Georgia Center For Resources & Support

DFCS/State Adoption Unit

siblings

Post Adoption Services

Adoption represents a lifelong commitment for both the adoptive parent(s) and the adoptee. Adoption does not end with finalization. At any stage throughout his or her life the adoptee and the adoptive family may have recurring issues, questions, or concerns. Post-adoption services and resources assist families in meeting these needs.

The DFCS/State Adoption Unit administers a number of educational, respite and support programs for adopted families. These programs have been developed to assist families who have adopted through the public child welfare agency in Georgia. However, The Georgia Center for Resources and Support is available to all adoptive families residing in the state.

Post Adoption Services Currently Available Through the State Adoption Unit:



Adoption Assistance

Financial assistance, medical assistance, and legal assistance for finalizing the adoption are available for eligible children who meet the DHR definition of special needs and who are placed into an adoptive home.

Contact: County Department of Family and Children Services
Adoption Assistance Case Manager

Adoption Reunion Registry

Adoptees, birth parents, or siblings who have been permanently separated through adoption often reach a time in their lives when they want more information about their biological family. This need to know may be due to medical, genetic, genealogical, or personal reasons.
The Adoption Reunion Registry provides the following services:

  1. Assistance to an adult adoptee in order to establish contact with their biological parents with the expressed consent of the biological parent.
  2. Assistance to adult siblings in establishing contact with each other (provided at least one of them is an adoptee) with the expressed consent of the sibling who is being sought.
  3. Provides an adult adoptee, or adoptive parents of an adoptee under age 18, with non- identifying information from the sealed adoption record without having to obtain a court order.
  4. Assistance to biological parents in registering their consent to contact /release birth family identifying information, or to register their desire not to have contact and preventing the release of birth family identifying information from the sealed adoption record.
  5. Assistance to siblings in registering their consent to have contact or to register their desire not to have contact with the searcher.

For more information: Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry 404-657-3555

Adopted Teen Empowerment and Mentoring Program

The Adopted Teen Empowerment & Mentoring Program (ATEAM) is a statewide post adoption service program designed for adopted teens in 6th—12th grades. The ATEAM provides teen participants with an opportunity for mutual support and self-expression through group interactions with other adopted teens and is hosted monthly by both public and private colleges and youth facilities across the state of Georgia.  ATEAM support meetings are held one Saturday each month and are generally from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm with one weekend leadership institute planned each year.

Adoption adds to the complexity of adolescent development, and adopted teenagers may need extra support in dealing with certain adoption issues. For those who were adopted at an older age from the foster care system, this type of supportive environment may be helpful.  In most cases even when teens appear happy and well- adjusted in their adoptive families, they may still be dealing with the effects of their early life experience.

With the help of adult mentors, ATEAM participants strive to understand the unique aspects of adoption and are encouraged to express their concerns openly in a safe environment. For many participants, this type of peer support group is their first opportunity to interact with others who were adopted and to see that their experiences and feelings related to adoption are normal.  By hearing how others have coped with their feelings, participants can oftentimes inspire other adopted teens to work through their own issues and learn to grow in self-acceptance and self-respect.

In addition, the ATEAM offers parent support, educational resources, training materials and respite opportunities for adoptive parents. This program is designed to offer this special population the additional support they sometimes need, in order to help them forge even stronger family attachments and enhance their future relationships.

Eligibility: Eligible teen participants are those who are currently receiving Adoption Assistance funds and/or that have been in the custody of a state agency and are either in an adoptive placement or a finalized adoption. The ATEAM welcomes adopted teens that will benefit from becoming part of a supportive group where there is mutual respect, and participants demonstrate an acceptance of others in a group setting. This may not be well suited for teens that may experience difficulties interacting within a large group setting.

Pre-registration is required for all participants, as space is limited at each host site.

Contact:
Chris Greer
ATEAM Program Administrator
Family Matters Consulting, Inc.
Phone: 1-877-669-0634 or 770-881-7789
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

OR

Ami Taharka
ATEAM Program Specialist
Family Matters Consulting, Inc.
Phone:  912-507-8596
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Crisis Intervention Team

The Crisis Intervention Team provides services to adoptive families in need of professional help to improve overall family functioning, preserve the family unit, and provide links to community resources. The team assists adoptive families have finalized an adoption of children who meet the DHR definition of special needs. The Intervention Team provides early intervention to improve the family's well-being, and to increase family bonding. A family must be referred by their local Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS).

For more information: County DFCS Adoption Assistance Case Manager

Georgia Center for Resources and Support

The Georgia Center for Resources and Support is available to assist families in locating resources, developing support groups, providing a “buddy” who has an adopted or foster child with similar special needs, a lending library of books and publications relating to adoption and foster care issues, and a Web page that provides current information on resources and training events. The Center is accessed by calling 1-866-A-PARENT. Each region of the state has a Resource Advisor who will respond to calls and assist families in locating community resources and/or other post placement services provided by the state.

For further information contact 1-866-A-PARENT

State Adoption Unit Website

This website (http://dfcs.dhs.georgia.gov/adoption) contains a photo-listing of available children; information on upcoming events relating to adoption, educational information and links to other adoption related sites.

Residential Seminar for Adopted Children with Special Needs (Camp PROMISE)
Camp Promise provides an opportunity for adopted children to attend a summer camp program with other children and youth who have been adopted. The program consists of week long recreational, educational, and support group activities. This program serves children ages 9-12 and teenagers ages 13-17 during each session. Parents are responsible for providing transportation to and from the program. There will be a special parent program during each session. The program is held at various locations across the state during the summer months.

For more information: James Dawson, Program Manager
Twin Cedars, Inc.
Phone: 706-884-1717

Respite

Respite service is designed to give a brief reprieve from the demands of parenting an adoptive child who meets the DHR definition of special needs. This break allows parents to take time out for themselves, renew family relationships, or enjoy a special hobby or social activity. Respite should be viewed as a wellness service which helps families to maintain positive relationships. Respite should not be used as day care or for ongoing supervision.

Respite is a service which can be paid for using Special Services Adoption Assistance. Qualifying families are eligible for 240 hours of respite per year.

For more information: County DFCS Adoption Assistance Case Manager