Adoption STAR Provides a “Team Approach” When Working With Adoptive Parents – Part 1

Team-building1The adoption process is sometimes described as an emotional roller coaster. Often applicants come to adoption after already experiencing grief and loss. If you are a prospective adoptive parent, you have the registration process to deal with, the interview process, the education process, more interviews, more paperwork, and yes even more paperwork. It is a strictly regulated process, obviously to secure the best interest of the child, and certainly one filled with great education and celebration. The adoption process requires flexibility, a bit of humor and commitment. It is a lifelong process and we remind our clients all the time that adoption does not end with “placement day” but rather the adoption journey continues.

This is why our agency was named Adoption STAR. STAR being the acronym for Support, Training, Advocacy and Resources. Adoption Support. Adoption Training. Adoption Advocacy. Adoption Resources. Four ingredients for a healthy adoption journey!

Adoption STAR utilizes these four ingredients in a team approach to provide the best possible services to prospective adoptive parents.

Prospective adoptive parents are assigned a “Family Advocate” who is a master’s level social worker. In addition to one’s Family Advocate, Adoption STAR clients have access to a Client Support staff member, a Client Relationship Manager and an Adoptive Parent Mentor & Coach. Additionally a Director of Adoption supervises the Adoptive Parent Department team and is available to provide clinical guidance, support and troubleshoot situations. Once you are ready to begin your home study interviews, another social worker will also be assigned to you and s/he will meet you individually and in your home and will be the person to write your home study document and follow up with you through what is known as post placement supervision after a child is placed in your home.

Shannon Boeheim, MSW and Rachael Metz, LMSW are the agency’s Family Advocates.
Lisa Geiger, MS, holds the position of Client Support. Lisa works in close collaboration with both agency Family Advocates and clients throughout the pre-and-post adoption process. Zack Fried, who many clients get to know during the intake process, is the agency’s Client Relationship Manager (CRM), Sue Reardon is the AP Mentor & Coach and is also a STAR adoptive parent. In her professional capacity, Sue is the staff liaison for SOFIA our adoptive family support group, facilitates Profile Solutions (our domestic profile development program) and provides client support.

Adoption STAR is proud to have social work interns on staff throughout the year. These individuals are trained and supervised and able to provide additional support to our clients. Each year there is at least one Master’s level social work intern. These students add a wonderful culture to the professional team and Adoption STAR is excited to be a popular choice for local universities as a learning site for their students. The agency’s interns are subject to the same training requirements as employees. In addition, all of the interns sign confidentiality pledges and complete exhaustive background checks before they are cleared to work at Adoption STAR.

It is not uncommon for clients to be contacted by a student intern or assigned to a student intern for purposes of a home study or other adoption work. Applicants will be in good hands with all Adoption STAR interns.