Posts By: Dominique Arrington

KinGap – An alternative to adoption

Guardianship by family members—called KinGap in New York City—is an option instead of adoption. Here, Julie Farber, deputy commissioner of Family Permanency Services at NYC’s Administration for Children’s Services, explains KinGap:

The Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program, or KinGap, is designed to help a child in foster care achieve a permanent home with a relative. The key difference from adoption is that the biological parent’s rights aren’t terminated and the child isn’t adopted, but the relative still … Read More

Openness after adoption

Thirteen years ago, China Darrington decided to give her infant son up for adoption rather than let him go into foster care. Today, Darrington provides recovery support services to parents in Ohio struggling with addiction and is a member of the Birth Parent National Network. Here she describes how she managed to stay in her son’s life after adoption.

Q: What was your experience with adoption?

A: when I was 32, I was at the end of … Read More

Rethinking adoption out of foster care

There was a time when all adoptions were closed, parents signed over their rights and rarely ever saw their children again. But time and research have shown that children who maintain connections to their biological families do better. While private adoption agencies have increasingly embraced openness, child welfare systems have not.

Meanwhile, over the past 20 years, adoptions have increased, from 38,000 in 1998 to over 50,000 last year. That’s a result of the federal Adoption … Read More

Training Workers to Partner with Parents – NYC’s new Workforce Institute focuses on listening and coaching

As a parent, dealing with child welfare workers can be an emotional, unpredictable experience. Some workers judge you and others try to tell you what to do before they even know you.

Personally, I found it hard to be open when the worker investigating me was trying to poke holes in all my answers to her questions. I was lucky that I got past the investigation and that my preventive worker was totally different and … Read More

Protecting Your Privacy – How to work with your lawyer to keep therapy as confidential as possible.

When you’ve grown up in foster care and you return to the system as a parent, it often seems like the court knows your entire mental health history. Because your current therapist also reports to the court about your progress, therapy can wind up feeling neither private nor safe.

Sonja Jacobsen, a lawyer for parents in Washington State, explains how to make therapy safer.

Q: Why is therapy important for parents when kids are in foster care?

A: … Read More