CA-AS Standard. Generated 9/25/2022. ©2022 Council on Accreditation.
2022 Edition

Adoption Services Definition

Purpose

Adoption programs establish permanent family relationships for children in need of permanency, and increase the well-being, functioning, and stability of children, birth parents, adoptive families, and adopted individuals.

Definition

Adoption programs provide services which may include: providing information about adoption, assessments, home studies, training, counselling, support, preparation, matching, placement, and post-placement/post-adoption services to facilitate permanent caring relationships within families for children and youth.

Note: COA’s standards are written to encompass best practices associated with all types of adoption and include standards for services provided to all members of the adoption triad. COA’s standards are designed to be used by programs that provide some or all of the services in an adoption and programs that provide services to some or all members of the adoption triad. In particular, COA recognizes that some programs focus primarily on providing home studies, training, and/or post-adoption services, and that services in foster care adoptions can be limited based on the service delivery model structured by the public agency. Some standards include an option of “not-applicable” but many standards are written to be inclusive of all types of adoption programs so that at least one or more elements of the standard are applicable.

Note: Home study programs will be reviewed under CA-AS 1, CA-AS 2, CA-AS 6, and CA-AS 12 only.

Post-placement/Post-adoption programs will complete: CA-AS 1, CA-AS 2, CA-AS 11, and CA-AS 12 only.

Child-focused recruitment programs will complete CA-AS 1, CA-AS 2, CA-AS 3, CA-AS 4, CA-AS 5, CA-AS 8, and CA-AS 9 only. 

Foster-to-adopt programs will complete all of CA-FKC and CA-AS 5, CA-AS 6, CA-AS 7, CA-AS 8, CA-AS 9, CA-AS 11, and CA-AS 12 only. 

Note:  The use of language in adoption is complex, sensitive, and evolving and COA selected language commonly in use at the time the standards were updated. Certain terms are used for broader applicability and ease of use throughout the standards.  For example: The term “children” includes infants, toddlers, school-age children, and youth.  The term “birth parents” includes expectant parents and parents who are considering or have made a plan for adoption, and generally includes the birth mother and birth father. COA’s standards do not further define birth father. Local laws provide more specific definitions and requirements in relation to birth fathers and use terms such as legal or presumed father and alleged or putative father. The term “prospective adoptive parents” generally includes foster parents, kinship caregivers, relatives, single individuals, and couples.  

Note: Please see the AS Reference List for the research that informed the development of these standards. 

Note: For information about changes made in the 2020 Edition, please see the AS Crosswalk.

 
2022 Edition

Adoption Services (CA-AS) 1: Person-Centered Logic Model

The organization implements a program model that describes how resources and program activities will support the achievement of positive outcomes.

NA The organization only provides Foster Care to Adoption Services.

1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.

Logic models have been implemented for all programs and the organization has identified at least two outcomes for all its programs.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,  
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • Logic models need improvement or clarification; or
  • Logic models are still under development for some of its programs, but are completed for all high-risk programs such as protective services, foster care, residential treatment, etc.; or
  • At least one client outcome has been identified for all of its programs; or
  • All but a few staff have been trained on use of therapeutic interventions and training is scheduled for the rest; or
  • With few exceptions the policy on prohibited interventions is understood by staff, or the written policy needs minor clarification.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Logic models need significant improvement; or
  • Logic models are still under development for a majority of programs; or
  • A logic model has not been developed for one or more high-risk programs; or
  • Outcomes have not been identified for one or more programs; or
  • Several staff have not been trained on the use of therapeutic interventions; or
  • There are gaps in monitoring of therapeutic interventions, as required; or
  • There is no process for identifying risks associated with use of therapeutic interventions; or
  • Policy on prohibited interventions does not include at least one of the required elements.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Logic models have not been developed or implemented; or
  • Outcomes have not been identified for any programs; or
  • There is no written policy or procedures for the use of therapeutic interventions; or 
  • Procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or
  • Documentation on therapeutic interventions is routinely incomplete and/or missing; or
  • There is evidence that clients have been harmed by inappropriate or unmonitored use of therapeutic interventions.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • See program description completed during intake
  • Program logic model that includes a list of client outcomes and program outputs being measured
  • Procedures for the use of therapeutic interventions
  • Training curricula that addresses therapeutic interventions, as applicable
  • Documentation of training and/or certification related to therapeutic interventions, as applicable
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel

 

CA-AS 1.01

A program logic model, or equivalent framework, identifies:
  1. needs the program will address;
  2. available human, financial, organizational, and community resources (i.e. inputs);
  3. program activities intended to bring about desired results;
  4. program outputs (i.e. the size and scope of services delivered); 
  5. desired outcomes (i.e. the changes you expect to see in service recipients); and
  6. expected long-term impact on the organization, community, and/or system.
Examples: Please see the W.K Kellogg Foundation Logic Model Development Guide and COA’s PQI Tool Kit for more information on developing and using program logic models.  
 
Examples: Information that may be used to inform the development of the program logic model includes, but is not limited to: 
  1. needs assessments and periodic reassessments; 
  2. risks assessments; and
  3. the best available evidence of service effectiveness. 

 

CA-AS 1.02

The logic model identifies client outcomes in at least two of the following areas:
  1. change in clinical status;
  2. change in functional status;
  3. health, welfare, and safety;
  4. permanency of life situation;
  5. quality of life;
  6. achievement of individual service goals; and
  7. other outcomes as appropriate to the program or service population.
Example: Outcomes data can be disaggregated by race or ethnicity to identify and monitor disparities in service provision or effectiveness.

Examples: Child and family serving organizations interested in pursuing contracts with public entities may consider tracking outcomes that align with nationally recognized indicators of quality in the areas of prevention, safety, permanency, and well-being including, but not limited to:
  1. percentage of cases in which placements remained permanent and stable;
  2. percentage of cases in which family relationships and connections were preserved;
  3. number of cases of recurring maltreatment;
  4. number of cases of maltreatment-related fatalities;
  5. number of families provided with prevention services; and
  6. percentage of children whose parents lack secure employment.

 

CA-AS 1.03

The program:
  1. ensures staff are trained on therapeutic interventions prior to use of the interventions;
  2. monitors the use and effectiveness of therapeutic interventions;
  3. identifies potential risks associated with therapeutic interventions and takes appropriate steps to minimize risk, when necessary; and
  4. discontinues an intervention immediately if it produces adverse side effects or is deemed unacceptable according to prevailing professional standards.

Interpretation

This standard generally does not include informational or short-term counselling provided in relation to the adoption, but could include for example, therapy provided directly by the program for treating trauma, attachment issues, etc.
NA The program does not provide any therapeutic services directly to clients.  
 
2022 Edition

Adoption Services (CA-AS) 2: Personnel

Program personnel have the competency and support needed to provide services and meet the needs of individuals and families served. 

