• November 2007
  • Vol. 8, No. 10

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A Success Model of Adoption: The QIC on Adoption

Third in a series of articles on the Children's Bureau's Quality Improvement Centers

A success model of adoption built on private-public collaborative partnerships, staff specialization, and evidence-based practice has become a hallmark of the Quality Improvement Center for Adoption (QICA) in Virginia. Implemented by United Methodist Family Services and funded by the Children's Bureau beginning in 2001, the QICA researched and developed the success model and then made grants to three Virginia organizations to create more effective delivery systems for adoption services. In turn, the grantees' enhanced delivery systems brought about:

  • An increase in adoption of foster children
  • A decrease in the time children spent in foster care before adoption
  • An increase in adoption stability

With guidance from the QICA, the grantees developed partnerships with public and private agencies to align and integrate their services. This collaboration led to regional adoption services delivery systems that provided broader access to more services, reduced worker isolation, and created a partnership between public and private organizations instead of a vendor relationship. Workers were able to specialize and provide adoption services across jurisdictional boundaries. The QICA also facilitated the integration of evidence-based practice into the grantees' processes for assessing families and children and providing preplacement and postplacement support. All of these components contributed to increased and accelerated permanency outcomes for children.

At the close of the project's funding, the three grantees showed outstanding results:

  • The Charlottesville Adoption Knowledge and Evaluation program incorporated integrated services, evidence-based practice, and technology transfers to staff to achieve a 70 percent adoption rate for the children served.
  • The Piedmont Adoption Coalition developed a regional approach to fill service gaps in rural areas and achieved a 69 percent rate of adoption.
  • The Partners for Enhancing Adoption Connections and Effectiveness focused on recruitment that was child-specific and evidence-based to place 71 percent of the children served, all of whom had elevated risk factors.

According to Project Coordinator Tara Pappas, "The projects were immensely successful due to the formation of partnerships among public and private agencies. The replication of this model could be useful in adoption placements across jurisdictional boundaries to further increase permanency for youth."

With funding coming to a close, the QICA is focusing on disseminating information about the success model of adoption. Much of this information can be found on the QICA website, which provides information not only on adoptions in Virginia, but also on best practices, resources, and publications:


For more information on the QICA, contact:
Jackie Burgeson, ACSW, Project Director
Tara Pappas, MSW, Project Coordinator

Related Items

To read the earlier articles in the QIC series, go to:

  • "Addressing Substance Abuse and Child Maltreatment: The RMQIC" (September 2007)
  • "Promoting Cultural Competence and Collaboration: The Frontline Connections QIC" (October 2007)

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