Idaho Training Info

If you are doing an independent adoption, please check in with your adoption worker on training needed
To adopt through foster care in Idaho, a 27-hour Blended Pre-Service Training Program is required. A Family For Every Child is currently offering it at NO COST through Foster Parent College

In the state of Idaho, the licensing and approval process typically takes 90-120 days. A Family For Every Child provides what you need for each step of the way.

Adoption Worker Guidance


Your AFFEC adoption worker will guide you through:

  1. Orientation

  2. Foster/adoptive parent application and Criminal History Background Check

  3. The 27-hour Blended Pre-Service Training, and the Reasonable and Prudent Parent training which can be completed during duel licensing assessment or home study. Available through A Family For Every Child at Foster Parent College

Know your ID #

ID # Region Counties
1460 Region 1 Boundary, Bonner, Kootenai, Shoshone, Benewah
1460 Region 2 Latah, Nez Perce, Clearwater, Lewis, Idaho
1226 Region 3 Adams, Washington, Payette, Gem, Canyon, Owyhee
1236 Region 4 Valley, Boise, Ada, Elmore
1103 Region 5 Camas, Blaine, Gooding, Lincoln, Jerome, Minidoka, Twin Falls, Cassia
1274 Region 6 Bingham, Bannock, Power, Caribou, Bear Lake, Franklin, Oneida
1505 Region 7 Lemhi, Custer, Butte, Clark, Jefferson, Fremont, Madison, Teton, Bonneville

Oregon Adoption Agency

An Oregon Adoption Agency Since 2008!

A Family For Every Child (AFFEC), a non profit organization, began with its founder Christy Obie-Barrett, a mother of 12 children – 9 of which are adopted. Christy wanted to make a difference in the lives of more children and found a way through non profits. In January 2006, AFFEC was created to help find permanent homes for many of Oregon’s waiting children with special focus on special needs/hard to place children.

In 2008, A Family for Every Child became licensed as an adoption agency in the State of Oregon, beginning the next stage of our journey!

As an adoption agency, A Family for Every Child has developed our own systems and applications to optimize the adoption process, making it easier for everyone involved! We pride ourselves in completing home studies faster and more affordably (We only charge what it costs us!) than traditional adoption agencies. Families who choose our agency can expect transparency and collaboration throughout the home study process!

 

The Basics of Adoption

Step 1: Selecting An Agency

The first step in your adoption journey is to select the adoption agency you want to work with. Your adoption agency must be licensed in your state to perform the type of adoption you are interested in. There are two general categories of adoption: foster care and independent.

A foster care adoption is when a family is adopting a child who is currently a ward of the state. An independent adoption is the adoption of a child who is not currently a ward of the state. Independent adoptions include infant adoption, step-child adoption, kin adoption, etc. 

We recommend selecting an agency offering transparency in its process and pricing, an excellent reputation in the community, and values that align with your family. 

Step 2: Adoption Orientation

A Family for Every Child offers all prospective adoptive parents the opportunity to attend a free Adoption Orientation prior to engaging in adoption services with our agency. Orientation includes:

  • A comprehensive overview of the adoption process from start to finalization, and beyond,
  • The needs and characteristics of the children the agency serves, and
  • An accounting of all projected costs related to the adoption process.

Step 3: Parent Training

All states require prospective adoptive parents to attend a comprehensive training program designed to build the skills needed when parenting children who have experienced trauma.

A Family for Every Child outlines the specific training guidelines applicable to our program and supports each adoptive parent in accessing training and applying the skills learned.

Step 4: Adoption Application

Prior to completing an adoptive home study, prospective adoptive parents submit a comprehensive application and supporting documentation. A Family for Every Child’s application includes:

  • The applicant’s motivation to adopt,
  • A fingerprint-based background check for all household members 18 and older,
  • Confirmation of adoption training completion,
  • Autobiographical information about all household members,
  • A medical form indicating the applicant’s health,
  • Financial documentation indicating the family can meet the needs of the child(ren) they are seeking to adopt,
  • Documents outlining the applicant’s willingness to comply with state licensing requirements,
  • If applicable, marriage certificates or divorce decrees,
  • Character references, and
  • Details about the needs and characteristics of the child they are seeking to adopt.

Step 5: Home Study

An adoptive home study is a legal document that determines an individual or couple’s adoption eligibility. When a prospective family’s application is complete, and basic eligibility has been established, the family is assigned to an adoption worker. The adoption worker completes:

  • Individual interviews with all household members,
  • Individual interviews with any children living outside the home,
  • An interview with the couple, if applicable,
  • An in-home safety assessment,
  • Six character references, and
  • Any other documentation or interviews needed to determine the applicant’s eligibility for adoption.

