County department to handle adoption services

Feather Publishing

  The Plumas County Department of Social Services is taking over responsibility for the Adoptions Program.

  According to Social Services Director Elliott Smart, the Board of Supervisors approved a plan to begin delivering adoption services July 1.

  Smart said that the department had been planning to assume responsibility for the program for well over a year. Previously adoption services such as adoptive home finding and post-adoptive family services had been performed by the state Department of Social Services out of its Chico office.

  Smart said that the opportunity to assume responsibility for adoptions arose under a state realignment plan crafted by the governor and Legislature in 2011.

  Under the plan, the state will transfer funding to counties that the state had previously used to provide adoption services from the Chico office. Smart said that the funding will total more than $90,000, which he said will cover the costs of providing services.

  “The county currently serves about 70 adoptive families who are in the Aid to Adoptions program,” Smart said. “We will also take responsibility for completing three to four new adoptions each year.

  “We are really eager to take on these responsibilities,” Smart added. “This gives us the opportunity to provide services to abused and neglected children from the time they are first removed from an unsafe home through the conclusion of an adoptive placement and through the post-adoption period.”

  Smart said that staff has already begun to transfer case records from the Chico office and that a social worker has been assigned to the program.

  “We think this will be much better for adoptive families and children,” Smart said. “Families will be working with us throughout the process instead of being handed off to an office that is outside of the county.”

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