What Is A RAS?
In our region, you will hear us refer to a “RAS” over and over again… so what is a RAS anyway? Our region has shortened “Review and Approval Staffing” into “RAS.” So now that you know was RAS stands for, what exactly is it? A RAS is the way Region 6 makes sure children are matched with a family that can meet their needs.
As I mentioned in my last post, after we receive a broadcast and submit your home study to the CPS worker, we wait. We are waiting to hear if you are one of the families who has been chosen to be presented at a RAS. This would mean, your family was narrowed down from all of the home studies submitted to CPS. If the CPS worker believes your family would be a good match for a particular child and you have the capacity to meet the child’s needs, CPS will include you in the RAS.
Typically, CPS workers will narrow down all of the received home studies to three or four families they want to hear more from. Next, they will schedule the RAS meeting. Sometimes the CPS worker will send a small amount of the narrowed down home studies to the child’s attorney ad litem and/or CASA worker to get their input on the final three or four families.
Once the choices have been narrowed down and a RAS scheduled, the agency will receive a notification of the RAS meeting. As soon as we get the notification, we will call you. This is the exciting part! Now, you are actually hearing back from a broadcast submission and are moving on to the next phase! If you took notes when we originally reviewed the broadcast with you, you will probably remember the details or be able to refer to your notes. Other times, we will review the broadcast details with you again.
A RAS is typically scheduled one to two weeks from the date we are notified, sometimes a little longer. That period of time is when you should make sure we have everything we need to present you well. At this point, we should already have your family presentation book. (If you haven’t gotten it to us yet make that a PRIORITY!) Additionally, we present you based on our relationship with you and what we know about you based on our interactions with you. This means that the more interactions your family has with us, the better! So, attend Waiting Families meetings, try to have all household members present when we do our quarterly visits, etc.
It is much easier presenting a family we personally know and have had interactions with than only presenting what was written in the home study. Another thing we have started asking families to do during this time is put together a little bullet-pointed write up about the interesting / fun side of your family.
The home study is largely the facts and important details we used to assess your family and readiness to adopt. Your personalities don’t come through in your home study! So, the more fun tidbits you can tell us, the more we can share in the RAS. A few examples:
- Your family runs a marathon together every year.
- Mom and sister really like to bake so once a month they both bake something for a “bakeoff.”
- Dad played baseball in high school and now he is coaching the little league team.
Just tell us things that show who your family is… outside of the needed facts.
Tune in to my next blog to learn more about the day of the RAS!
About The Author
As the Director of Adoption and Foster Care Services, Arianne Riebel, LMSW, LCPAA, oversees Arms Wide Adoption Services’ team of adoption and foster care employees, making sure each step of the adoption and foster care journey goes smoothly.
While earning her Bachelor’s in Social Work at Stephen F. Austin University, she first considered a career in adoption and gained experience working in the field during her college career. A few years after graduation, she completed her Master of Social Work at the University of Houston. Then, gained a decade of experience in child welfare before becoming a part of the Arms Wide family. Through her role, she wanted to be able to give each child and family one-on-one support and attention. Her favorite part about her job is seeing people become parents or add more children to their family. She loves when kids have found their forever homes. Read more about Arianne here.