Personnel are qualified and receive support to facilitate the development of permanent caring relationships between children and adoptive families.
Note: When the agency is unable to fully implement one or more of the practice standards, intensive efforts should be made to fully implement the other standards. For example, if the agency is unable to recruit workers with specific qualifications, it can ensure that appropriate supervision and workload standards are implemented.
Adoption workers are qualified by:
Supervisors are qualified by an advanced degree in social work or a comparable human service field and two years of experience in working with children and families, preferably in adoption.
Adoption workers have the competencies to:
Interpretation: Competency can be demonstrated through education, training, or experience.
Adoption workers and supervisors, depending on job responsibilities, are knowledgeable about relevant provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) including:
The agency determines the appropriate type of in-service training needed to ensure personnel remain current on adoption trends and practice issues.
Adoption workers maintain a manageable workload, and cases are assigned according to a system that takes into consideration:
Interpretation: Case complexity can take into account: intensity of child and family needs and size of the family. Generally, caseloads do not exceed 12-25 families. However, there are circumstances under which caseloads may exceed these limits. For example, caseload size may vary depending upon the volume of administrative case functions (e.g., entering notes, filing, etc.) assigned to the worker. Caseloads may also be higher when agencies are faced with temporary vacancies on staff.
Note: The evaluation of this standard will focus on whether the assigned workload is manageable for staff, taking into account the factors cited in the standard and interpretation. The specific caseload sizes stated in the interpretation are only a suggestion of what might be appropriate. Each agency should determine what caseload size is appropriate, and reviewers will evaluate: (1) whether the agency’s designated caseload size reflects a manageable workload, and (2) whether the agency maintains caseloads of the size it deemed appropriate.
Supervisors or experienced workers provide additional knowledge, skills, and support when personnel are new or are still developing competencies.