Interpretation

Competency can be demonstrated through a combination of education, training, and experience. Support can be provided through supervision or other learning activities to improve understanding or skill development in specific areas.
NA The organization only provides Foster Care to Adoption Services.
1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,  
  • With some exceptions, staff (direct service providers, supervisors, and program managers) possess the required qualifications, including education, experience, training, skills, temperament, etc., but the integrity of the service is not compromised; or
  • Supervisors provide additional support and oversight, as needed, to the few staff without the listed qualifications; or 
  • Most staff who do not meet educational requirements are seeking to obtain them; or 
  • With few exceptions, staff have received required training, including applicable specialized training; or
  • Training curricula are not fully developed or lack depth; or
  • Training documentation is consistently maintained and kept up-to-date with some exceptions; or
  • A substantial number of supervisors meet the requirements of the standard, and the organization provides training and/or consultation to improve competencies when needed; or
  • With few exceptions, caseload sizes are consistently maintained as required by the standards or as required by internal policy when caseload has not been set by a standard; or
  • Workloads are such that staff can effectively accomplish their assigned tasks and provide quality services and are adjusted as necessary; or
  • Specialized services are obtained as required by the standards.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards.  Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • A significant number of staff (direct service providers, supervisors, and program managers) do not possess the required qualifications, including education, experience, training, skills, temperament, etc.; and as a result, the integrity of the service may be compromised; or
  • Job descriptions typically do not reflect the requirements of the standards, and/or hiring practices do not document efforts to hire staff with required qualifications when vacancies occur; or 
  • Supervisors do not typically provide additional support and oversight to staff without the listed qualifications; or
  • A significant number of staff have not received required training, including applicable specialized training; or
  • Training documentation is poorly maintained; or
  • A significant number of supervisors do not meet the requirements of the standard, and the organization makes little effort to provide training and/or consultation to improve competencies; or
  • There are numerous instances where caseload sizes exceed the standards' requirements or the requirements of internal policy when a caseload size is not set by the standard; or
  • Workloads are excessive, and the integrity of the service may be compromised; or 
  • Specialized staff are typically not retained as required and/or many do not possess the required qualifications; or
  • Specialized services are infrequently obtained as required by the standards.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • List of program personnel that includes:
    • Title
    • Name
    • Employee, volunteer, or independent contractor
    • Degree or other qualifications
    • Time in current position
  • See organizational chart submitted during application
  • Table of contents of training curricula
  • Procedures or other documentation relevant to case assignment
  • Sample job descriptions across relevant categories
  • Documentation tracking staff completion of required trainings and/or competencies
  • Training curricula
  • Caseload size requirements set by policy, regulation, or contract, when applicable
  • Documentation of current caseload size per worker
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Supervisors
    2. Relevant personnel
  • Review personnel files

 

CA-AS 2.01

Adoption workers who provide adoption-related services that require the application of clinical skills and judgement meet applicable regulatory requirements and are qualified by:

  1. a bachelor’s degree in social work; or
  2. a combination of a bachelor's degree in any field and prior experience in family and children's services, or adoption.

Interpretation

When a new worker providing clinical services does not have direct experience in adoption, they receive support and/or supervision or have access to consultation with someone who does have direct experience in adoption until they gain a sufficient amount of experience.
Examples: Examples of services that some programs provide that require the application of clinical skills and judgment include, but are not limited to:
  1. home studies;
  2. child background studies;
  3. clinical counselling;
  4. obtaining consents;
  5. preparation and training;
  6. making clinical decisions such as approval of home studies, matching, etc.;
  7. post-placement monitoring and post-placement reports;
  8. crisis intervention; and
  9. therapeutic interventions.
Examples of services that may not require the application of clinical skills and judgement include, but are not limited to:
  1. preparation of profiles or dossiers for prospective adoptive parents; and
  2. notarizing documents.

 

CA-AS 2.02

Supervisors are qualified by at least two years of prior experience in adoption, or family and children’s services and an advanced degree in social work or a comparable human service field. 


 

CA-AS 2.03

Employees who provide adoption-related services that require the application of clinical skills and judgment, and others as needed based on their job responsibilities, are trained on, or demonstrate competency in:
  1. regulations governing the types of services provided by the program;
  2. ethical considerations in adoption and applicable professional and ethical guidelines;
  3. issues relating to race, ethnicity, religion, culture,  and culturally competent services;
  4. factors that lead to children needing adoptive families;
  5. feelings of separation, grief, and loss which may be experienced prior to, during and after adoption by children, birth parents, adults who were adopted, and previously by some prospective adoptive parents;
  6. trauma experienced by children and youth who have been victims of abuse, neglect, or trafficking;
  7. common medical, psychological and developmental issues commonly experienced by children adopted through the program;
  8. the short and long term impact of out of home care and institutionalization on children and youth;
  9. ways in which adoption can affect child, adolescent and adult development and identity formation; and
  10. maintaining connections, openness in adoption, and attachment and bonding.

Interpretation

 Ethical considerations in adoption can include:

  1. preventing child buying, trafficking, and undue influence on birth parents;
  2. making decisions when the preferences and needs of the parties to the adoption differ; and
  3. limitations on eligibility and related professional, personal, and organizational values and beliefs.

Interpretation

  Some training topics/competencies may not be relevant to all programs and programs may customize their training/competency requirements based on their program model.  The program exempts employees from elements of their training/competency requirements only where the employee has demonstrated competence with the topic.


 

CA-AS 2.04

Adoption workers who work with birth parents or have responsibilities relating to provision of required notices, obtaining consents, or legal proceedings are knowledgeable about:
  1. requirements and processes for the proper identification of all parties whose consent is required;
  2. requirements and processes for providing appropriate notice to all parties who must receive notice or whose consent is required;
  3. preventing undue pressure or coercion on parties whose consent is required, and what steps to take if it appears as if undue pressure or coercion have been exerted;
  4. inappropriate financial incentives or influence; and
  5. determination of jurisdiction and jurisdictional issues that could impact on the adoption.
NA Program staff do not work with birth parents and do not have responsibilities for providing notice of an adoption plan, or obtaining consents.

 

CA-AS 2.05

The program ensures that employees who provide adoption-related services that require the application of clinical skills and judgment complete ongoing professional development training on adoption related topics in accordance with applicable agency, local, provincial, and federal requirements.

NA Program staff do not work with birth parents and do not have responsibilities for providing notice of an adoption plan, or obtaining consents.

 

CA-AS 2.06

Employee workloads support the achievement of client outcomes and are regularly reviewed.

Interpretation

Caseloads for workers providing child-focused recruitment services should typically not exceed 20-25 cases, with no more than 12-15 in an intensive phase.
Examples: Examples of factors that may be considered when determining employee workloads include, but are not limited to:
  1. the qualifications, competencies, and experience of the worker, including the level of supervision needed;
  2. the scope of services being provided including the work and time required to accomplish assigned tasks and job responsibilities; and
  3. service volume, accounting for assessed level of needs of clients at varying stages of the adoption process.
 
2022 Edition

Adoption Services (CA-AS) 3: Recruitment and Orientation

The program conducts outreach, recruitment and orientation activities in a responsive and ethical manner.  

NA The organization only provides foster-to-adopt services.

NA The organization provides home study services only.

NA The organization provides post-placement and/or post-adoption services only.

1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Samples of documents provided to prospective clients at initial contact or during orientation
  • Sample intake forms or other tools used to collect information during the outreach and orientation process
  • Recruitment plan
  • Eligibility criteria
  • Documentation of Governing Body or organizational review of eligibility criteria
  • Most recent reports on progress of recruitment plan goals
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records
  • Review of program information on website

 

CA-AS 3.01

The program provides birth or prospective birth parents considering adoption with accurate information about the adoption process and services offered by the program and other organizations and individuals with whom they might work.

NA The program does not work with birth or prospective birth parents considering adoption.

Examples: Examples of basic information about the process and services can include:
  1. steps and timelines for the adoption process;
  2. legal process for adoption and legal rights of each party to the adoption;
  3. confidentiality and the range of openness in adoption; and
  4. availability of post-placement and post-adoption services.

 

CA-AS 3.02

Upon initial contact with birth parents or prospective birth parents considering adoption, the adoption worker attempts to collect information about:
  1. immediate needs;
  2. any individuals who may need to be provided with notice of a future adoption plan or whose consent may be required; and
  3. any open cases with child protective services.
NA The program does not work with birth or prospective birth parents considering adoption.

 

CA-AS 3.03

Upon initial contact with youth who are considering or have a goal of adoption, the adoption worker provides age and developmentally appropriate information about the meaning of adoption, the adoption process, and services offered by the organization.

Interpretation

Information about adoption may have already been provided by others and is sometimes provided before adoption is formally identified as a goal for youth. Adoption workers should have strategies for their initial contact with youth and strategies for engaging youth in conversations over time about adoption.

NA The program does not work with youth considering or with a goal of adoption.

 

CA-AS 3.04

The program has a plan for recruitment of prospective adoptive parents and when the program has responsibility for placement of children in foster care or children with special needs, the plan details specialized recruitment strategies.

