Most infants, children or youth who come into care through the Vermont child welfare system return home to their parents. When this is not possible and the parents relinquish their parental rights or there is a legal termination of parental rights, the child becomes available for adoption. Frequently the child is then adopted by the kinship caregivers or foster parents who the child has been living with. Occasionally a pre-adoptive home is not identified at the time of termination of parental rights and a new family is needed for that child.
At the Vermont Child Welfare Training Partnership, we support adoptive and pre-adoptive parents in a number of ways.
Prior to the adoption, parents take our Fostering to Forever course. This 3.5-hour long course prepares prospective adoptive parents for adopting from foster care. It teaches them about the lifelong issues of adoption for all member of the adoption constellation (child, adoptive family, and birth family). The course provides information about state and local resources; how to begin talking about adoption with your child and family; as well as preparing for the transition by considering what will change and what will stay the same for you, the child and the rest of your family.
The course is offered in-person, virtually and on-line. It is required prior to submission of an adoption assistance agreement. Folks are moving from Conditional Custody Order (CCO) to Adoption or Guardianship will take Families Forever instead.
After adoption takes place, we offer a number of relevant training and coaching opportunities. Here is a sampling of some of those:
- Coaching for Adoptive Parents
- Caring for Opioid Exposed Infants
- LGBTA 101: Caring for LGBTQ Children and Youth
- Youth Adoption Panel: Shared Connections and Communication in Adoption
- Siblings in Adoption
- The Extended Family of Adoption
Additional helpful information is available from the Vermont Consortium for Adoption and Guardianship.