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Adoption > Assessments and Preparation > Applicant Assessment for Adoption of Children

Applicant Assessments for the Adoption of Children

0200-506.10 | Revision Date: 07/01/14

Overview

This policy guide provides guidance on the adoption process including information to be provided to applicants, and information and guidance on conducting full, abbreviated, and updated adoption assessments.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Policy

Information for Prospective Adoptive Applicant(s)

Resources/Services

Extension of AAP Benefits

Applicant Assessments

Abbreviated Assessment

Updated Assessment

Abbreviated Assessment vs. Full Assessment Criteria

Attached/Unattached Applicants

Structured Analysis Family Evaluation (SAFE)

Consolidated Home Studies

Documenting Applicant(s) Information

Procedure

Unattached Applicant Contacts DCFS to Adopt a Child

APRD CSW/Family Assessment Worker/PRU Coordinator, Resource Family Recruiter Responsibilities

Providing Information During PS-MAPP Training or Application Process

APRD CSW/Family Assessment Worker/Resource Family Recruiter Responsibilities

Conducting a Full or Abbreviated Adoption Assessment

APRD CSW/Family Assessment Worker Responsibilities

APRD SCSW/Family Assessment Worker SCSW Responsibilities

Conducting an Updated Adoption Assessment

APRD CSW/Family Assessment Worker Responsibilities

APRD SCSW/Family Assessment Worker SCSW Responsibilities

Approvals

Helpful Links

Attachments

Forms

Referenced Policy Guides

Statutes

Version Summary

This policy guide was updated from the 12/07/11 version, as part of the Policy Redesign, in accordance with the DCFS Strategic Plan. This policy guide incorporates content from Procedural Guide 0200-506.05, Information to be provided to Prospective Adoptive Applicants, thereby cancelling that policy guide.

POLICY

Information for Prospective Adoptive Applicant(s)

Information about the adoption process, including information on assessments and available programs and services, must be provided to all applicants who are interested in or applying to adopt a child. Information may be provided during:

Resources/Services

The following resources/services are available to assist adoption applicants in meeting a child's needs:

Extension of AAP Benefits

The adoptive parent(s) is responsible for requesting an extension of AAP benefits for a child/youth who is beyond the age of eighteen (18). They are also responsible for providing documentation to DCFS that indicates the youth meets one of the five (5) participation criteria for continued eligibility. Children/youth who meet the following eligibility requirements may qualify for an extension of AAP benefits beyond the age of eighteen (18) until the age of twenty-one (21):

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Applicant Assessments

The applicant assessment is used to determine the suitability of a prospective adoptive parent. A full assessment is required unless the applicant(s) meets the requirements for an abbreviated assessment, per Section 35183 or for an updated assessment, per Section 35183.1.

Abbreviated Assessment

An abbreviated assessment may be conducted under any of the following conditions:

Updated Assessment

DCFS cannot update another agency's (e.g., another county or FFA) existing assessment.  An approved abbreviated assessment is required to update an existing assessment. If any of the conditions are met (for an updated assessment), the Update to Existing Assessment of Adoptive Applicant(s) form can be utilized.

 

Existing adoption assessments must be updated before a child can be placed in the applicant's home under any of the following conditions:

Abbreviated Assessment vs. Full Assessment Criteria

The following table outlines the different criteria for an Abbreviated Assessment versus a Full Assessment:

 

Criteria

Abbreviated Assessment

Full Assessment

 

Number of required face-to-face contacts for the purpose of interviewing the applicant

 

Minimum of one (1) face-to-face contact which must include, all of the following (all required interviews can be done during one (1) visit):

  • One (1) interview in the home
  • Individual face-to-face interview with each applicant
  • Joint interview when there are two (2) applicants
  • Individual face-to-face interview with all other individuals residing in the home
  • Additional interviews as needed

 

Minimum of three (3) separate face-to-face contacts:

  • Two (2) interviews may be in PS-MAPP classes, if applicable
  • At least one (1) interview in the home
  • Individual face-to-face interview with each applicant
  • Joint interview when there are two (2) applicants
  • Individual face-to-face interview with all other individuals residing in the home
  • Additional interviews as needed
  • Up to two (2) contacts may be during adoption training (e.g. PS-MAPP meetings).

 

Number of references

  • Request at least three (3)
  • Can proceed once one (1) is received
  • Request at least three (3) to four (4)
  • Can proceed once three (3) are received.