Interpretation

 Organizations that use online photo listing services should ensure that appropriate mechanisms are in place to protect confidential information and respect an individual’s right to refuse to have their photo taken.

NA The program does not recruit prospective adoptive parents, for example, the program is a foster to adopt program.

Examples: Specialized strategies can include for example targeted and/or child-specific recruitment. Targeted recruitment strategies use data such as demographics of current children and youth in care and foster and adoptive parents to develop recruitment strategies. Child-specific recruitment strategies generally include a comprehensive assessment of the child and identification of all individuals who may have a connection to the child including family members, foster parents, former caregivers, and other adults with a significant connection to the child.

 

CA-AS 3.05

Upon initial contact, the program provides prospective adoptive parents with information which includes:
  1. a description of the adoption process, services offered by the organization, and any significant policies or procedures relating to its adoption services;
  2. eligibility criteria;
  3. fees and expenses prospective adoptive parents may be responsible for; and
  4. estimated timelines and general information on waiting lists, if the program maintains such lists.

Interpretation

Information on estimated wait times should be carefully articulated to prevent confusion or dissatisfaction if timelines happen to exceed what was originally projected.  

 

CA-AS 3.06

Prospective adoptive parents participate in an orientation session, or after initial contact receive information that includes the following:
  1. an overview of the lifelong impact of adoption;
  2. the process for completing an adoption;
  3. common needs and characteristics of children awaiting adoptive families;
  4. the importance of race, ethnicity, religion, tribal affiliation, language, and other factors in adoption;
  5. options for openness and maintaining connections that benefit the child; and
  6. the availability of supports, clinical services and subsidies following adoption.

Interpretation

Prospective adoptive parents who have adopted through the program may need orientation if the information, their circumstances, or needs have changed.

 

CA-AS 3.07

When eligibility criteria is limited, the program:

  1. has considered its mission, resources, capacity, contractual and legal obligations, and the needs of children when developing and periodically reviewing its eligibility criteria;
  2. has a policy for such selectivity; and
  3. refers applicants who do not meet the organization’s eligibility criteria to another provider.

Interpretation

Referral to another adoption service provider is not required when it is evident the applicants do not meet legally required criteria.

 

 
2022 Edition

Adoption Services (CA-AS) 4: Service and Permanency Planning and Adoption Service Contracts

Clients served by the program participate in the development and ongoing review of service and permanency plans and/or adoption services contracts that are the basis for delivery of services and support.

Interpretation

The program develops service and permanency plans for the clients they are responsible for serving. Plans for some clients may be combined or may be separate depending upon the nature of the program. Service plans are sometimes incorporated into the adoption services contract. Service plans are sometimes drafted prior to the completion of birth parent assessments, child studies and home studies and should be updated when those assessments are complete.

NA The organization only provides foster to adopt services.

NA The organization provides home study services only.

NA The organization provides post-placement and/or post-adoption services only.

1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • In a few instances, client or staff signatures are missing and/or not dated; or
  • With few exceptions, staff work with persons served, when appropriate, to help them receive needed support, access services, mediate barriers, etc.; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • In several instances, client or staff signatures are missing and/or not dated; or
  • Quarterly reviews are not being done consistently; or
  • Level of care for some clients is clearly inappropriate; or
  • Service planning is often done without full client participation; or
  • Appropriate family involvement is not documented; or  
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing; or
  • Individual staff members work with persons served, when appropriate, to help them receive needed support, access services, mediate barriers, etc., but this is the exception.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.  
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Service planning and monitoring procedures
  • Adoption Services contract template
  • Procedures for review of permanency plans
  • Reports or other aggregate data regarding the length of stay in out of home care, from the previous 12 months, if the organization facilitates foster care adoptions
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Clients
  • Review case records

 

CA-AS 4.01

Service plans are developed in a timely manner with the full participation of clients served and others as appropriate, and include:

  1. agreed upon goals, desired outcomes, and timeframes for achieving them;
  2. the adoption services and supports to be provided, and by whom; and
  3. the client's signature.
 
Examples: Examples of ways to support the full participation of clients and others can include: providing sufficient notice to interested parties, scheduling meetings at times and places where interested parties can attend.

Examples: In child-focused recruitment programs, workers can engage children in the development of the recruitment plan by seeking the child’s input on or participation with: 
  1. types of recruitment activities conducted; 
  2. type of family desired;
  3. development of recruitment tools; and
  4. identification of individuals to consider. 

 

CA-AS 4.02

The permanency plan for children in foster care defines the permanency goal as adoption, is reviewed at least every 6 months through a court or administrative review process, and specifies:
  1. activities that support the achievement of adoption; and
  2. a timeframe for completing the adoption.

Interpretation

Provincial laws, territorial statutes or administrative rules may provide guidance about when and how administrative reviews are to be conducted. The case review may be conducted by or in collaboration with the public authority. The review is scheduled at times when appropriate parties can attend.
 
NA The program does not provide services in foster care cases.

 

CA-AS 4.03

The worker and a supervisor, or a clinical, service, or peer team, review each case quarterly, or more frequently depending on the needs of clients served, to assess:

  1. service plan implementation;
  2. progress toward achieving service goals and desired outcomes;
  3. need for additional or new services or other changes to the plan;
  4. the need for any updates to the child background study or the home study; and
  5. the continued appropriateness of agreed upon goals.

Interpretation

When experienced workers are conducting reviews of their own cases, the worker’s supervisor must review a sample of the worker’s evaluations as per the requirements of the standard.


 

CA-AS 4.04

The worker and client:

  1. periodically review progress toward achievement of agreed upon service goals; and
  2. sign revisions to the service goals and plans.

Interpretation

 A clinical or other justification demonstrating the need for additional or new services, or for any significant pause in the process should be documented in the case record and discussion of such changes with clients should be documented in the case record to ensure the client fully understands the justification.  

Interpretation

 Each child receives information about progress toward achieving permanency as appropriate to his or her age, cultural needs, and developmental level.

Interpretation

Workers in child-focused recruitment programs should meet with the child at least monthly to establish a productive working relationship and customize the child’s recruitment plan. 

 

CA-AS 4.05

Birth parents who have made a plan for adoption receive written information which includes:
  1. disclosure of the requirements relating to notice and consent;
  2. provisions for any financial support that will be provided;
  3. provisions for contact with prospective adoptive parents, as appropriate;
  4. steps to be taken if the birth parent believes that any undue pressure or influence is occurring; and
  5. circumstances under which services may be terminated by either party.
NA The program only provides services in cases where birth parents rights have already been terminated.
Examples: The information may be provided for example in a service agreement, a disclosure of organization’s policies, a rights and responsibilities disclosure, etc. 

 

CA-AS 4.06

The adoption service contract signed by prospective adoptive parents includes:
  1. a description of the services to be provided by the program and obligations of the prospective adoptive parents;
  2. fees and expenses to be paid;
  3. a provision relating to duty of candor and ongoing disclosure requirements;
  4. post-placement and post-adoption services that will be available through the organization and details of any required post-placement visits and reports; 
  5. a plan describing the adoptive parents’ and the organization’s responsibilities if the adoption is disrupted or dissolved;
  6. risks related to adoption services and waivers of liability only when such waivers are limited, consistent with applicable law and regulation, and based on the specific risks detailed in the contract; and
  7. circumstances under which services may be terminated by either party.

Interpretation

 
When a child is being placed prior to the termination of parental rights, the program should inform the prospective adoptive parents of the risks of such a placement and the steps that will be necessary to complete an adoption.
 
Examples: Examples of information in the plan if the adoption is disrupted or dissolved can include: legal and financial obligations of the family and the organization; how the child’s wishes may be considered; how relevant authorities will be notified and may be involved.

 

CA-AS 4.07

The organization works in active partnership with clients to:
  1. assume a service coordination role, as appropriate, when the need has been identified and no other organization has assumed that responsibility;
  2. ensure that they receive appropriate advocacy support;
  3. assist with access to the full array of services to which they are eligible; and
  4. mediate barriers to services within the service delivery system.
 
