on their already fragile mental and emotional health.
In this particular case, the adoptive parents began to visit the children at the Foster Community and began their learning process. They spent valuable time with the children as well as with the Southmountain parents who have cared for the children for nearly 3 years. The parents were very open to understanding the special needs of the children and to learning how to help them grow through their past experiences and into their new environment.
After the children were adopted, a Southmountain clinician continued to visit the adoptive family’s home every Saturday for several months to help the children continue to make a smooth transition into their new home and to complete the therapy process which had begun with the children.
The adoptive parents and Southmountain staff continue to work together to ensure the stability of the adoptive placement. The children are well adjusted, happy, and excited about their forever home! And, so are we!
- Southmountain News
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