Recruiting for Your Waiting Children
On average, adoption matches when the child has been placed on the Databank take approximately half as long as placements where the child was not in the databank – AdoptOntario Professional Recruitment Handbook.
There are five key steps for adoption professionals when recruiting for your waiting children to help ensure a successful outcome. Below is an overview of those steps, which are outlined in greater detail in the AdoptOntario Professional Recruitment Handbook.
1. Register child and search local families
Before adding a child or family to the databank, you may want to search for existing profiles, with either a particular match criteria, or just to see how they are done.
There are hundreds of verified AdoptReady™ Ontario families with profiles in our databank that have been carefully vetted. You should remember to add a waiting child to the databank as early as possible, even if you are focusing primarily on local families – it takes only a few minutes and may lead to a match sooner. Download the Child Referral Form.
Once the child’s registration is complete, you can view matches for the child by selecting the Family Matches tab. Then follow up with these families using the detailed match report generated from the system.
Adding a child to the databank, using the matching feature and generating the match report are outlined in greater detail on pages 20 – 25 of the AdoptOntario Professional Recruitment Handbook.
2. Search resource families
Aside from AdoptReady™ families, the AdoptOntario Resources Databank stores over 20,000 resource families from Ontario. AdoptOntario currently has resource families that are interested in adoption in 824 communities across the province.
These families have registered to view the photolisting on the public website, and can be at any stage in their adoption journey, but do not have access to child profiles in the databank.
All CAS adoption professionals that have signed up for an AdoptOntario Professional account can search resource families in the system on any criteria available. If they find a potential match for a resource family, they can simply reach out to family or contact the family’s adoption professional.
More details on how to search resource families in our database are on page 26 of the AdoptOntario Professional Recruitment Handbook.
3. Host a child profile night
One of the best ways for adoption professionals to recruit for your waiting children is host at least 3– 4 child profile nights annually.
These events can be managed in a variety of ways, but at the core, they should be miniature Adoption Resource Exchanges (mini-AREs) for children adoption professionals want to focus on.
Formats can include, but are not limited to, inviting your local families to attend an in-person or webinar presentation of waiting children in our databank or photolisting. There is no set timeline recommendation for when to host your child profile night, but it’s a good idea to feature multiple children rather than a single child in each event.
The AdoptOntario Professional Adoption Resources Databank is designed to help adoption professionals facilitate these events by generating appropriate mailing lists to contact families and creating a video playlist.
To learn how use the system to coordinate your child profile night, see page 27 of the AdoptOntario Professional Recruitment Handbook.
For more information about how to host a successful child profile night using AdoptOntario Professional, don’t hesitate to contact AdoptOntario staff at: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Add a child to the public photolisting
When adoption professionals add a child to our online photolisting, they allow families to be proactive about finding a match, and dramatically increase the chances of successful placements.
Our photolisting is a highly valued and protected feature on the AdoptOntario public website, and is viewable by all resource families at any stage of their adoption journey. Currently, over 20,000 families are registered to view the photolisting.
All information made available on our photolisting is non-identifying. When a family expresses interest in a child in our photolisting, AdoptOntario staff is the first point of contact, carefully assessing and educating the family before they are put into contact with adoption professionals.
Before adding a child to our photolisting, a child must be registered in our databank. Remember that choosing a good photograph – one with good lighting that highlights a child’s best qualities – can make all the difference in your recruitment of families.
More information on how to add a child to the AdoptOntario photolisting is available on page 28 of the AdoptOntario Professional Recruitment Handbook.
5. Feature child in alternative media and update registration
If adding a child to our photolisting does not improve the chances of placement with a family, the AdoptOntario staff can help adoption professionals with other options that are available for getting the word out.
They include profiling a child in the Today’s Child feature in the Toronto Star, and featured on the Ministry of Children and Youth Services website, participating in our Youth Awaiting You program, and through direct mail and phone contact to prospective adoptive parents and private adoption professionals.
In addition, updating the child’s registration and profile in our databank can maximize the chance of a successful placement for a child.
In all of these initiatives, AdoptOntario clinical coordinators will work closely with adoption professionals to develop the best strategy for a particular child.