Basic Information on Starting an Agency
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This information serves only as a overview of the types of activities which those considering opening or expanding an adoption agency should consider. It is to be considered by no means exhaustive, and should not be substituted for the advice of a licensing professional or attorney. While the information provided here may be seen as overly simplified, this is written based on the assumption that requestors would like more information rather than less.
The following actions should be considered:
1. Develop a business plan
and budget for the first two years of business operation. As part of your business plan, you should assess:
* what types of child placement or adoption facilitation services you or your agency will provide;
* collaborations needed to effect placements;
* marketing plans;
* staffing needs;
* income and expense sources;
* staff training needs;
* what market niche your agency plans to occupy; and
* what will differentiate your agency or services from others available in the area.
2. Call the State Licensing Specialist
to find out relevant State laws and regulations governing the placement of children for adoption. These laws vary greatly from state to state. If you decide to become a licensed entity, you must obtain an agency licensing application packet from the State Licensing Specialist . Check the packet to see if different licenses are issued for adoption of children within your State, children in other States, foreign-born children, and children in the public child welfare system. Also become informed on Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) regulations, ICAMA (Interstate Compact on Adoption Medical Assistance) provisions of the ICPC, and regulations operative in other states for out-of-state agencies.
3. You may want to incorporate
the agency or facilitation service under the laws of your State and the regulations of the Federal IRS Code. You should check State laws and adoption policy regulations to see if there are any regulations or restrictions on the type of incorporation agencies in your State must have in order to obtain an adoption license.
4. The Child Welfare League of America publishes standards
for adoption services. Contact CWLA to purchase a copy.
5. Most states require that the agency casework supervisor hold a Masters degree in Social Work (M.S.W.) or equivalent degree in a related field such as psychology or counseling. You also should access professional literature on current best practices, research, and information in the fields of family
assessment, post-placement supervision, and post-adoption service resources. You will want to know which of these resources are available in your area and who provides them.
6. It would be helpful to have potential staff members (if needed) identified and their resumes available for submission with your licensing application.
Credits: Child Welfare Information Gateway (http://www.childwelfare.gov)