Assessing the Field of Post-Adoption Services: Family Needs, Program Models, and Evaluation Issues. Case Study Report. 4.2.2 Adoptive Parents Perspective


Adoptive parents who participated in the focus groups reported high levels of satisfaction with the services provided by their states PAS programs, but many felt that additional funding was needed. Parents in several states expressed satisfaction with how effectively and quickly program staff handled crises (e.g., suicidal behavior, hospitalizations, aggressive behavior). They defused the emergency, got my daughter to agree to go to counseling, and helped steer us to avenues to get long-term services. Parents in Virginia specifically mentioned that they appreciated the support groups they attended.

Parents appreciated the prompt response from PAS providers, but expressed the desire for additional funding for services, especially respite.

Across the five states parents also appreciated receiving appropriate information about adoption issues and referrals to adoption-competent therapists and other service providers. One parent noted that her PAS provider helped the family switch psychiatrists and attended the first two meetings with the psychiatrist. Another parent said that she was comforted to know that the PAS provider knew about the range of residential treatment options and knew the facility where her daughter was placed. Another parent liked receiving a video on how to talk to schools about adoption issues, but did not like the suggestion that parents themselves go into schools to train staff. Many parents expressed satisfaction with respite options, such as weekend stays or camp stays, but they also very clearly expressed a desire for more funding for those services.

Regarding program structure, one group of parents recommended that PAS be uniform across state lines to make it easier for families to move to other states. They felt there was too much variability in access to and availability of services from state to state. Another group recommended that services be available not only to the adopted child but also to the immediate family. They considered the well-being of the child to be dependent on the well-being of the entire family.


(1) In both Virginia and Massachusetts, lead service providers subcontracted with other providers and coordinated the overall PAS program.

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