Many children are adopted by relatives, non-relative kin such as teachers or family friends, or foster parents. Others continue to wait. Currently about 500 Kansas children are in foster care waiting to be adopted. The children are of all ages, races and ethnic groups, and from all socio-economic backgrounds. The majority of waiting children are age 8 and older, have two or more siblings, or have special needs.
Children’s Adoption Services
Kansas children in foster care receive case management services through one of four Child Welfare Case Management Providers, or CMPs. These providers contract with the Kansas Department for Children and Families. CMPs provide the following services:
- Make sure children receive necessary medical and mental health services and educational supports.
- Ensure children are living in a safe and supportive environment which meets their needs.
- Ensure children achieve timely permanency, including adoption.
CMPs determine the qualities of an adoptive family which would best suit the needs of a child in their care. After a family is selected, the case management agency:
- coordinates pre-placement visits;
- establishes when the child will move into the home;
- supports the family during the adjustment period;
- guides the family through adoption finalization; and
- provides services for 12 months following adoption finalization.
Permanent custodianship or guardianship can be an alternative to adoption. However, custodianship or guardianship is available only in a limited number of situations and is based on the individual child’s needs.
Families interested in adopting a child from the foster care system may choose the agency with which they want to work. A variety of factors may influence that decision. Those factors include:
- the area of the state in which you live;
- the type of child you believe will best fit into your home and skill set;
- whether you are interested in fostering; and
- personal preferences or past experience with an agency.
Adopt Kansas Kids can assist you in examining your options.
Child Welfare Case Management Providers provide services and support to foster and adoptive families. Services include sponsorship of TIPS-MAPP classes, completion of home studies, post-adoption training, support groups, and referrals to community resources. Child Welfare Case Management Providers also sponsor foster homes.
Other nonprofit agencies in Kansas assist foster and adoptive families. However, these agencies do not provide case management services for the children. Many of these agencies prepare, train and provide ongoing support to foster homes and provide adoption home studies and post-adoption support.