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CARF introduces adoption standards in its child and youth services manual

Two adoption advocates hail the new standards for their responsiveness to children, birth and foster parents, and adoptive families 

February 10, 2011, Tucson, Arizona -- CARF International introduced adoption standards for programs serving children and youths. The standards are in the newly published 2011 Child and Youth Services Standards Manual, available in electronic and print formats at

The adoption standards can be applied on CARF surveys conducted after June 30 this year, and they replace the legal permanency standards in 2010 and earlier editions of the standards manual.

Wendy Rowney, vice president of the American Adoption Congress, said, "CARF's new adoption standards address the needs of children, their parents, and their adoptive families."

Rowney, who is also vice president of the Adoption Council of Canada, added, "The standards provide professionals working in adoption, foster care, and adoption disclosure with a roadmap to best practices in the field. The standards' creation was a collaborative effort, based on consultation with adult adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents, and professionals. The results will help service providers create a more positive adoption experience for everyone concerned."

CARF developed the standards with input from adoptees, adoptive and birth parents, researchers, provider associations, governmental bodies, and professionals. CARF's leadership in framing these standards is backed by its 45-year history of accrediting health and human services on five continents.

CARF convened an International Standards Advisory Committee to draft the set of standards, which Rowney described as a "collaborative atmosphere that brought together the diverse experiences and backgrounds of the participants. It can be rare for professionals and persons who have experienced adoption to work together to improve services, but that is what happened there."

The committee's recommendations were forwarded to CARF's International Advisory Council for review. CARF's approach to an inclusive standards development process culminated in a broad field review, which invited comment from interested professionals and the public, prior to the standards' implementation.

All participants in the development of the standards represented experience in the field and concern for enhancing the quality of adoption services.

"By providing a foundation to improve the lives of children throughout the world, these standards are designed to create 'forever' families and focus on what is best for the children and their adoptive and birth parents," said Sharon Osborne, chair of the Children's Home Society of America and president/CEO of the Children's Home Society of Washington. "They bring us a step closer to providing every child with what they all deserve -- a safe and loving home."

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About organizations cited in this news release 

The Adoption Council of Canada (ACC) is the umbrella organization for adoption in Canada. Based in Ottawa, the ACC raises public awareness of adoption, promotes placement of waiting children, and stresses the importance of post-adoption services. Services include a quarterly newsletter, a resource library, referrals, and conference planning. ( 

Through education and advocacy, the American Adoption Congress promotes honesty, openness, and respect for family connections in adoption, foster care, and assisted reproduction. The American Adoption Congress comprises individuals, families, and organizations committed to adoption reform. They represent those whose lives are touched by adoption or other loss of family continuity. ( 

Children's Home Society of America (CHSA) is a charitable organization with an outstanding history, national scope, and a proven network of adoption, early childhood development, and family support services. CHSA members are comprised of 24 organizations throughout the country dedicated to creating safe and loving homes for children and their families. Pioneers in innovative services for children, CHSA agencies have created permanent homes for tens of thousands of children throughout the last century. ( 

Since 1896, Children's Home Society of Washington (CHSW) has helped provide children with strong families, loving stable homes, and their best chance for happiness and success. As Washington's oldest and largest statewide nonprofit children's organization, CHSW provides an integrated system of care to 39,000 children and families in early learning, family support, out-of-home care, child and family counseling, adoption, and advocacy. ( 


2/10/2011 12:05:00 AM

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