The adoption worker leverages all information gathered in the application and interview process to author the home study.  Each A Family for Every Child home study goes through a rigorous editing and approval process prior to finalization. When completed, the family receives a copy of the home study.

If the family is participating in an independent adoption, they will provide their home study to their attorney who will assist them in petitioning the court for adoption. If the family is participating in adoption from foster care, the family will transition into the matching or selection phase of adoption.

Step 6: Matching

A Family for Every Child supports our home study certified families in a national child recruitment effort by leveraging a variety of county, state, and federal child listings. Child listings typically include a picture of the child and a short biography that describes the child’s characteristics. Families will only receive additional information about a child if they submit their home study to the child’s caseworker and the child’s caseworker believes the family is a potential match for the child.  

The matching phase of foster adoption can be especially frustrating for families. Roughly eight out of ten submissions will not receive a response from the child’s caseworker. One out of ten will receive a response but the child’s needs will well exceed what the family has been home study approved to adopt. That leaves one out of ten submissions as a possible match for families to consider. On average, our families who are placed with a child within eight to twelve months of home study completion submit on 100-150 children.

When a child’s caseworker feels the family is a good potential match, the caseworker will reach out to the family or adoption worker and provide a summary of the child’s needs.

If after reviewing the summary with their adoption worker the family wants to proceed with the match, a meeting is typically set up between the child’s caseworker, family, and adoption worker. During this time, the child’s caseworker will be interviewing multiple families in an effort to find the best match for the child.

The child’s caseworker will typically review home studies and interview applicant families until they are prepared to make a placement selection for the child.

Step 7: Placement

After selection and before placement, the family should receive disclosure documentation from the child’s team outlining the child’s needs and history.

The adoption worker, family, and child’s caseworker work together to create and execute a plan for transitioning the child from their current residence to the family’s home. This includes ensuring any therapeutic services the child is currently receiving are mapped over to the family’s community. Continuity of care for the child is critical.

During the time when the child is placed in the adoptive home but the adoption has not yet been finalized, the family and child will be supported by an adoption worker. They will provide parent coaching, support, help locating additional resources, and accountability throughout the month. They will visit the family and child in the home at least once per month.

Want more information?

Email adoption@afamilyforeverychild.org or call our agency at 541-343-2856 to sign up for a free adoption Orientation. Orientations are scheduled multiple times a month and are a great opportunity to get all of your adoption-related questions answered. 

Assistance for Adoptive Families

There are many resources and supports available to assist families with their decision to adopt.

Adoption Subsidy

Some of the children who are adopted through Child Welfare are considered children with “special needs.” Special needs, as defined by the Department of Children and Families includes:

  • A child who has one or more special needs as a result of a mental, emotional or physical impairment, behavioral disorder, or medical condition that has been diagnosed by a licensed professional who is qualified to make the diagnosis
  • A child who is a member of a sibling group of 2 to be adopted together and one of the children is 8 years of age or older
  • A child is a member of a sibling group of 3 or more to be adopted together
  • A child is a member of an ethnic or cultural minority of whom reasonable, but unsuccessful efforts to place the child in an adoptive home were made and documented
  • The child’s birth and/or family history places the child at risk of having special needs but, due to the child’s age, a reliable diagnosis cannot be made.

Adoption subsidies are available to parents who adopt children who have physical or mental disabilities, or severe emotional problems. In addition to those children who qualify for subsidy through the Federal Title IV-E Adoption Assistance program, state subsidies are available to offset the additional costs of caring for a child with special needs. The subsidy programs are intended to remove financial barriers to the adoption of children with special needs, but they are not intended to cover the full cost of raising a child. The amount of the subsidy cannot be greater than the amount that child would have received had the child remained in a family-based foster care setting. The benefits available through the adoption subsidy programs are determined on an individual basis and may include monthly care and maintenance payments (a daily rate), health insurance coverage.

Adoption Tax Credit

In the summer of 2001, the Federal Adoption Tax Credit was updated. The most important update was to expand benefits to children with special needs adopted from the U.S. foster care system. Originally families adopting from the foster care system could claim the adoption tax credit, provided they had qualifying expenses. Unfortunately, the IRS list of qualifying expenses was limited to the cost of the adoption process, but not the day-to-day costs of raising a child with special needs. However, beginning in tax year 2003, families adopting a child with special needs from foster care, had access to this same tax credit without needing to document expenses. Since tax year 2005, the tax credit is $10,630 and you have the current year and up to the next five years in which to use it. For families that adopted in 2002 or earlier, you can only claim the credit against expenses you paid related to the adoption process.

If you have questions on the adoption tax credit, contact the North American Council on Adoptable Children at 651-644-3036 or  adoption.assistance@nacac.org. You can also visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov or call 1-800-829-1040.

