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April 2005Vol. 6, No. 3Supporting Adoptive Families

Adoptive families' need for services and supports may continue long after the adoption is finalized. In North Carolina, public agencies recognize an obligation to provide this support. Adoptive parents in North Carolina say that some of their most important support needs are for information about the resources available to them, access to support groups and contact with other adoptive parents, respite, and additional education.

The December 2004 issue of Children's Services Practice Notes, from the North Carolina Division of Social Services and the Family and Children's Resource Program, discusses how this NC agency is striving to help local public agencies provide ongoing support to adoptive families. This issue provides brief articles on a number of relevant topics, including:

  • Why families need support
  • Assessing postadoption support in your agency
  • Postadoption support assessment for individual workers
  • Removing barriers to postadoption support

Articles in this issue show that postadoption support can include the following:

  • Providing accessible information about services, supports, and resources
  • Providing parenting education, including practical help with children's needs
  • Making available advocacy services, including help negotiating the educational and mental health systems
  • Informing parents of adoption assistance (subsidies) and medical coverage

While agencies should be careful not to overestimate the impact their interventions will have, their support may prevent out-of-home placement and promote family well-being.

This issue of Practice Notes is available on the web at