 

Physical Exam or Medical Questionnaire

  • Can substitute with the DCFS/A 117, Applicants Own Report of Health, if the completed questionnaire does not identify indicators requiring further evaluation or report.
  • TB results are required for all adults residing in the home.
  • Requires a Full Physical Examination.
  • If the applicant is a relative or current caregiver, he/she can substitute with the DCFS/A 117, Applicants Own Report of Health, if the completed questionnaire does not identify indicators requiring further evaluation or report.
  • TB results are required for all adults residing in the home.

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Attached/Unattached Applicants

Assessments of an attached applicant are generally assigned to an APRD CSW. Assessments of an unattached applicant are generally assigned to a Family Assessment Worker. As a consequence, APRD CSWs usually conduct abbreviated assessments while Family Assessment Workers usually complete full assessments. There are however, exceptions. In addition, caregivers who are adopting a child placed in their home may be assigned to a private adoption agency for the completion of the adoption assessment.

 

Unattached applicants must attend Partnering for Safety Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting (PS-MAPP) classes. However, if applicants have completed PS-MAPP through DCFS (DCFS does not accept PS-MAPP training from other counties or agencies) for a prior adoption or have adopted an attached child through DCFS before, generally, they are exempt from completing the PS-MAPP for successive adoptions. Exceptions may apply if concerns arise after the prior adoption was complete (i.e. a license was revoked).

 

For attached applicants, the approved assessment is specific to the child that applicant has been approved to adopt. For unattached applicants and applicants with an approved consolidated home study, the approved assessment is specific to the child who was successfully matched with the applicant for matches resulting in finalized adoptions. If an applicant who has previously adopted, and/or has an approved home study for a specific child, wants to adopt another child, another assessment must be completed.

Structured Analysis Family Evaluation (SAFE)

The Structured Analysis Family Evaluation (SAFE) is an information gathering and family evaluation tool used to complete all applicant assessments. It includes the SAFE Psychosocial Inventory and a preformatted home study report.

Consolidated Home Studies

DCFS conducts consolidated home studies to streamline assessments of foster care and adoptive homes, improve child safety, and shorten timelines for permanency. The consolidated home study process combines the foster care and adoption assessment processes to provide training, support, and approvals of home studies simultaneously for both foster and adoptive homes. Under the consolidated home study process, all foster parents and adoptive parents are assessed at the highest (i.e. adoption) level.

Documenting Applicant(s) Information

Adoptive applicant(s)' information is confidential and should only be recorded in the adoption applicant case file. No identifying information about the prospective adoptive applicant/parent(s) should be entered in to CWS/CMS.

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PROCEDURE

Unattached Applicant Contacts DCFS to Adopt a Child

APRD CSW/Family Assessment Worker/PRU Recruiter/Resource Family Recruiter Responsibilities

  1. Provide the applicant(s) with information about the children available for adoption through DCFS.

 

  1. Inform the applicant(s) that a foster care license is needed to care for a child who has not been legally freed.

 

  1. Provide the applicant(s) with information about the juvenile court dependency process, including concurrent planning services and the role of resource families.

 

  1. Provide the applicant(s) with information about training classes related to adoption or parenting preparation, including the Partnering for Safety and Permanence – Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting (PS-MAPP) Meetings.

 

  1. Provide the applicant(s) with information about national, state, and local adoption exchanges and photo-listing albums.

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Providing Information During PS-MAPP Training or Application Process

APRD CSW/Family Assessment Worker/Resource Family Recruiter Responsibilities

  1. Provide the applicant(s) with information about the adoption process, including the application and applicant assessment requirements.
  1. Inform the applicant(s) that it can take approximately four (4) to six (6) months from the time the case is assigned to the APRD CSW/Family Assessment Worker, to complete the applicant assessment process.
  1. Inform the applicant(s) that before a child can be placed in a home as an adoptive placement, the assessment must be approved and the child must be legally freed from the birth parent(s). Prior to being legally freed, the child can be placed in a home as a fost-adopt placement if the caregiver has a current foster care license.
  1. For cases receiving family reunification services and/or where parental rights have not been terminated, refer to Pre-Placement Process for more comprehensive disclosures.
  1. If a child is legally freed and the relative applicant has an approved home study for that child, the child can be adoptively placed in the home without ASFA approval.
  1. Inform the applicant(s) that, upon their written request, a copy of the assessment will be provided to them once it is completed.
  1. Explain the departmental grievance review procedures that allow applicants to request a hearing if their assessment is denied.

