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Finding a new home: A study on special needs adoption from social workers' perspective
special needs adoption
Recently, there have been major changes to the adoption services. For a child to be adopted now, the services of an adoption provider must be used, and domestic adoption is stressed as a priority in order to reduce the cultural and identity issues brought on by inter-racial adoption. However, many children with special needs are facing adoption difficulties, and the intercountry adoption channel has to be enlisted to help find adoption families. Qualitative research methodology is used in this paper, and 9 adoption-service social workers are interviewed with the semi-structured method. The aim of this paper is to explore the difficulties in actual practice and the coping methods required at every stage of an adoption, and to understand issues incurred after the amendment of the adoption law, along with making recommendations for solutions, specifically targeting the adoption service experience for children with special needs, from social workers’ perspective. Research findings of this paper show that, from the profiles of adopting families, a lack of adoption motivation and will is the key issue that leads to adoption difficulties. The opportunities for children with special needs to find an adopting family rely on a social worker’s advocate and the loving quality of the adopting family itself, thus the work of a social worker in the adoption services focuses mainly on the evaluation and preparation co-service model. Difficulties encountered during the process of such services are: challenges in network cooperation, challenges in adapting to the changes of children and other important people, challenges in the procedures sanctioned by the court, and challenges in losing contact, or any changes during the tracking period. While the matchmaking platform established after the law was amended does not provide substantial functions for children with special needs, and families of corrective cases are resistant to the collection of service fees and institutional services; overall, adoption services are still on the path of advocating the idea of open adoption. Lastly, the researcher of this paper recommends: that not only the practitioners should actively encourage the participation of those who are capable of caring for children with special needs, the lateral network should also be intensively strengthened for the adoption preparation services, in addition to developing service programs specifically for adopting children with special needs. Additionally, the government should include adoption incentives with auxiliary welfare assistance in the daycare and long-term care regulations to help provide adequate support for the domestic adoption services.
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