Assessing the Field of Post-Adoption Services: Family Needs, Program Models, and Evaluation Issues. Summary Report. 3.10.1 Need for PAS


Better data needed for planning. High-quality data on families needs are needed to support improved planning for PAS. While many states have conducted needs assessments, their usefulness is often limited by modest response rates. In addition, these surveys rarely provide enough detail to establish when services are most likely to be needed, in terms of childrens ages or elapsed time since adoption. A national probability-based sample of adoptive families would help to provide a picture of underlying needs among those families that have, and have not, obtained PAS from state sources. At the state or program level, needs assessments should be conducted with enough rigor and detail to inform ongoing planning and program adaptation.

Services appreciated, but unmet needs remain. PAS representatives and adoptive parents identified similar priorities for service to adoptive families. Adoptive parents confirmed the usefulness of services offered by the PAS programs, especially information and referral, respite, advocacy, crisis intervention, and counseling. They also identified additional needs beyond the boundaries of typical PAS programs, including more usable information about their children, better information about supports available to them, and improved access to service providers of their choice.

Satisfaction with PAS generally high. Many states collect data on satisfaction with PAS programs, which, like needs assessments, may be biased by low response rates. Available data suggest that most families are very satisfied with services offered, and focus group participants confirmed this impression. Of particular value to adoptive parents was the level of insight and sensitivity to adoption issues that were inherent in the services they received from the PAS program. The only major source of dissatisfaction was the desire for additional services not currently offered by the PAS program.

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