 

  1. For unattached applicants, provide the Adoptive Home Study Guide form or the Resource Family Checklist. (Attached applicants do not require this form).

 

  1. Provide a copy of the DCFS 5620, Comparison of Legal and Financial Benefits Adoption, Legal Guardianship, and Planned Permanent Living Arrangements, which explains the differences between responsibilities, and benefits of adoption, legal guardianship, and planned permanent living arrangements.

 

  1. Provide information about available resources/services that may assist the applicant(s) in meeting the child's needs.

 

  1. Provide a copy of the AAP1, Request for Adoption Assistance Program Benefit, and AAP 7, Adoption Assistance Program Statement of Acknowledgement, for the applicant(s) reference. Inform the applicant(s) that he/she will be completing an AAP1 and signing an AAP 7 during the adoptive placement process.
  1. Inform the applicant(s) (this applies to undocumented applicants) that in order to receive AAP, they must adopt a child who:
  1. Inform the applicant(s) (this applies to US citizens) that in order to receive AAP, they must adopt a child who:
  1. Inform the applicant(s) that AAP payments are not increased based on age, as occurs in foster care.

 

  1. Explain the DCFS adoption fees are waived if the child being adopted is a dependent of the Juvenile Court.

 

  1. Explain that there are additional benefits that may be available after the adoption has been finalized, including:

 

  1. Explain that there are services available to facilitate contact between the birth parent(s), relatives, siblings, and the child before or after adoption is completed. These services may include situations where the APRD CSW or Post Adoption Services (PAS) CSW does the following:

 

  1. Explain that prior to and during the adoptive placement, prospective adoptive parents will be given all known medical and psychosocial background information about the child and the child's birth parent(s).

 

  1. Explain that an adult adoptee who is twenty-one (21) years or older can request the name and address of his/her birth parent(s), and DCFS can disclose the identity of the person's birth parent(s) and their most current address on file, if the birth parent(s) have given their consent.
  1. Provide the applicant(s) a blank copy of the AD 908, Adoptions Information Act Statement for their reference.
  1. Explain that birth parent(s) are encouraged to keep DCFS advised of their current address and any relevant changes in their health.

 

  1. If prospective adoptive parent(s) are considering adoption of a related child, provide the options available (i.e. adoption, post-adoption contact agreement, and guardianship) to establish a legally permanent relationship.

 

  1. Inform prospective adoptive parent(s) that AAP benefits may be extended beyond age eighteen (18), up to age twenty-one (21), if the initial AAP agreement was signed when the child/youth was at least sixteen (16) years old.

 

  1. Document the above information was provided, including all applicable contacts in the Concurrent Planning AssessmentAn assessment document as prescribed in Welfare and Institutions Code Sections 366.21(I), 366.22(b) and 361.5(g). The CPA is initiated by the case carrying Children's Social Worker and completed by the APRD CSW when adoption home study for attached children or matching/recruitment activities for unattached children are initiated. (CPA), Contact, or Applicant Notebooks, as appropriate.

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Conducting a Full or Abbreviated Adoption Assessment

For adoption assessments, the applicant will be mailed a home study packet (Cover letter, AD 4324, AD 521, Adoptive Home Study Guide, and DCFS/A 118) as soon as the case is opened. If the applicant indicates that the packet was not received, the APRD CSW is responsible for ensuring that another packet is delivered to the applicant.

 

For applicants with a prior adoption or assessment, if the required information/ verifications are not available or the applicant(s) circumstances have significantly changed since the previous assessment, obtain the required information/verifications as needed.

APRD CSW/Family Assessment Worker Responsibilities

  1. Review the case record and any supporting documentation.

 

  1. For attached applicant(s), contact the applicant by phone to introduce yourself and explain your role in the adoption process.
  1. Verify that the applicant has received the mailed adoptive home-study packet.
  1. Schedule the required visit(s).
  1. Discuss the documents that are required.
  1. Inform the applicant(s) of the documents that must be completed prior to your first visit.

 

  1. Conduct the required interview(s).

 

  1. During the initial interview or first PS-MAPP meeting, provide the applicant(s) with any other necessary forms such as the AD 524, ABCDM 228, ADM 36, DCFS/A 33, DCFS/A 118, and DCFS/A 312 to complete and return.
  1. Obtain and store the completed forms and documents.
  1. Assist the applicant(s) in completing the forms, as needed.

