After A RAS Selection
Thanks for checking back in for my next blog! Last time, I discussed the day of a RAS meeting. Now, let’s talk about what happens once you are selected in a RAS meeting for placement. This includes reading the redacted record and a child presentation meeting. As I mentioned last time, these next steps can happen quickly or take longer depending on the child’s legal case. Some judges require CPS to go to court to get a court order for movement. If this is the case, the process is on hold until the judge grants the order. One more factor in this next step is whether you have been selected as a Legal Risk or Straight-Adopt home.
If you have been selected as a Straight-Adopt home, the next step, quite frankly, is agonizing! You just found out you have been selected for placement of a child or sibling group, but now you have to wait! In Straight-Adopt placements, the child’s parental rights have already been terminated, so they are “legally free” to move into adoptive placement. This means there is no need to provide foster care before adoptive placement can occur.
In a Straight-Adopt placement, once a family is selected, the child’s case record is sent off to be redacted, or de-identified. Unfortunately, this is a lengthy process. It takes 45 business days to get a child’s case record redacted. Between holidays and weekends, you can usually expect to wait two months. Also, the 45-day count down starts at the time the record is sent off, not at the point of selection. So if it takes a week or two to get the file organized and scanned in for submission, that means there are additional days tacked onto the original 45 business days.
The Redacted Record
Once the redacted record is returned, the family is required to read the entire record under supervision, either by CPS or by the agency. The most important thing you can do while reading the record is take your time. Understand what these children have been through. Everything you read in the file has played a part in who this child is and what you will be facing as a family in the future. You need to be comfortable with their history in order to support them as their parents.
After the information we receive about the children at the RAS, this is the second opportunity for you to learn more about the family history, their stay in foster care, and the issues they have had since coming into care. Not only is this a time to make sure you have the skills it will take to parent these children, it gives the agency an opportunity to determine the best ways to support your family during the placement. Although you do not to keep the redacted record, you will get a copy of it upon adoption finalization.
Legal Risk Home
If you have been selected for a Legal Risk placement, the record will not be redacted because the child’s legal case is still in process. Instead, you will move forward with placement. Once the parental rights have been terminated, CPS will request the redaction. Then, you will read the record before your placement switches from foster care to adoptive placement.
Child Presentation Meeting
The next step is called the Child Presentation Meeting.
- Straight-Adopt Placements: This occurs after the redacted record has been reviewed by the family.
- Legal Risk Placements: This occurs between being selected at the RAS and the first pre-placement visit.
- For Families Who Have Read The Redacted Records: This is a chance to ask any questions which may have come up in reviewing the record.
- All Families: This is an opportunity to talk to members of the child’s team, including their foster parent(s) to learn more about the child or sibling group.
After the child presentation meeting and once all parties agree to move forward with placement, we will start scheduling pre-placement visits.
Tune into my next post to learn more about pre-placement visits!
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.