Employee Benefits

Employer adoption benefits may include reimbursement for costs, paid or unpaid time-off and other support services. For more information contact the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption at 1-877-777-4222 or info@adoptionfriendlyworkplace.org, or visit their website.

Resources

Common Diagnoses of Foster Children

It is critical for children in foster care to get routine developmental screenings and any necessary follow-up. Routine pediatric visits include developmental check-ups, but children may not be seen regularly by a pediatrician while living in foster care. A child’s physical and mental functioning may improve if problems are recognized during routine developmental screenings and necessary treatment is provided.

Given that the life of a child in foster care is often filled with separation and loss it is not surprising that behavioral and psychiatric issues are common in these children.

Anxiety

Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive, exaggerated anxiety and worry about everyday life events with no obvious reasons for worry. People with symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder tend to always expect disaster and can’t stop worrying. Daily life becomes a constant state of worry, fear, and dread. Eventually, the anxiety so dominates the person’s thinking that it interferes with daily functioning.

Asthma

Asthma is an inflammatory disorder of the airways, which causes attacks of wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing.

Compulsive water drinking (polydipsia)

Polydipsia is a medical symptom in which the patient displays excessive thirst.

Depression

Depression is a serious medical illness that involves the brain. It’s more than just a feeling of being “down in the dumps” or “blue” for a few days. The feelings do not go away. They persist and interfere with your everyday life. Symptoms can include:

  • Sadness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • Change in weight
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • Energy loss
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Developmental delay

Developmental Delay is when your child does not reach their developmental milestones at the expected times. It is an ongoing major or minor delay in the process of development. If your child is temporarily lagging behind, that is not called developmental delay. Delay can occur in one or many areas—for example, gross or fine motor, language, social, or thinking skills.

Emotional or behavioral problems

Encopresis

Encopresis is the voluntary or involuntary passage of stools in a child who has been toilet trained (typically over age 4), which causes the soiling of clothes. Encopresis is frequently is associated with constipation and fecal impaction. Often, hard fecal material remains in the colon and the child only passes a soft or semi-liquid stool around the impacted stool. Leakage of stool may occur during the day or night. There are rarely physical causes other than constipation (sometimes present since infancy). Other causes may be related to:

  • A lack of toilet training
  • Toilet training at too early an age
  • Emotional disturbance such as oppositional defiant disorder

The following may increase the risk for encopresis:

  • Being male
  • Chronic constipation
  • Low socioeconomic status

Conduct disorder

Whatever the cause the child may develop associated shame, guilt, or loss of self-esteem. The child may try to hide the discovery of the problem.

Enuresis

Bedwetting is involuntary urination in children over 5 to 6 years old. It may occur at any time of the day or night.

Excess appetite (hyperphagia)

Excessive hunger describes an abnormally strong desire or need to eat. This can be normal or related to an underlying medical condition.

Failure to thrive

Failure to thrive is a description applied to children whose current weight or rate of weight gain is significantly below that of other children of similar age and sex.

Genetic and birth defect syndromes

HIV infection

HIV infection is a disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The condition gradually destroys the immune system, which makes it harder for the body to fight infections.

Inadequate immunization

Long bone and rib fractures

Poor dental hygiene or multiple caries

Poorly controlled chronic illness

Prenatal exposure to cocaine, alcohol, narcotics

Reactive Attachment Disorder

Reactive attachment disorder is a rare but serious condition in which infants and young children don’t establish healthy bonds with parents or caregivers. A child with reactive attachment disorder is typically neglected, abused, or moved multiple times from one caregiver to another. Because the child’s basic needs for comfort, affection and nurturing aren’t met, he or she never establishes loving and caring attachments with others. This may permanently alter the child’s growing brain and hurt their ability to establish future relationships. Reactive attachment disorder is a lifelong condition, but with treatment children can develop more stable and healthy relationships with caregivers and others. Safe and proven treatments for reactive attachment disorder include psychological counseling and parent or caregiver education.

Sexually transmitted diseases

Shaken baby syndrome

(SBS) is a form of physical child abuse that occurs when an abuser violently shakes an infant or small child, creating a whiplash-type motion that causes acceleration-deceleration injuries. It is common for there to be no external evidence of trauma.

Sleep disorders

Sleep disorders involve any difficulties related to sleeping, including difficulty falling or staying asleep, falling asleep at inappropriate times, excessive total sleep time, or abnormal behaviors associated with sleep.

Emotional Needs

The children AFFEC serves have been removed from their birth families. due to neglect, and/or abuse, and have varying degrees of emotional needs. Many of these children are slow to trust a new person or family, having suffered past losses and often finding the adults in their lives unreliable or unable to care for them. Emotional difficulties can also result in a child having behavioral difficulties. Hoarding food, withdrawing, having difficulty telling the truth and competing for attention are among the most common behaviors.