 

  1. During the face-to-face interview, provide the applicant(s) with the SAFE Questionnaire II form to complete.

 

  1. Obtain the following information during the assessment process and record or file it in the applicant's case record:

 

  1. Initiate a CWS/CMS search on every applicant, child, and adult residing in the home to determine if there are any prior referrals for child abuse or neglect in California.
  1. If there are prior referrals, assess the circumstances of the referral.
  1. File the print out from CWS/CMS in the case record.

 

  1. Obtain a report of a medical exam (that has been completed no more than six (6) months prior to the application date) for each applicant.
  1. If the last exam occurred prior to six (6) months before the application date, advise the applicant that a new exam is needed and must be completed by a licensed physician, a nurse practitioner, or a physician's assistant practicing under a licensed physician.
  1. Obtain the applicant's signature on the AD 524, Physician's Examination of Adoption Applicant/Petitioner, authorizing the release of information.
  1. Mail the AD 524 to the health practitioner or provide a copy to the applicant(s) to take to their medical exam.

 

  1. Review the completed DCFS/A 117 or AD 524.
  1. If the DCFS/A 117 or AD 524 indicates a condition or concern that required additional information, consult with the PHN and/or SCSW.
  1. If using the DCFS/A 117, have the applicant(s) complete a medical examination, if applicable.
  1. Contact the health practitioner that completed the applicant's examination to find out the procedures for obtaining additional information about a condition.
  1. Send a written request to the physician who has been treating a specific condition indicating that additional written information is needed (e.g. prognosis, compliance with treatment, etc.), if applicable.
  1. Review the treating physician's additional information.
  1. Discuss information with applicant, if necessary.
  1. If the additional information is sufficient, file it in the applicant folder with the AD 524.
  1. If there is continued concern about a condition, consult with the PHN and/or SCSW.

 

  1. Obtain a current report on each adult living in the home declaring that each person is free from communicable tuberculosis.

 

  1. Obtain the names and addresses of four (4) (full assessment) and three (3) (abbreviated assessment) references who know the applicant(s) and mail the AD 10, Reference Questionnaire to them.

 

  1. Review received Reference Questionnaires.
  1. If there are questions or concerns, contact the reference.
  1. If the reference indicated on the AD 10 that they do not want to be contacted, consult with the SCSW.
  1. If the reference checked the box indicating that they would like to discuss their answers further, contact the reference.

 

  1. Obtain the applicant(s) authorization on the ABCDM 228, Applicant's Authorization for Release of Information, in order to release a copy of the written assessment to other adoption and child welfare agencies for the purpose of locating a child for an unattached applicant to adopt and/or for use when information from other sources is needed to complete the assessment.

 

  1. Advise all applicant(s) that criminal records check (including a FBI criminal check) is required for applicant(s), and all adults residing in the home.
  1. Provide directions for obtaining the Live-Scan.
  1. Complete the DCFS 5600, Live-Scan Criminal History Request, for each adult residing in the home.
  1. Indicate "Adoption" on the request.
  1. Forward the request to the Live-Scan Technician.

 

  1. Review the Live-Scan results.
  1. Review the list of non-approvable crimes to determine if the home-study/family assessment cannot be approved due to the criminal history of the applicant or any person residing in the home.
  1. If a conviction is for a non-approvable crime, inform the SCSW. The SCSW will consult with the ARA on how to proceed.
  1. Assess the effects of any criminal history on the ability of the applicant(s) to provide adequate and proper care to the child.

 

  1. Search the Megan's Law website.
  1. Complete a search of the addresses and names of the prospective adoptive parents and any adults or other children residing in the home.
  1. Document the results in the applicant folder.
  1. If there is a match to the applicant's address, applicants, or any adults or children residing in the home, consult with the SCSW, ARA, and County Counsel, if applicable.
  1. Document the results from the search in the applicant assessment.

 

  1. Ask the applicant if he/she and/or any adult residing in the home have resided in a state other than California in the past five (5) years. If so, take the following steps:
  1. Contact the state(s) where the individual resided to determine if the individual is listed on that state's child abuse registry.
  1. If the state does not maintain a registry, document that fact in the Case Notes along with the date the state was contacted.
  1. If the state does maintain a registry, follow the procedures set forth by the state to obtain the individual's case record information.
  1. If information from another state's registry indicates a history of child abuse or neglect, review the facts of the case as part of the determination to approve the assessment. If the facts are not provided upon the initial request, contact the agency with the case record in that state for information about the circumstances of the abuse or neglect.
  1. Consult with the SCSW and/or County Counsel regarding any concerns or potential barriers to approval.
  1. Interview applicant/adult(s) regarding child abuse or neglect history.
  1. Document the contact with the other state's child abuse central registry and/or the Agency holding the case records in the Case Notes. Include the following:

 

  1. Advise all applicants that a Juvenile Arrest Index (JAI) Clearance is needed on all children fourteen (14) years or older who reside in the applicants' home.