2022 Edition

Adoption Services (CA-AS) 5: Birth Parent Assessments and Child Background Studies

The program conducts assessments and collects information to evaluate service needs, facilitate matching and permanency, and to ensure information will be available for future use.

Interpretation

The term child study includes both the process of assessing the needs of the child and to the written report which is generally included in the referral information provided to prospective adoptive parents.

NA The organization provides home study services only.

NA The organization provides post-placement and/or post-adoption services only.

1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • In a few rare instances, urgent needs were not prioritized; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Culturally responsive assessments are the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Urgent needs are often not prioritized; or 
  • Services are frequently not initiated in a timely manner; or
  • Applicants are not receiving referrals, as appropriate; or 
  • Assessment and reassessment timeframes are often missed; or
  • Assessment are sometimes not sufficiently individualized; 
  • Culturally responsive assessments are not the norm, and this is not being addressed in supervision or training; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent; or
  • Intake or assessment is done by another organization or referral source and no documentation and/or summary of required information is present in case record. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • There are no written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.  
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Procedures for child assessments
  • Procedures for birth parent assessments
  • Copy of assessment tool(s)
No On-Site Evidence
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records

 

CA-AS 5.01

Assessments are conducted and information is collected in a strengths-based, culturally- and linguistically responsive manner to identify services and resources that support the achievement of agreed upon goals and increase engagement in service delivery.


 

CA-AS 5.02

The organization gathers and reviews records and information about both birth parents and their extended families from birth parents or other individuals, including:

  1. preferences for the child's placement and wishes for the child;
  2. preferences for openness or the child maintaining connections with siblings, family members, or other individuals;
  3. birth mother and father medical and social history, including mental health and substance use history;
  4. birth parents' relationship history;
  5. support provided by birth mother and father during the pregnancy and care, visitation and custody of the child;
  6. dated photographs, videos, and/or a physical description of birth parents; and
  7. information about the child's grandparents and siblings. 

Interpretation

A birth parent’s social history should include information about: marital status, family history, employment, education, religion, interests, and talents. 

When the program is unable to obtain this information, it makes reasonable efforts to obtain the information up until the time when the adoption is finalized and documents efforts to obtain the missing information in the case record. 

In foster care adoptions, information from the foster care record should be obtained before the record is sealed, and appropriate information should be shared with the prospective adoptive parents.

Interpretation

In child-focused recruitment programs, the worker must conduct an in-depth review of the records and information obtained, which should also include all significant people in the child’s life, past or present. 


 

CA-AS 5.03

The organization gathers records and information about the child from the youth, birth parents, or other individuals who have custody or are responsible for care of the child including:

  1. dated photographs or videos of the child;
  2. history and records of prenatal care and the child’s birth;
  3. date the child entered into care, the circumstances of the child’s entry into care and a history of all past and current placements;
  4. history of abuse or neglect;
  5. assessment of past trauma;
  6. the child’s medical and social history including any significant illnesses, injuries, or diagnoses, hospitalizations, other special needs; 
  7. all available medical records for the child including developmental status and data, test results, immunization records, dental records, and psychological records;
  8. results of a current medical examination;
  9. history and records of the child’s education; and
  10. contact information for organizations, medical professionals or facilities, or others involved in providing services to the birth parents and the child.

Interpretation

In child-focused recruitment programs, the worker must conduct an in-depth review of the records and information obtained, which should also include the child’s:
  1. next court date;
  2. most recent assessment;
  3. history of services received and needed;
  4. strengths, challenges, and desires; and
  5. preparedness for adoption.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-AS 5.04

When the child study is for a youth, the program engages the youth in an assessment of:
  1. their goals;
  2. their understanding of and interest in adoption; 
  3. their concerns; and
  4. ways in which they can be involved in the process.
NA The program does not work with youth considering or planning for adoption.
 
2022 Edition

Adoption Services (CA-AS) 6: Home Study Practice

Home study preparers use a standardized home study process to collect and analyze information and determine the eligibility, capabilities, and suitability of prospective adoptive parents. 

Interpretation

The term home study includes both the process of assessing the prospective adoptive parents and to the written report. The process is ongoing; home studies may need to be updated periodically or when there are significant changes.

NA The organization provides post-placement and/or post-adoption services only.

NA The organization provides child-focused recruitment only. 

Note: Foster Care to Adoption programs will implement CA-FKC 19 and CA-AS 6.

1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Table of contents of training curricula
  • Home study procedures
  • Copy of home study tool(s)
  • Procedures for background checks
  • Training curricula
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
  • Review case records

 

CA-AS 6.01

The program provides initial and periodic training and ongoing supervision to home study preparers on the use of a defined method and tools for home studies to reinforce the consistent application of process.

Interpretation

While practice should be consistent with the program model, tools, and standards, decisions about how the home study is conducted in each case (including who must be interviewed, how each interview is conducted, the content of interviews, and visits to the home) are clinical decisions that should take into account the unique needs and circumstances of the prospective adoptive parent(s) and the child if the child is already identified or living in the home. The program should have a system or approach that recognizes that there can be subjective aspects to assessment and decision making and appropriate mechanisms are in place to ensure that its determinations are well justified.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-AS 6.02

The home study process includes:

  1. the receipt of self-reported information and documents from the prospective adoptive parents;
  2. at least one individual in-person interview with each prospective adoptive parent and one joint interview;
  3. age-and developmentally-appropriate interviews with each child and adult living or frequently in the home;
  4. age-and developmentally-appropriate interviews with each child or adult child of the prospective adoptive parents living outside the home;
  5. at least two visits to the prospective adoptive family’s home and during one or more of those visits a safety assessment of the home and an observation of family members interacting together;
  6. criminal background and child abuse and neglect registry checks in accordance with applicable law and regulation;  
  7. a review of information and documents relating to any previous unfavorable home studies, denied adoption petitions, disruptions, dissolutions, or placement of other children out of the home;
  8. written references and interviews with individuals providing references; and
  9. periodic updates and updates when there are significant changes in circumstance to ensure relevant information and documents are current.

Interpretation

Individuals living in the home share common areas, sleep in the home, and have lived there for more than two weeks. Individuals frequently in the home should include any child care providers.  

In-person interviews provide the best opportunity for engagement of the person interviewed and provide additional information through observations and interactions during the interview and are preferred, but have only been specifically required for the prospective adoptive parents. It can sometimes be appropriate to interview other individuals through a videoconference or over the phone. When the agency is unable to complete an interview, it should make a clinical determination if the interview is necessary given the circumstances, other steps that can be taken to obtain relevant information, and document that decision and its efforts in the case record.

People who provide references should be interviewed to validate the reference and can provide additional information or verification of other information collected through the home study process.   

While best practice generally requires at least two visits to the home to effectively engage the family in the home study process, make the necessary observations, and effectively collect all the required and necessary information, the agency should conduct additional visits when it deems necessary.  


Interpretation

 
Home studies including background checks should be updated periodically so that they remain valid in accordance with applicable requirements. Significant changes in circumstances include a change in: residence, employment or financial resources, additional children or adults residing in the home, criminal history, abuse history, medical status, etc. Updates for a significant change in circumstance are best completed as soon as possible, but may be postponed in certain circumstances, for example, if an additional change is expected or the prospective adoptive parents expect a significant amount of time to pass before their home study will be used.


 

CA-AS 6.03

The home study includes a psychosocial assessment of each prospective adoptive parent’s:
  1. motivation and expectations relating to adoption;
  2. personal characteristics such as adaptability, coping skills, communication, and problem solving;
  3. caregiving abilities and experiences especially for children or adults with significant or complex needs, including knowledge and skills relating to discipline techniques;
  4. willingness and ability to support a child's continued connection to his or her birth parents, siblings, and relatives and racial, ethnic and cultural heritage; and
  5. previous experiences with foster care or adoption.

