• March/April 2001
  • Vol. 2, No. 2

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Guidebook Encourages Social Workers to Pursue Adoptions Across State Lines

Two statutes--the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) and the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance (ICAMA)--govern the safe placement of children across State lines and ensure that medical and other post-adoption services continue. Yet many caseworkers are still hesitant to expand their recruitment efforts for families nationally.

A new guidebook provides information to caseworkers who may have concerns about placing children across State lines. Produced by the National Adoption Center and the Adoption Exchange Association, it encourages the adoption of children who are currently in the foster care system.

The booklet explains how to use both compacts, including the sending agency and receiving agency's responsibilities. It outlines the steps involved in placing children outside the State, from the first contact to the sharing of information and arranging pre-placement visits. It also discusses money issues, including accessing subsidy programs and financing homestudies, pre-placement visits, and post-adoption services.

Helpful hints from experienced social workers include ideas on planning pre-placement visits, lining up resources, and arranging post-placement supervision. Other testimonies from the adoption coordinators in Louisiana, New Jersey, and Washington show how they have succeeded in these types of placements, with strategies such as:

  • putting together a solid packet of information on a child
  • being flexible
  • responding quickly to inquiries from private agencies and families
  • overcoming fears about paperwork
  • using technology, such as videoconferencing and advertising children on Internet exchanges
  • keeping lines of communication open.

The appendices provide a glossary of terms, instructions for completing an Interstate Compact Request form, steps to placing a child in another State, a suggested timetable for placement, information about volunteer pilots available for travel associated with interstate placements, and the ICPC and ICAMA contacts in each State.

To obtain a copy of Placing Children Across Geographic Boundaries: A Step-by-Step Guide for Social Workers, contact:

Adoption Exchange Association
820 South Monaco Parkway
PMB #263
Denver, CO 80224
Phone: 303-755-2806
Fax: 303-755-1339

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