 

  1. Verify employment of income of the applicant(s), using the most recent tax documents (if self-employed), pay stubs, an award letter for Social Security benefits, or copies of employment checks for verification.
  1. File copies of documents used for verification in the case record.
  1. Obtain the name and address of the applicant's employer (if applicable) and the length of time they have been employed there.
  1. Ensure the applicant(s) signs the top half of the DCFS/A 33, Employment Verification Form. This acts as a release of information.
  1. As soon as the completed AD 521, Application to Adopt is obtained, mail the signed DCFS/A 33 to the applicant's employer with a return envelope.

 

  1. Obtain a certified copy of the applicant's marriage certificate (if married), and verification of termination or prior marriages (if applicable).
  1. If the applicant is a widow or widower, obtain a certified copy of the death certificate. Once the applicant shows you the certified copies, a "photocopy" can be accepted for the case file. Document that certified copies were seen.
  1. If the applicant is married but legally separated, obtain a certified copy of the legal decree of separation. Once the applicant shows you the certified copies, a "photocopy" can be accepted for the case file. Document that certified copies were seen.
  1. If the applicant does not have the necessary documents available, use a DCFS 230, Request for Verification/Certificate of Evidence to request the documents. Attach a completed ABCDM 228.
  1. If the applicant is divorced or if his/her spouse has died and the applicant and DCFS have tried unsuccessfully to obtain a copy of the divorce or death certificate, an affidavit (DCFS 853 (also available in Spanish) can be completed by the applicant stating when the divorce or death occurred and the efforts made to obtain the certificate. This will be evaluated as part of the applicant assessment.

 

  1. Explain that any applicant who is married, and not legally separated cannot adopt without the consent of their spouse, provided the spouse is capable of giving consent.

 

  1. Verify the age of the applicant if there is reason to believe that he/she is less than ten (10) years older than the child to be adopted.

 

  1. Obtain school and medical reports for the applicant's children who are living in the home, using the DCFS/A 312, Medical Report on Child of Adoptive Applicant(s) and the ABCDM 228, Applicant's Authorization for Release of Information.

 

  1. Also obtain the following additional information about the applicant(s) as appropriate:

 

  1. Document all contacts with dependent children, open probate guardian case, and community cases in the home, in the Contact Notebook.

 

  1. For updated assessment for unmatched families, complete a DCFS/A 46, Adoptive Applicant's Selection Chart.
  1. Discuss the characteristics and behavior of the child he/she is willing/able to adopt.
  1. Explain to the applicant(s) that a photo album showing their home, family members, and pets may be compiled and used to introduce their family to a child they are interested in adopting.

 

  1. Assess the applicant(s) for the following (the SAFE Psychosocial Inventory, and SAFE Questionnaire I & II, and the DCFS/A 46, Adoptive Applicant's Selection Chart (for unmatched families) can be used to complete these assessments):

 

  1. Review the SAFE Psychosocial Inventory and complete the Structured Analysis Family Evaluation preformatted home study.

 

  1. Forward the following to the SCSW for review and approval:

 

  1. Submit a BCII 8302, No Longer Interested Notification to discontinue the Subsequent Arrest Notification Service when the request to adopt has been denied, dismissed, or the adoption has been finalized.
  1. If a Subsequent Arrest Notification Service is received prior to the adoption finalizing, interview the applicant/adult residing in the home regarding the arrest.
  1. Obtain a copy of the arrest report.
  1. Review the list of non-approvable crimes. If the arrest/conviction is a non-approvable crime, inform the SCSW. The SCSW will consult with the ARA on how to proceed. If the arrest/conviction does not meet the criteria of a non-approvable crime, document the contact and information regarding the arrest in the applicant case. Consult with the SCSW.
  1. Assess the effects of the arrest on the ability of the applicant(s) to provide adequate and proper care and guidance to the child.

