Each November, we roll into the holiday season with bright eyes and hopeful hearts.
For those of you who do not know, November is not only the start of the holiday season, it is National Adoption Month.
As an agency, Child & Family Services takes a moment to celebrate our families being created and honor the significant impact they give to our youth by providing them with a forever family, home, safety, and love.
Children traditionally enter foster care with the permanency goal of returning to their parent(s). This means that caseworkers are working diligently to provide support and resources to the family to help them make positive gains toward family reunification.
Unfortunately, there are times where reunification is unable to be achieved and the court system may determine that it is in the child’s best interest to work towards a concurrent permanency plan, ultimately leading to a goal of adoption.
The journey to adoption is not a straight road, it has many U-turns, red lights, intersections, and at times can feel like a dead end. Families who have entered the foster care system have experienced significant trauma. Child & Family Services frequently collaborates with mental health providers, such as Spectrum Health, to support our birth families, foster families, and children in care to work towards a healthier life.
Children who enter the adoption process simultaneously experience a significant loss and an incredible gain.
While they are at the receiving end of celebratory messages moving toward the adoption process or finalizing the paperwork, there is the loss of their biological family. Similar to your physical health, Spectrum Health believes your mental health is just as important. All of the people who walk through Child & Family Services’ front door need support.
They may not be accepting or ready for the additional help upon their arrival, but when they are prepared to take the next step, organizations like Spectrum Health are able to help.
Last year, Spectrum Health serviced thousands of adults and children in Western New York, increasing their ability to successfully cope with their trauma histories and empower them to make significant life challenges through providing highly specialized, evidence-based treatment procedures that lead to sustainable recovery. Spectrum Health also offers a community-based team, which staff includes psychiatrists, nurses, vocational specialists, and peer advocates who provide convenient programs for people of all ages. All these services can help families be successful during the adoption process.
For our families who have prioritized a child’s need for love, safety, and permanency, we thank you.
Although the road can be long, Child & Family Services and Spectrum Health provide you with a map and the support you need to reach the best version of yourself. Any parent, caregiver, youth, service provider, or another community person who is concerned about a youth or family in crisis can call Spectrum Health’s C.A.R.E.S. hotline at any time.
Child & Family Services has been creating safe environments for children, adults, and families since 1873. If you are interested in getting to learn more about Foster Care & Adoption and how you can make a difference in the life of a child, contact Child & Family Services at (716)882-0555.
Happy National Adoption Month!
By Morgan Schumacher
LMSW, Supervisor- Foster Care and Adoption
Child & Family Services