 

Interpretation

 The assessment of knowledge and skills relating to discipline techniques should include an assessment of the risk of prospective adoptive parents’ use of interventions that can be harmful to children, especially children with a history of trauma. Some examples of interventions which can be harmful include but are not limited to:

  1. corporal punishment;
  2. interventions that involve withholding nutrition or hydration or that inflict physical or psychological pain;
  3. the use of demeaning, shaming, or degrading language or activities; and
  4. forced physical exercise as punishment or in excess.

 

CA-AS 6.04

The home study includes a psychosocial assessment of each prospective adoptive parent’s:
  1. previous history of and services related to infertility, miscarriage or death of a child;
  2. personal history of trauma, abuse or neglect, alcohol or drug use;
  3. current status and history of physical and mental health;
  4. significant family history, status of marital and family relationships, and family lifestyle;
  5. education;
  6. literacy and language skills;
  7. employment history and financial status; and
  8. the community and social environment.

 

CA-AS 6.05

The home study process is in an open, engaging, and transparent self-assessment:
  1. of the prospective adoptive parents' strengths and capabilities to provide lifelong care and support to children who have experienced trauma and loss; and
  2. to help prospective adoptive parents confirm for themselves if adoption continues to be an appropriate goal through the provision of education, support, and continued assessment during the home study and preparation process.

 

CA-AS 6.06

The information gathered during the home study process is carefully considered, in a timely manner, to determine if:
  1. if any further assessment is needed;
  2. what additional counselling, training, or preparation is needed;
  3. the family’s ability and readiness to successfully complete an adoption;
  4. the family’s eligibility and suitability for adoption; and
  5. the specific characteristics and special needs of children the family would be suitable to care and provide for.

Interpretation

The rationale for these determinations and the persons involved in making the determinations should be clearly documented in the record. 


 

CA-AS 6.07

When the program has reason to believe that the prospective adoptive parents may not meet the required eligibility criteria or certain factors might not be adequately mitigated to demonstrate suitability:
  1. the program communicates the specific concerns to the prospective adoptive parents as early as possible and attempts to resolve them; and
  2. the home study report is completed and prospective adoptive parents receive a written explanation of the reasons for the decision and the procedures for appeal if approval cannot be given and the application has not been withdrawn. 

Interpretation

 Eligibility criteria of provinces may differ and the program must evaluate all applicable criteria. The program should ensure required eligibility factors are clearly and accurately addressed in the home study.  While some jurisdictions are willing to waive eligibility criteria in unique circumstances, it is best to receive those waivers in advance and in writing.   
Examples: Factors that may need to be mitigated and could delay the completion of the home study process include, for example: healthcare and housing needs especially in kinship or relative adoptions.

 

CA-AS 6.08

A written home study report is completed in a timely manner and contains complete, accurate, and current information addressing applicable eligibility criteria, suitability, and all other required information.
 
2022 Edition

Adoption Services (CA-AS) 7: Training for Prospective Adoptive Parents

Prospective adoptive parents complete required training to prepare them for adoption.

NA The organization provides home study services only.
NA The organization provides post-placement and/or post-adoption services only.
NA The organization provides child-focused recruitment only. 

1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Procedures for the provision of training and preparation of prospective adoptive parents and for child specific training and preparation
  • Table of contents of training provided directly by the organization and/or a list of trainings provided by third parties
  • Informational materials provided to prospective adoptive parents
  • Training curriculum for any training provided directly by the organization
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Clients
  • Review case records

 

CA-AS 7.01

Suitable training methods and standardized and individualized curricula are used by the program to ensure each prospective adoptive parent is adequately prepared for placement.

Examples: The program may customize their training methods and curricula based on the types of adoptions they are involved with or the unique characteristics of clients served.  For example, relatives, foster parents or prospective adoptive parents who have already adopted another child through the program may not need training in all areas as new prospective adoptive parents.     
 

Examples: Examples of training methods found to be effective or commonly used include:
  1. in-person, group seminars;
  2. online training through webinars and self-paced trainings;
  3. recorded trainings and podcasts;
  4. reading and writing assignments; and
  5. individual counselling and training.

 

CA-AS 7.02

Prospective adoptive parents receive training and demonstrate competence in:
  1. the adoption process and significant provisions of laws and regulations;
  2. the availability of and application process for subsidies or other financial benefits;
  3. options for openness in adoption;
  4. the importance of legally finalizing the adoption and for obtaining and maintaining documentation of citizenship for children adopted internationally; 
  5. long term impacts of adoption on the child and the family; and
  6. the availability and importance of post-adoption supports and services.

Interpretation

With regards to element (a), it is especially important for training to include educating prospective adoptive parents on the ways in which laws and regulations might impact the adoption process. 


 
Fundamental Practice

CA-AS 7.03

Prospective adoptive parents receive training and demonstrate competence in common experiences and needs of waiting and adopted children, including: 
  1. the general characteristics and needs of waiting children;
  2. the frequency and impact of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse, neglect, and child trafficking;
  3. the impact of institutionalization and living in out-of-home care;
  4. the impact of malnutrition, maternal substance abuse, and any other common factors that impact on health and development; and
  5. attachment and bonding.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-AS 7.04

Prospective adoptive parents receive training and demonstrate competence in skills and strategies for helping children heal and thrive throughout their lives, including:
  1. coping with separation, loss, and grief and supporting healthy attachments and relationships;
  2. navigating changing roles and relationships;
  3. supporting the child’s identity development;
  4. raising a child of a different race, ethnicity, culture, or religion and strategies for maintaining connections with the child's culture, and/or country;
  5. responding effectively and safely to children’s behaviour and unknown or unexpected issues, and adapting parenting strategies and discipline techniques to fit the child’s needs;
  6. parenting a child with a history of trauma;
  7. recognizing signs of unknown or undisclosed abuse, effective strategies to support safe disclosure, and reporting abuse allegations to appropriate authorities;
  8. strategies for maintaining safety when there is a history of sexual abuse, trafficking, self-harming behaviour, or other unsafe behaviour; and
  9. overcoming barriers to seeking or obtaining help and support.

Interpretation

Having strategies and skills to navigate changing roles and relationships is especially important when the child and prospective adoptive parents are relatives, already known each other, or when some level of openness is being considered.
 
Examples: Regarding element (f), training can include:
  1. recognizing trauma triggers and conditioned responses;
  2. developing skills to avoid actions or reactions that may trigger the child;
  3. providing emotional support in ways the child can accept and normalizing their feelings;
  4. strategies for relaxation;
  5. providing positive experiences to encourage self-esteem;
  6. providing age appropriate information and education about trauma to the child;
  7. providing age appropriate opportunities for choice and control; and
  8. recognizing, preventing, and addressing secondary trauma.

 

CA-AS 7.05

Prospective adoptive parents receive directly or by referral:

  1. needed customized education, counselling, or support specific to their unique needs or experiences which may impact on their readiness and suitability for placement; and
  2. reassment when needed to ensure they remain ready and suitable to move forward with an adoption.
Examples: Examples of unique needs and experiences can include, but are not limited to:
  1. prior history of trauma, mental illness, or substance use;
  2. experience of infertility, miscarriage, or loss of a child; and
  3. an unsuccessful adoption attempt or disruption or dissolution of an adoption.
 
2022 Edition

Adoption Services (CA-AS) 8: Consents, Matching, Referral, and Placement

The program ensures consents are obtained properly and makes diligent and timely efforts to match and place children with prospective adoptive parents who can meet their needs for safety, well-being, and permanency.

Interpretation

Children are encouraged to participate in the decision-making process to the greatest extent possible given their age and developmental level.

NA The organization provides home study services only.

NA The organization provides post placement and/or post-adoption services only.

Note: Foster Care to Adoption programs will implement CA-FKC 7 and CA-AS 8.

1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Procedures for identifying, locating, and providing notice to individuals whose notice and consent is required
  • Procedures for obtaining consents
  • Procedures for matching and referrals
  • Copy of tools used for providing notice, obtaining consents, matching, and referrals
  • Procedures for placement and child transfers
No On-Site Evidence
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Clients
  • Review case records

 

CA-AS 8.01

Custody status and applicable notice and consent requirements are determined as early as possible.