APRD SCSW/Family Assessment Worker SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Review the AD 10s, AD 521, AD 524, DCFS 5600, DCFS/A 6, DCFS/A 33, DCFS/A 46, DCFS/A 117, DCFS/A 118, DCFS/A 312, DCFS 720, SAFE Questionnaire I & II, DCFS/A 15C (if applicable), the SAFE Psychosocial Inventory, and the SAFE preformatted home study and any other necessary documentation.
  1. If the assessment is approved, sign the approval page and forward the case to the Unit Clerk.
  1. If the assessment is not approved, return to CSW for corrective action.
  1. If there are serious concerns regarding the applicant's suitability as an adoptive parent and his/her ability to provide a safe and stable home for a child, discuss those concerns with the ARA, and proceed as directed.

Back to Procedure

Conducting an Updated Adoption Assessment

APRD CSW/Family Assessment Worker Responsibilities

  1. Obtain a copy of the applicant's existing assessment.
  1. Obtain the name and address of the agency that completed any prior assessment(s) related to placing a child in the applicant's home for the purpose of adoption or foster care.
  1. After obtaining the applicant's authorization on the ABCDM 228, Applicant's Authorization for Release of Information, request a copy of the assessment.
  1. Once received, review the assessment for areas of concern. If areas of concern were not addressed in the original home-study, address them in the update.

 

  1. Enter the name of the agency and the date the assessment was completed.
  1. Assess for and record any changes in circumstances since the prior assessment in the SAFE preformatted home-study, including:

 

  1. Follow the steps for Conducting a Full or Abbreviated Adoption Assessment.

 

  1. Submit the Update to Existing Assessment of Adoptive Applicant(s)' form to the SCSW for approval.

APRD SCSW/Family Assessment Worker SCSW Responsibilities

  1. Review the AD 10s, AD 521, AD 524, DCFS 5600, DCFS/A 6, DCFS/A 33, DCFS/A 46, DCFS/A 117, DCFS/A 118, DCFS/A 312, DCFS 720, SAFE Questionnaire I & II, and any other necessary documentation, the DCFS/A 15C (if applicable), the SAFE Psychosocial Inventory, and the SAFE preformatted home study.
  1. If the assessment is approved, sign the approval page and forward the case to the Unit Clerk.
  1. If the assessment is not approved, return to CSW for corrective action.
  1. If there are serious concerns regarding the applicant's suitability as an adoptive parent and his/her ability to provide a safe and stable home for a child, discuss those concerns with the ARA, and proceed as directed.

Back to Procedure

APPROVALS

SCSW Approval

HELPFUL LINKS

Attachments

Non-Approvable Crime List

Forms

CWS/CMS

AAP 1, Request for Adoption Assistance Program Benefits

AAP 7, Adoption Assistance Program State of Acknowledgement

Applicant Folder

Concurrent Planning Assessment (CPA)

LA Kids

AAP 1, Request for Adoption Assistance Program Benefits

AAP 7, Adoption Assistance Program State of Acknowledgement

ABCDM 228, Applicant's Authorization for Release of Information (also available in Spanish)

AD 10, Reference Questionnaire

AD 521, Application for Child Adoption

AD 524, Physician's Examination of Adoption Applicant/Petitioner

AD 908, Adoptions Information Act Statement

ADM 36, Medical Report on the Child to be Adopted

BCII 8043, No Longer Interested Notification

DCFS 230, Request for Verification/Certificate of Evidence

DCFS 720, Physical Environment Checklist

DCFS 853, Affidavit (also available in Spanish)

DCFS 5600, Live-Scan Criminal History Request

DCFS 5620, Comparison of Legal and Financial Benefits-Adoption,

Legal Guardianship and Planned Permanent Living Arrangement

DCFS/A 6, Consent of Spouse

DCFS/A 33, Employment Verification Form

DCFS/A 46, Adoptive Applicant's Selection Chart

DCFS/A 117, Applicants Own Report of Health (also available in Spanish)

DCFS/A 118, Current Financial Resources (also available in Spanish)

DCFS/A 312, Medical Report on Child of Adoptive Applicant(s)

DCFS/A 376, Child's Questionnaire (Spanish)

