For over 30 years, CHRIS Kids has been dedicated to helping abused and neglected children with emotional and behavioral problems who are in foster care. We found that far too many of these children were further traumatized by an adoption that failed and resulted in their return to state custody. We wanted to do something. Then in 2011, a small adoption agency, The Giving Tree, approached CHRIS Kids seeking “adoption”. In The Giving Tree, CHRIS Kids saw the opportunity to build on its strengths, commitment to inclusiveness dedication to eliminate adoption barriers, and to leverage its mission for the development of a trauma informed model of adoptions that would increase the permanency of adoptions. In short, we saw potential to be unlocked so that children could truly be adopted in to safe, loving, permanent families. After a period of “visitation and placement,” The Giving Tree was adopted by CHRIS Kids into our Family of Services on January 1, 2013.
What does this mean to our families, volunteers, donors and community partners?
The CHRIS Kids individualized approach is unique and informed by an understanding of trauma and its impact. Cases are not handed off from person to person and there is a flexible fee structure.
- Streamlined approach and access to additional community services/support
- Expanded expertise, knowledge and experience in family and child welfare arenas
- Increased capacity to serve more children and families
- Ensuring a broader array of funding and revenue opportunities
- A continuum of care for children, youth and families
- Guaranteed sustainability for future growth
2. Attend Orientation & Submit Application
Orientations are designed to inform and educate prospective adoptive parents about our organization and the complete adoption process. All adult caregivers living in the home are required to attend. Sessions last a maximum of one hour and occur on the first Tuesday of each month from 6 PM to 7 PM. Individual orientations may be arranged by contacting us. Potential adoptive parent(s) must complete an orientation before an official Adoption Application can be submitted. Please call our office to register for our next Adoption Orientation. Group Adoption Orientation sessions are held once a month on the first Tuesday of each month from 6 pm to 7 pm at the CHRIS Kids main office at: 1017 Fayetteville Road, SE, Atlanta, Georgia 30316.
3. IMPACT Pre-Service Training
IMPACT Training is an 8-week training course developed to educate prospective adoptive families about the needs of children adopted through the foster care system. The training explores the types of children available for adoption, the challenges of raising a hurt child and exposes participants to the unique parenting skills needed to successfully adopt.
4. Home Study
A Home Study is a thorough description of a prospective adoptive families’ profile. Each Home Study provides detailed assessment information and is used to determine the families’ ability to parent a child with Special Needs currently in foster care. Home studies are conducted in conjunction with IMPACT Training and Trauma Assessments. All required verification documents must be received and approved by the end of IMPACT training in order for the Home Study to be completed.
5. Matching & Selection
Once a family has an approved home study, we work diligently to match families with children who need permanent homes. Our matching process places great emphasis on the needs of each child and the skills, abilities and expressed interests of potential adoptive parent(s). We work with county and state agencies across the country to identify adoptive families for children in the foster care system. When a match is made based on identified strengths of the family and strengths of a child, two things happen: 1) All information on the child gathered by CHRIS Adoption Services is provided to the prospective family in preparation for a formal presentation. 2) All information on the prospective family gathered by CHRIS Adoption Services is presented to the child. Based on the two presentations a match is pursued.
6. Visitation, Pre-Placement & Counseling
Once a match has been initiated, visitations are scheduled. Counseling is provided throughout the process and in conjunction with visitations for potential adoptive parent(s) and potential adoptive child(ren). Visitations gradually increase in frequency and duration until a placement date is agreed upon.
7. Placement & Finalization
Placement - The child is now becoming a permanent part of the family environment and adoptive parents are now responsible for meeting the needs of the child(ren). Placement supervision and counseling continues during this phase. During this time, the placing agency is still the child’s legal custodian.
Finalization - Congratulations! The finalization of the adoption declared the child as a permanent and legal member of their new family and provides them with all rights of inheritance as a birth child. Supportive services will continue up to six months post-finalization.
How long does it take for a child to be placed in my home?
The adoption process can take anywhere from 8 to 12 months and is largely determined by the time to complete or obtain all required records, criminal background clearances and court processing.
Where do the children come from?
All of the children that are placed into permanent homes through CHRIS Adoption Services have been removed from their biological homes due to neglect and/or abuse. They are in the foster care system, typically over the age of 6 and have siblings in foster care. They reside in foster care until they are united with a permanent family.
What is the cost to adopt through CHRIS Adoption Services?
A flexible fee schedule is provided at orientation or call 404-633-3383.
What services are provided after the adoption is finalized?
The following services are offered and encouraged after finalization: individual and family counseling, parent and youth support groups, and ongoing training.
What can I do to help?
You can help by becoming an adoptive parent, volunteering, helping to create awareness for the need for adoptive families or by making a donation to CHRIS Kids.
CHRIS Adoption Services
1976 Flat Shoals Road, Atlanta, GA 30316
Office: 404-633-3383│Fax: 404-633-3348