NA The organization provides child-focused recruitment only.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-AS 8.02

The program ensures timely and diligent efforts to locate and provide notice to all parties who require notification or whose consent is required and documents such efforts in the case record.

Interpretation

 The program should take steps to prevent actions or practices that could limit or otherwise compromise a party's rights to notice and consent. 

Examples of steps that can be taken include:
  1. implementation of procedures that articulate methods for follow up on inconsistent or incomplete information about someone whose notice or consent may be required;
  2. detailing important due dates and careful review and oversight of completion of required tasks;
  3. establishing a procedure to address determination of jurisdiction and change of jurisdiction; and
  4. verifying through careful review of relevant documentation and any other necessary steps that notice and consent requirements have been met when those steps are completed by another provider.
NA The program only provides services in cases where birth parents rights have already been terminated and no other consents are required.

NA The organization provides child-focused recruitment only.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-AS 8.03

When obtaining consents to adoption the program ensures all applicable legal requirements are met and verifies each individual providing consent:
  1. has read the necessary documents and had their questions about those documents answered;
  2. understands the significance and meaning of the information in the documents;
  3. has had sufficient time to consider the decision;
  4. is not under the influence of any substances or conditions that could compromise their understanding or decision making;
  5. understands the need for their consent and any conditions under which they can revoke their consent;
  6. has not experienced any undue pressure or duress for their consent;
  7. has not received or been promised any compensation or other consideration in exchange for their consent; and
  8. is not aware of any fraud having been committed in relation to the adoption.
NA The program only provides services in cases where birth parents' rights have already been terminated and no other consents are required.

NA The organization provides child-focused recruitment only.

 

CA-AS 8.04

The program assesses all available information about the birth parents, the child, and prospective adoptive parents, including expressed preferences and determines which prospective adoptive parents may be most suitable to meet the needs of the child.

Interpretation

Some circumstances which can make transition more difficult and have been found to be factors in some disruptions and dissolutions include:

  1. placement of more than one unrelated child into a home at the same time; or
  2. placement of a child too soon after the birth or addition of another child to the family.
The program might generally avoid matching children with prospective adoptive parents in these circumstances or take additional steps to prepare for and support such  placements.
Note: Documentation of which prospective adoptive parents were considered and should be documented in program records or in the case record.

 

CA-AS 8.05

The program provides information about the prospective adoptive parents who were identified as possible matches to the birth parents, the youth, and/or the individual(s) who are responsible for making the placement decision and documents the provision of this information in its records.


 

CA-AS 8.06

The program incorporates provisions of applicable law and regulations for placement preferences and matching into its established criteria for determining or making recommendations about the best interests of the child and:

  1. makes placement decisions based on this criteria; and
  2. documents the decision in its records.  

Interpretation

 In cases where expectant parents have made an adoption plan prior to the child's birth, the program can make or support a preliminary match before the birth, and makes a final decision or recommendation on the match only after the child is born and the child study is completed and reviewed.  

Interpretation

 When the program does not have responsibility for making the decision, it should provide input in the process whenever possible and/or review the placement decision and provide feedback when necessary to express any questions or concerns about the match.

 

CA-AS 8.07

The program notifies prospective adoptive parents of the match and provides a referral package which includes the child study and all non-identifying information that can be provided.

Interpretation

The organization must not withhold or misrepresent any information concerning the child. Intentional misrepresentation or concealment or withholding of information can negatively impact children and families and put the organization at risk for litigation.
Examples: Examples of practices to implement the standard include:
  1. informing prospective adoptive parents in advance of any limits on information gathering and disclosure; 
  2. maintaining detailed records of the receipt and provision of information; 
  3. providing information in writing even when providing it verbally; and
  4. training staff on procedures for collecting and disclosing information and documentation requirements.

 

CA-AS 8.08

The program allows the prospective adoptive parents at least two weeks to consider the match and provides needed information, counselling, training, and ongoing assessment of the suitability of the match based on the information in the referral, the home study, and any new information received.

Interpretation

 The prospective adoptive parents should have sufficient time to give careful thought and consideration into the decision. While there may be circumstances where the child’s immediate needs are significant and the child would benefit from a shorter timeframe, the program must still take steps to ensure the prospective parents have given careful thought and consideration into their decision.

 

CA-AS 8.09

The program takes all appropriate measures to ensure that the transfer of the child takes place in secure and appropriate circumstances, with properly trained and qualified escorts, if used.
NA The organization provides child-focused recruitment only.
 
2022 Edition

Adoption Services (CA-AS) 9: Preparation and Support for Placement

The program provides information, counselling, training, and support to help prepare parties to the adoption for placement.

NA The organization provides home study services only.

NA The organization provides post-placement services only.

1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Procedures for preparing for adoption that address for the provision of information, counselling and support
  • Procedures for maintaining continued contact with relatives and openness in adoption
  • Informational materials provided to clients
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Clients
  • Review case records

 

CA-AS 9.01

The program provides or arranges for services and supports needed to help prepare birth parents for the child’s placement including: 
  1. planning for the immediate future and referral for needed services;
  2. assistance as needed in planning for details of the child’s birth, placement, and for the adoption process;
  3. counselling and support relating to grief, separation, loss, and the lifelong implications of placing a child for adoption;
  4. discussion of changing roles and relationships in the case of a relative adoption or when the birth parents will have an ongoing relationship or maintain contact with the child or adoptive parents;
  5. support for maintaining relationships with friends and family who can provide support; and
  6. information on post-adoption services and the potential for search and reunion in the future.

Interpretation

It can help birth parents to maintain supportive relationships by providing, with their permission, information, counselling, and/or support to family members or other individuals with whom they have a close relationship especially if those individuals may not be fully supportive of the adoption plan.

In foster care cases where the birth parents’ rights have been involuntarily terminated, it may not be possible or appropriate to provide such services. The program may consult with the public agency or its designee to determine the appropriateness and needs for such services. Documentation of that consultation and implementation of the guidance provided is sufficient evidence of implementation for this standard.


 

CA-AS 9.02

The program provides or arranges for developmentally-appropriate services needed to help the child prepare for adoption including:
  1. information to help the child understand the meaning, process, and lifelong impact of adoption;
  2. counselling to help the child understand and cope with feelings of fear, separation, and loss;
  3. opportunities to visit prospective adoptive parents and preparation and support for such visits;
  4. discussion of changing roles and relationships in the case of a relative adoption or when the birth parents will have an ongoing relationship or maintain contact with the child;
  5. preparation for moving to a new community or school;
  6. opportunities for peer support;
  7. information on post-placement services; and
  8. assisting the child to be involved in planning for placement.
Examples: A lifebook is something that can be created by older children or for younger children to describe the child’s personal history.

 

CA-AS 9.03

When the parties to the adoption are considering an open adoption or maintaining connections between the child and the birth parents, relatives, siblings, or others with whom they have a connection, they are offered counselling, assistance, and support to:
  1. develop and agree on plans for the exchange of information or continued contact; and
  2. plan for how to resolve conflicts that might arise in the future. 

Interpretation

 
Most birth parents making a voluntary plan for adoption have an interest in some level of openness in the adoption. In cases where parental rights are involuntarily terminated, there may be situations where ongoing connection with a sibling, birth parent, relative, or other individuals with a significant connection to the child can be beneficial for the child’s growth, development and stability of the placement. Documentation of the assessment of the appropriateness of openness or maintaining connections in the record will be sufficient evidence of implementation in cases where there are no plans for openness or maintaining connections.
Examples: Counselling can help the parties to consider whether continued contact is in the best interest of the child and others involved in both the immediate and long term future. Planning can include identification of individuals the child might continue to contact, and the type and frequency of contact. The program should explain limitations on confidentiality and enforcement of agreements and document in the case record expressed preferences and concerns.