DCFS/A 410, The Grievance Review Process for Applicants to Adopt

DCFS LIC 198B, Out-of-State Child AbuseThe non-accidental commission of injuries against a person. In the case of a child, the term refers specifically to the non-accidental commission of injuries against the child by or allowed by a parent(s)/guardian(s) or other person(s). The term also includes emotional, physical, severe physical, and sexual abuse as defined in CDSS MPP Section 31-002(c)(9)(D)./NeglectThe failure to provide a person with necessary care and protection. In the case of a child, the term refers to the failure of a parent(s)/guardian(s) or caretaker(s) to provide the care and protection necessary for the child's healthy growth and development. Neglect occurs when children are physically or psychologically endangered. The term includes both severe and general neglect as defined by Penal Code Section 11165.2 and medically neglected infants as described in 45 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1340.15(b). Report Request Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006

SAFE Questionnaire I

Hard Copy

Adoptive Home Study Guide

Concurrent Planning with Resource Families

Cover Letter Mailed to Applicant (part of the adoption packet)

DCFS/A 195-S, Second Sheet for Approval Letters

DCFS/A 376, Child(ren)'s Questionnaire

Licensing Status Questionnaire

Resource Family Checklist

Structured Analysis Family Evaluation (SAFE) Desk Guide

SAFE Psychosocial Inventory

SAFE Questionnaire II

Update to Existing Assessment of Adoptive Applicant(s)

Referenced Policy Guides

0070-559.10, Clearances

0080-507.20, Concurrent Planning and the Concurrent Planning Assessment (CPA)

0100-520.10, Evaluating a Prospective Caregiver

0100-520.35, Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) Program

0100-520.70, Exemptions for Criminal History Records

0100-525.41, The WraparoundWraparound is a multi-agency initiative. The Wraparound approach is a family-centered, strengths-based, needs-driven planning and service delivery process. It advocates for family-professional partnership to ensure family voice, choice and ownership. Wraparound children and family teams benefits children by working with the family to ensure Permanency. Wraparound is funded through Title IV-E funds. The average length of involvement with the program is 8 months. The primary focus of the program is to keep children out of residential placements and maintain them safely in their family and community. Services Program

0200-506.20, Grievance ProceduresFor the purpose of the adoption home study, procedures initiated on behalf of the applicant, at the applicant's request, to appeal the Department's decision when the adoption home study has been denied by DCFS. The Grievance Review Process pamphlet outlines the specific action taken by the Department when the applicant requests a grievance review hearing. In addition, grievance procedures are in place for foster parents who want to challenge the Department's decision in regards to their care and supervision of a child(ren). Foster parents who want to challenge decisions regarding their license must follow grievance procedures from the State Department of Social Services. for Denial of Adoption Requests or Withdrawal of Approved Applicant Assessments

0200-509.25, Pre-Placement Process

0200-510.00, Post-Adoption Services: Services Available to Families with a Finalized Adoption

0200-513.05, Postadoption Contact Agreements

0200-511.05, Initiating Adoption Assistance Program & Medi-CalCalifornia's federal Medicaid program. Benefits

0400-503.10, Contact Requirements and Exceptions

Statutes

CDSS, MPP, Title 22, Section 35177 (Adoption Users Manual) – Sets forth regulations regarding the written application agency actions and the authority for disapproval.

 

CDSS, MPP, Title 22, Section 35177, 35180 (Adoption Users Manual) – Sets forth regulations regarding the requirements of the written assessment and required documentation.

 

CDSS, MPP, Title 22, Section 35179 and 35179.1 (Adoption Users Manual) – Sets forth regulations as to the required information that must be provided to applicants.

 

CDSS, MPP, Title 22, Section 35181 (Adoption Users Manual) – Sets forth regulations regarding the conditions for a full assessment and the requirements needed to complete a full assessment.

 

CDSS, MPP, Title 22, Section 35183 (Adoption Users Manual) – Sets forth regulations regarding  the conditions for an abbreviated assessment and the requirements needed to complete an abbreviated assessment.

 

CDSS, MPP, Title 22, Section 35183.1 (Adoption Users Manual) – Sets forth regulations regarding the conditions for an updated assessment.

 

CDSS, MPP, Title 22, Section 35184 (Adoption Users Manual) – Sets forth regulations regarding criminal background checks of adoption applicants.

 

Family Code (FAM) Section 8601 – States that, except as provided in subdivision (b), a prospective adoptive parent(s) must be at least ten (10) years older than the child. However, if the court is satisfied that the adoption of a child by a stepparent, sibling, uncle, aunt, or first cousin, and if that person is married, by that person and that person's spouse, and it is in the best interest of the parties and the public interest, the court can approve the adoption without regard to the ages of the child and the prospective adoptive parent(s).