It can be especially challenging to deal with a child who has been through a traumatic experience. If a child is unwilling or unable to discuss these experiences, the frustration may be so overwhelming that it affects the child’s ability to function on a day-to-day basis. A sense of security and support services will often help a child make great strides in a new family. Many of the waiting children benefit from counseling and other therapeutic services.

Physical Difficulties

While most of the waiting children are healthy, some do have physical difficulties or disabilities. Some may have asthma, cleft palate, mild forms of bronchitis or allergies or easily treatable medical conditions. Other children have more severe physical disabilities, such as limb deformities, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, congenital heart disease, life-threatening illnesses and various types of developmental disabilities.

Learning Disabilities

Many waiting children have difficulties comprehending, processing or retaining oral and/or written information. Within the general public school population, 10 to 20 percent of children have some form of learning disability. Learning disabilities can manifest themselves in any number of ways. The most common problems are Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), hyperactivity and dyslexia.

Adoption Questions

Getting Started

 

What kinds of questions might I ask about a perspective adoption?What kind of information do I need about my adopted child? When is it provided?

  • Why the child was initially (and, if applicable, subsequently) placed in foster care
  • A description of the home environment from which the child was removed
  • Details about the child’s other placements while in care

When children join a new foster or adoptive family,they often bring complicated histories that include abuse and neglect.

Some children have multiple diagnoses that affect their health, social and emotional well-being, and school performance. The more you know, the better prepared you can be to advocate for your child and handle situations as they may arise. Accurate information will also help you know more clearly why and when you may need to seek support from various professionals, get advice from experienced foster and adoptive parents, or tap into other community resources for help.

Social and Medical History

Start by learning as much as you can about your prospective child's social and medical history from your state, province, county, or agency. Specific rules on what must be shared vary by state and province. You should seek the following information:

Adoption Questions
  • The child’s school records and other details about the child’s educational experiences and abilities
  • An assessment of how well the child interacts with peers, adults, and others
  • Immunization and other health records (including diagnoses such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and problems arising from other prenatal drug exposure or pre-term delivery, attachment difficulties, learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral problems, and other mental health concerns)
  • A checklist of the child’s behaviors, and how certain diagnoses and issues play out in family life as well as how other families have learned to cope with them
  • Non-identifying details about the birth parents (including their general background, education, employment, armed services history; social or medical risk factors, drug usage, medical and mental health history, other children, and extended birth family history). Also inquire about the birth mother’s care during pregnancy, and any risk factors for the child due to the mother’s experiences during pregnancy or complications during delivery.

Information from Former Caregivers

Former caregivers may also be willing to share what they know about the family and offer insight about the child. Questions you might ask include:

  • What information about the child’s and the birth family’s social and medical history do you believe is significant?
  • What is missing from the paperwork?
  • How can I get more information?
  • Currently, how is the child’s health? Are there any diagnoses or allergies you know of that are not listed in his file?
  • Is the child still in touch with his/her birth family? If not, when was the last contact the child had with the birth family?
  • Does the child have siblings? Does the child have contact with the siblings? Will contact continue and to what degree?
  • Is the child showing behaviors related to abuse, separation, or other trauma? Have other children been victimized by this behavior? If so, how?
  • How many moves has the child experienced in foster care? What were the reasons for the moves? How is the child functioning as a result?
  • How does the child relate to peers in the neighborhood and school?
  • What methods of discipline does the child respond to best?
  • What comforts the child? What comforting objects do you think should follow the child into adoption?
  • What items, smells, foods, experiences, or events seem to trigger negative behavior in the child?
  • What, in your opinion, is at the root of these behaviors? What in the child’s past might be causing him or her to behave in certain ways?
  • Would you be willing to tell the child that he or she has your permission to join our family?
  • Would you be willing to maintain some contact with the child during the transition to adoption? Provide respite care?

Take Action

After gathering all the information you can, the most important thing you can do is to firmly commit to doing whatever it takes to help the child let go of the pain from his past and learn to face the future with hope. To learn more about the importance of family background information and find links to specific state laws, visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway

I'm having problems with the child welfare system. What can I do to help change it?

If you want to help change the system, join others who are already working in that area. Contact the parent groups in your area (find a database of groups at this link) to find out what they are doing or if they know of other advocacy groups you can get involved with. To report a specific problem, contact your adoption manager or the NACAC representative in your state. You may also want to contact one of AdoptUsKids’ Training and Technical Assistance consultants (a directory of staff and consultants is available at AdoptUsKids: Permanency - Tools and Resources).

Transracial Adoption Resources

Disclaimer: The views and opinions reflected in the blogs listed below are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of A Family For Every Child.

Matchmeeting Preparation

1-541-343-2856