Examples: The continuum of openness is extensive. Some examples of openness include, but are not limited to:
  1. the birth parent(s)’ provision of identifying information to the prospective adoptive parents about the birth parents at the time of placement;
  2. organization-mediated written communication;
  3. occasional contact with birth parents or other relatives; and/or
  4. frequent in-person contact with birth family members.

 

CA-AS 9.04

Adoptive parents receive assistance preparing for the child’s safe and healthy transition into the home through services and supports including:
  1. planning for the details of the transition;
  2. information on the types of behaviours and emotions children typically experience during the transition and typical length of time for the transition period;
  3. counselling on how to ease the transition given the information known about the child;
  4. assistance with preparation of other children or individuals living or frequently in the home;
  5. obtaining resources for the child’s special needs; and
  6. assistance in obtaining applicable benefits.
Examples: Information can be provided through reading materials, contact information for service providers, group or individual counselling and training sessions, and online resources. 

 

CA-AS 9.05

The program promptly provides prospective adoptive parents with updated information about the child if and when such information becomes available.
 
2022 Edition

Adoption Services (CA-AS) 10: Temporary Care for Children Awaiting Placement

Foster parents provide temporary care that ensures the health and safety of infants awaiting adoption.

Interpretation

 This section is intended for programs that provide short term, temporary care for children, usually newborns, while they await placement, typically where direct placement with prospective adoptive parents is not possible and do not otherwise provide foster care services.

NA The program does not provide temporary care for children awaiting placement or the program provides such care through its foster care program.

NA The organization provides home study or child-focused recruitment services only.

NA The organization provides post-placement services only.

NA The organization only provides foster-to-adopt services.

1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Policy for licensure, approval, or certification of homes
  • Procedures for licensure, approval, or certification of homes
  • Procedures for foster home assessments, including criminal record checks
  • Procedures for visits to foster homes
  • Training curricula
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Relevant personnel
    2. Foster parents
  • Review case records
  • Review foster parent records

 

CA-AS 10.01

Prior to placement, foster homes are licensed, approved, or certified according to provincial or local regulation and foster parents have completed all required training.


 
Fundamental Practice

CA-AS 10.02

Prior to placement, the organization:

  1. assesses the home to identify any safety concerns; and 
  2. conducts criminal background  checks for all adults living or frequently in the home in accordance with applicable legal requirements.
Examples: Individuals living in the home share common areas, sleep in the home, and have lived there for more than two weeks. Individuals frequently in the home can include for example, a child care provider.  

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-AS 10.03

The program coordinates needed healthcare services for the child, and foster parents are trained to respond to the healthcare needs of the child.


 

CA-AS 10.04

The adoption worker visits the foster parents and the child:

  1. within the first two weeks of placement; and
  2. at least once a month while in temporary placement to evaluate safety and needs.

 
Fundamental Practice

CA-AS 10.05

Each foster family develops or uses the organization’s protocols for responding to emergencies, including accidents, serious illness, fire, and natural disasters.


 
Fundamental Practice

CA-AS 10.06

Foster parents who transport children in their own vehicles:

  1. use age-appropriate passenger restraint systems;
  2. properly maintain vehicles and obtain required registration;
  3. provide evidence of vehicle safety;
  4. provide the organization with validation of their driving records; and
  5. appropriate insurance coverage.

Interpretation

Regarding elements (c) and (d), this information should be provided as frequently as necessary, based on the amount of time licenses and insurance are valid. For example, if licenses are valid for two years, license validation can occur every two years. 

Note: In some cases this standard may not be applicable to all foster parents (e.g., if foster parents live in urban areas and utilize public transportation instead of their own vehicles).

 
2022 Edition

Adoption Services (CA-AS) 11: Post-Placement and Post-Adoption Support and Family Preservation

A comprehensive continuum of post-placement and post-adoption services are available to ensure safety, well-being, and long-term stability and permanency.

Interpretation

Whenever possible, services provided by others should be provided by adoption competent professionals with experience in trauma informed care.

Interpretation

 All individuals involved in an adoption have their own unique experiences and needs related to adoption. People may experience few or frequent needs, minimal or extensive needs, and may experience those needs at any point in time throughout their lives.

NA The organization provides home study services only.

NA The organization provides child-focused recruitment only.

1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • List of services provided by the agency and/or available in the community
  • Procedures for referring individuals to services
  • Procedures for responding to crisis situations
  • Procedures for post-placement monitoring, visits, and reports
  • Procedures for the collection of information, record keeping and retention, and information disclosure
  • Reports related to any adoption related crisis situations reviewed through risk management or performance and quality improvement activities
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Clients
  • Review case records

 

CA-AS 11.01

The program provides or refers children, youth, adoptive parents, adoptive families, and adopted adults to an array of preventive and supportive services including:
  1. information, education, and counselling;
  2. social and cultural events and activities;
  3. preventive care for medical, developmental, and mental health needs;
  4. respite care; and
  5. support and advocacy groups.
Examples: Engaging families in social activities and basic supportive services can help to keep them connected to the program and increase their likelihood of requesting help when more significant needs emerge.
 

Examples: Examples of common adoption related issues which may benefit from preventive and supportive services may include:  

  1. difficulties with grief or feelings of loss or abandonment;
  2. challenges in developing trust and establishing and maintaining relationships;
  3. identify formation;
  4. difficulty navigating developmental milestones and events such as birthdays, holidays, addition of children to the home, death of a family member; and
  5. unknown medical, developmental or mental health needs.

Support for transracial and transcultural adoptions can include cultural and social events such as picnics, camps, educational activities, heritage tours, and peer support.


 

CA-AS 11.02

The program provides or refers children, youth, adoptive parents, adoptive families, and adopted adults to an array of intensive and therapeutic services when needed including:
  1. medical, developmental, and psychological evaluations;
  2. crisis intervention services;
  3. individual, group, and family counselling and therapy;
  4. early intervention and other developmental and educational supports;
  5. mental health and substance use services; and
  6. medical or rehabilitative care and residential treatment.

 

CA-AS 11.03

The program completes required post-placement and post-adoption visits to monitor and assess safety, permanency, and well-being.

    Examples: Agencies have developed a variety of strategies with mixed results to encourage full participation from families. Examples of strategies some programs have used to promote completion of required visits include: 
    1. making visit and report requirements known in advance through the contract and training;
    2. keeping the family engaged with the program through social and other supportive services; and
    3. requiring families to pay refundable deposits or pay post-placement fees in advance. 

     
    Fundamental Practice

    CA-AS 11.04

    The program acts promptly in situations where the placement is in crisis, a child may be in danger, or where conduct relating to the adoption may be in question.  
    Examples: Examples include situations where:
    1. the placement may be at risk of disruption or dissolution;
    2. adoptive parents are considering, planning or have completed an unregulated custody transfer;
    3. allegations of child abuse or neglect are made;
    4. a child discloses a prior history of being a victim of sexual abuse or human trafficking;
    5. a child experiences a mental health crisis or suicide attempt; and
    6. a question or concern is raised about the consents to the adoption or other fraudulent or unethical conduct relating to the adoption.

     
    Fundamental Practice

    CA-AS 11.05

    When the program believes that a child is in danger if he or she remains in the placement or that the placement is no longer in the child’s best interests, it:
    1. acts promptly, in accordance with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements, to report the situation to the appropriate authorities; and
    2. assists as needed with transitioning the child to another appropriate placement.  

    Interpretation

     In an international adoption that is not considered a final placement, the program must coordinate with the primary provider, foreign central authority, appropriate federal or provincial authority, and in all international adoptions the program should take appropriate steps to prevent the return of the child to the country of origin without authorization from the foreign central authority and the appropriate federal or provincial authority.    
     

     

    CA-AS 11.06

    For individuals interested in searching for and making contact with relatives, the program provides information, counselling, and support in accordance with applicable confidentiality requirements. 