 

FAM Section 8603 – States that a married person who is not lawfully separated from their spouse cannot adopt a child without the consent of the spouse, provided that the spouse is capable of giving consent.

 

FAM Section 8702(a) states in pertinent part that the department shall adopt a statement to be presented to the birth parents at the time a relinquishment is signed and to prospective adoptive parents at the time of the home study. The statement shall, in a clear and concise manner and in words calculated to ensure the confidence of the birth parents in the integrity of the adoption process, communicate to the birth parents of a child who is the subject of an adoption petition all of the following facts: (1) It is in the child's best interest that the birth parent keep the department or licensed adoption agency to whom the child was relinquished for adoption informed of any health problems that the parent develops that could affect the child. (2) It is extremely important that the birth parent keep an address current with the department or licensed adoption agency to whom the child was relinquished for adoption in order to permit a response to inquiries concerning medical or social history.

 

FAM Section 8712 – States, in part, that the department or a licensed adoption agency shall require each person filing an application for adoption to be fingerprinted. The department or licensed adoption agency must also secure any criminal records of that person to determine whether the person has ever been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation. Any federal level criminal offender record requests to the Department of Justice (DOJ) shall be submitted with fingerprint images and related information required by the DOJ for the purposes of obtaining information about the existence and content of a record of an out-of-state or federal conviction or arrest or federal crime or arrest of a person. Notwithstanding subdivision (c), the criminal record shall be taken into consideration when evaluating the prospective adoptive parent. In addition, an assessment of the effects of any criminal history on the ability of the prospective adoptive parent to provide adequate and proper care and guidance to the child shall be included in the report to the court. Under no circumstances shall the department or a licensed adoption agency give final approval for an adoptive placement in any home where the prospective adoptive parent or any adult living in the home has either:

A felony conviction for child abuse or neglect, spousal abuse, crimes against a child (including child pornography), or for a crime involving violence (including rape, sexual assault, or homicide, but excluding other physical assault and battery). A felony conviction that occurred within the last five (5) years for physical assault, battery, or a drug-or-alcohol related offense.

 

FAM Section 9203 – States, in part that a person who has been adopted and who attains the age of twenty-one (21) years can make a request to the State Department of Social Services, or the licensed adoption agency that joined in the adoption petition, for the name and address of the his/her birth parent(s), if the birth parent(s) have indicated consent to the disclosure in writing. The identify and most current address of the birth parent(s) shall be disclosed to the adoptive parent of an adoptee under the age of twenty-one (21) if the licensed adoption agency finds that a medical necessity or other extraordinary circumstance justifies the disclosure, provided the birth parent has given permission for the disclosure.

 

Health and Safety Code Section 1522.1(b)(c) – States, in part, that in any application received on or after January 1, 2008, if the prospective licensed or certified foster parent, adoptive parent, or any person over age eighteen (18) residing in the home has lived in another state in the preceding five (5) years, the licensing agency or licensed adoption agency shall check the other state(s)' child abuse and neglect registry. The registry(ies) must be checked prior to granting a license, or approving any foster family home, certified family home, or person for whom an adoption assessment is conducted/who has filed to adopt.

 

Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) Section 16119 – Provides information about the Adoption Assistance Program (AAP)A mandatory statewide program that provides financial support to families in order to facilitate the adoption of children who would otherwise be in long-term foster care. The intent of this program is to remove limited financial resources as a barrier to adoption..

 

WIC Section 16120 – Summarizes the eligibility requirements, benefits payment, and conditions for AAP benefits.

 

WIC Section 16120(d)(1)(2)(3) – States, in part, that a child shall be eligible for AAP benefits if all the conditions specified in subdivisions (a) through (l), inclusive, are met or if the conditions specified in subdivision (m) are met. The child must satisfy any of the following criteria:

 

WIC Section 16121(1)(2) – States that notwithstanding any other provision of this section, for Adoption Assistance (AA) agreements executed on or after January 1, 2010, the adoptive family shall be paid an amount of aid based on the child's needs otherwise covered in AFDC-FC payments and the circumstance of the adopting parents, but that amount shall not exceed the foster care maintenance payment, and any applicable specialized care increment that the child received while placed in a licensed or approved family home pursuant  to Section 11461, subdivisions(a) to (d). For AA agreements executed on or after January 1st, 2010, AA benefits shall not be increased based on age, as occurs for foster family homes.

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