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Policy Manual
Adoption Placement Process

Pre-Placement Visits

Policy Pre-placement steps are necessary in preparing the adoptive parents, foster parents or residential staff, and the child.
Initial Visit The initial visit of the adoptive parents in the foster home with the Social Worker is a time to meet the child, look at the environment in which he/she has been living, and make the decision to commit to an adoptive placement.
Service Agreement Before the visits begin, service agreements regarding the number of visits and the time frames can be written and signed by adoptive parents, foster parents and Social Worker, and the child if he/she is old enough.
Foster Parent Support Foster parents' support is important to help the child establish a relationship with the new family and as a source of information for the adoptive family.
Visiting Schedule When setting up the visiting schedule, the emotional and developmental needs of the child must be considered. For example, the younger the child, the shorter the time frame between each pre-placement visit. This does not mean, however, that the number of visits is less.

Generally, the first visit or first several visits take place in the foster home/residential facility with the adoptive parents eventually taking the child outside the foster home/facility and increasing the time to a day visit at the home of the adoptive parents.

As the visits progress and if the child and adoptive family feel comfortable with each other, depending on the age of the child, several overnight visits should be made prior to placement at the new home.

Note: The most important factor to be accomplished during pre-placement visits is for the child to feel safe and connected to the adoptive family before he/she goes there to live.

Foster Parents Role in Pre-Placement Visiting Foster parents have a big role to play in this placement process, and can be the best help when they give the child permission to go.

They need to give the message to the child, both by words and behavior, that they sanction this move to an adoptive home and approve of the new parents.

Summary The pre-placement visiting can be a source of conflict but is very important and purposeful. Visiting provides the time to help:

•the child and family get acquainted
•restate the original information about the child
•exchange necessary school, medical and therapeutic information
•set up support services
•prepare for the separation for caretakers, friends and other important people
•establish the family ground rules, and
•begin to make new relationships and for all parties to assess the appropriateness and progress of the placement.

Connecticut Department of Children and Families Issued: March 1, 1994