(Media release from the Georgia Department of Human Services):
The Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Family & Children Services (DFCS) has announced a partnership with Adoption-Share for a pilot of its Family-Match program, an innovative adoption-matching technology designed to connect families with children in foster care who are eligible for adoption. The pilot is slated to begin on December 1, 2021.
Over the last five years, the number of finalized adoptions has increased from 761 in 2015 to 1,410 in 2020 through focused efforts to find forever families for youth in Georgia’s foster care system.
To continue the momentum of the adoption program, this Family-Match pilot will utilize predictive models to assist case workers with finding adoptive families for waiting children. With a compatibility assessment developed by the former lead researchers from eHarmony, this program aims to decrease the time to adoption placement, match children to families where they will flourish, and improve case worker efficiency.
“We believe the Family-Match program will help us find families for children in pilot regions who are without adoptive families. Many of these children are older, members of large sibling groups, or children who continue to deal with significant trauma, but – like all children – deserve to be part of loving, stable families,” said Candice L. Broce, Georgia DHS Commissioner and DFCS Director.
Currently, 300 children in Georgia await adoption. The Family-Match pilot will be implemented within three of the 14 DFCS regions of the state, and in two child placement agencies, to test its effectiveness within the Georgia child welfare context.
“Adoption-Share’s Family-Match Program was birthed right here in Georgia, and we are incredibly excited to partner with DHS in evaluating our program for potential statewide implementation,” said Thea Ramirez, founder, and CEO of Adoption-Share.
Beginning this fall, Georgia families who are interested in adoption, are in an adoption training, or who have an approved home study to adopt will be able to register for Family-Match. Participating families may be identified by child welfare workers within the pilot regions who are looking to connect children as described above with the most compatible homes. Interested families can register or learn more at family-match.org.