What is an Educational Reconciliation Specialist? What does he or she do? An Educational Reconciliation Specialist is a person that works behind the scenes of the reunification process to reconcile families. In reality, most judges dislike removing children from their birth family and disconnecting the child from those they naturally have an attachment to. To foster and strengthen this bond judges like to refer families to an intensive therapeutic day program that will monitor the family and give those actively involved a 360 degree image of how well the family does at meeting their goals.
Recently, the lack of effectiveness of federally-funded programs has been a topic in the news. We know that same yardstick - dollars per unit of effectiveness- is also important at non-profits. Continued funding for programs is contingent on evidence based-outcomes provided through data. Also, our staff needs to know what about our programs is working. Areas of professional practice, such as medicine, psychology, and also social work have had periods in the past where methods and practice were based on the anecdotal experiences of others and were not rooted in valid scientific evidence.
contributed by Louis Gonczy, Director of Finance and Administration
Accounting at a not for-profit is quite different from other businesses. The goals and profit objectives run down very different paths.
In a for-profit business your objective is to show as much profit as you can. On one hand you try to generate as much income as possible while keeping expenses as low as possible. You will never spend money that you don’t absolutely need to spend for functioning and growing of the business.
Too often in our line of work we get the bad news that an adoption placement has disrupted, and even worse, we occasionally get the news that there has been a dissolution in an adoption. In both situations, the parents, or parents-to-be have decided to give the child back to the state-run foster care system. "Disruption" is the term used when the relationship breakdown occurs before the adoption has been finalized in a court of law. "Dissolution" happens if the familial relationship is ended after the adoption has been legally finalized.
This past Saturday, the National Adoption Center in partnership with New Jersey’s Department of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P) hosted their first match event of the New Year! Thanks to the lovely staff at Le Gourmet Factory Cooking School in Englewood, NJ our event went off without a hitch. This particular event was what we at NAC like to call a “Chat & Chew”. Essentially, it’s an event where families and youth make a meal together.
With a little help from our friends at Wendy's, we've been able to spread the holiday spirit. Santa's elves begin their work in September, making sure to get the lists of children's wishes correct. This involves lots of emails, phone calls and visits. These lists are then sent to another set of elves (our Wendy's Elves) who purchase and wrap the gifts. Next we get the gifts to our office and re-distribute them to the children's foster homes, case workers or directly to the children themselves. It takes alot of coordination, but the thoughts of happy kids makes it all worth it!
A great experience was provided to youth in foster care, their social workers and prospective adoptive families on Saturday, 9/10/16, when the Center hosted a Day of Service Match Event at the Community Foodbank of New Jersey. It was the youth in foster care in New Jersey who asked that they have an opportunity to volunteer to help others. They expressed a strong desire to give back to their communities.
contributed by our Program Director, Christine Jacobs
The Adoption Center has never had a program devoted to creating mentor relationships for youth in foster care --but soon we will! To build the most robust program we can we have been researching the best practices in the field by talking with colleagues who have their own mentor programs for youth in foster care, reading all that we can about other mentoring programs, participating in mentoring-focused conferences and training with MENTOR, the National Mentoring Partnership.
“The children were in awe.” “Another child wanted to know when the next enrichment event would be so she could go.” “My favorite part was seeing the children’s faces intently watching the show.”