     

    CA-AS 11.07

    When a child is placed prior to the final adoption order the program takes steps to ensure:
    1. an order declaring the adoption final is sought by the adoptive parents; and
    2. the child’s citizenship is obtained and documentation of the final adoption order and citizenship is maintained when it is an international adoption.

     

    CA-AS 11.08

    The program provides or refers birth parents to supportive services including:
    1. information and counselling;
    2. ongoing receipt and maintenance of updated medical or social information, including, as appropriate, contact information so that it can be made available to the adoptee in accordance with applicable requirements; and
    3. support and advocacy groups.

    Interpretation

     If the program works on cases where the birth parents’ rights were involuntarily terminated, the program should consult with the public agency or its designee to determine what services, if any, would be appropriate for the program to provide directly to birth parents. The program should at a minimum have procedures to address element (b) of the standard.
     
    2022 Edition

    Adoption Services (CA-AS) 12: Adoption Program Administration

    The program has administrative policies, procedures, and systems in place to ensure the provision of ethical adoption services and:
    1. adoptions take place in the best interests of children;
    2. the program has taken all appropriate actions to prevent the exploitation, sale, abduction, or trafficking of children; 
    3. persons whose consents are required have the opportunity to give consent and those consents are given freely without any undue influence; and
    4. fees and compensation do not inappropriately influence adoption decisions.
    NA The organization provides child-focused recruitment only.
    Note: Elements (c) and (d) might not be applicable to all programs.
    1
    All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
    2
    Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
    • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
    • Procedures need strengthening; or
    • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
    • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
    • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
    • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
    3
    Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
    • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
    • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
    • Timeframes are often missed; or
    • Several client records are missing important information; or
    • Client participation is inconsistent. 
    4
    Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
    • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
    • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
    Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
    • Policy on ethical adoption practice
    • Compensation procedures
    • Procedures for donations
    • Fee policy
    • Fee schedule
    • Procedures for the collection of information, record keeping and retention, and information disclosure
    • Documentation of licensure or credentials of collaborating organizations or individuals
    • Service agreements and contracts
    • Records of any complaints received in the last two years related to the adoption program
    • Interviews may include:
      1. Program director
      2. Relevant personnel
      3. Clients
    • Observe record storage area
    • Review financial records of compensation and fees paid by adoptive parents

     
    Fundamental Practice

    CA-AS 12.01

    The program has written policies and procedures in place which:
    1. prohibit its employees and agents from giving money or other consideration, directly or indirectly, to a child's parent(s) or other individual(s), or entities as payment for the child or as an inducement to release the child;  
    2. prohibit compensation of any individual who locates or refers children, prospective birth mothers, or birth parents on a contingent or incentive basis; and
    3. ensure that payments are not excessive and are only for activities appropriately related to the adoption when compensation is permitted or required to be paid directly or indirectly to individuals whose consents may be required.

    Interpretation

     
    Procedures should include provisions relating to documentation and close oversight of requested payments and actual compensation and purchase of services or goods. The program reinforces these policies and procedures in periodic training for personnel, contractors, or other agents acting on behalf of the program, and through information it provides to birth parents and prospective adoptive parents who might be involved in such payments. 
    NA The organization does not have a role in placement or adoption finalization decisions.
    Examples: Examples of activities appropriately related to the adoption include: 
    1. adoption proceedings;
    2. pre-birth and birth medical costs; 
    3. care of the child; 
    4. care of the birth mother while pregnant and immediately following birth of the child; and 
    5. the provision of child welfare and child protection services generally. 

     

    CA-AS 12.02

    Compensation paid to program personnel and any other individuals directly or indirectly involved in providing adoption services:
    1. is not unreasonably high in relation to the services rendered and other appropriate factors;
    2. is on a fee-for-service, hourly wage, or salary basis rather than a contingent fee basis; and
    3. is only paid for services actually rendered or for reimbursement of appropriate expenses incurred.

    Interpretation

     When the program allows for the payment of compensation in advance, the procedures should detail how the advanced compensation will be returned if services are not rendered.  

    This does not prohibit an organization or person from providing in-kind or other donations not intended to influence or affect a particular adoption.
    NA The organization does not have a role in placement or adoption finalization decisions.
    Examples: Evaluation of the reasonableness of compensation can take into account, for example:
    1. norms for compensation in the region in which the adoption services are provided;
    2. norms for compensation within the adoption community;
    3. norms for compensation within the organization; 
    4. qualifications of staff; and
    5. workload requirements, such as the scope and complexity of the work.

     

    CA-AS 12.03

    If it accepts or makes charitable donations, the program has safeguards in place in its policies and procedures to ensure that such donations do not influence child placement decisions in any way.

    Interpretation

    Making donations to individuals or entities who are involved in obtaining or consenting to the adoption can compromise the integrity of the process. Such arrangements should generally be avoided. If such donations are made, the program should take significant steps to ensure the integrity of the process and keep thorough documentation.

    NA The organization does not accept or make charitable donations.

    NA The organization does not have a role in placement or adoption finalization decisions.

     

    CA-AS 12.04

    The program itemizes and discloses in writing information for each of the following separate category of fees and estimated expenses:
    1. home study, including any fees for updates;
    2. placement or other program fee(s);
    3. fees charged by other individuals or entities;
    4. fees and expenses for the care of the child; 
    5. document and translation expenses;
    6. required donations or contributions;
    7. post-placement and post-adoption services;
    8. other third party fees; and
    9. travel and accommodation.

    Interpretation

     
    Translation and document expenses should include costs for obtaining, translating, or copying records or documents required to complete the adoption, costs for court documents, and costs for notarizations and certifications.
     

    NA The organization does not charge prospective adoptive parents any fees for its services.


     

    CA-AS 12.05

    The program does not routinely charge additional fees and expenses beyond those disclosed in the adoption services contract and only collects and retains fees for services rendered.

    Interpretation

    If the program charges fees in advance or the delivery of services, it should have procedures in place to accurately account for those funds, and must have procedures for refunding fees for services that are not rendered.

    NA The organization does not charge prospective adoptive parents any fees for its services.


     

    CA-AS 12.06

    The program returns any funds to which the prospective adoptive parent(s) may be entitled within sixty days.
     

    Interpretation

    If fees are charged or paid in advance, best practice is to maintain the funds collected separately from general operating expenses so that they can be properly accounted for and refunded promptly when necessary.
    NA The program does not charge prospective adoptive parents any fees for its services.  

     

    CA-AS 12.07

    The program makes readily available to the adoptee and the adoptive parent(s) upon request all non-identifying information in its custody in accordance with applicable legal requirements and contractual obligations.


     

    CA-AS 12.08

    The program ensures that personal data gathered or transmitted in connection with an adoption is used only for the purposes for which the information was gathered and safeguards sensitive individual information.

     

    CA-AS 12.09

    In the event that the program ceases to provide or is no longer permitted to provide adoption services, it has a plan for:
    1. transferring custody of adoption records that are subject to retention or archival requirements to an appropriate custodian and ensuring the future accessibility of those adoption records, and 
    2. transferring open cases to other programs.

    Interpretation

     
    It can be helpful to detail transfer plans in an agreement with another adoption service provider in advance and to plan for how clients may be provided with choices in the transfer process.  The plan should also address the refunding of fees paid for services not yet rendered and expenses not yet incurred.

     

    CA-AS 12.10

    When working in collaboration with other individuals or organizations for the provision of adoption services, the program operates under a written agreement with that provider which specifies:
    1. the adoption services to be provided by each party;
    2. fees and compensation;
    3. applicable laws, regulations, and standards that govern the provision of services;
    4. the lines of authority between the providers including who is responsible for oversight of the services provided
    5. terms and conditions for terminating the agreement;
    6. documentation, record keeping, and confidentiality requirements; and
    7. timely communication and the exchange of information between the parties and with clients.

    Interpretation

     Provisions relating to fees and compensation should articulate the amount of fees and compensation; which party will bill the client; conditions under which fees are paid and compensation is made including required documentation; and provisions for refunds.
     

    NA The organization does not collaborate with other providers.

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