What is ASAP?ASAP (Adoption Support and Preservation) is an innovative program designed to support families at all stages of the adoption process. Motivated by the needs of adoptive children and families, ASAP offers a comprehensive and coordinated continuum of adoption support. ASAPís post-adoption services include crisis intervention, child and family counseling, adoptive family support groups, relief team development, and parenting education. These services have been available since 2004 to Tennessee families who have adopted or who have declared their intent to adopt through Tennesseeís Department of Childrenís Services. ASAP services were expanded in 2008 to include families contemplating adoption. ASAP is funded by Tennessee's Department of Children's Services.
What are ASAPís goals?ASAPís mission is to support and preserve adoptions. By increasing the availability and accessibility of adoption support services in Tennessee, ASAP seeks to decrease the incidence of disrupted and dissolved adoptions that result from the challenges and difficulties adoptive families often experience. ASAP meets families where they are on their adoption journey, providing services that support permanency and help adoptive families create and maintain connections with each other. ASAP also works to develop the capacity of communities across Tennessee to better nurture their adoptive families. ASAP helps families and communities say ďYes!Ē to adoption.
How can ASAP help?ASAP strives to assist every adoptive family it serves, each with its own unique needs. ASAP:
- helps families coordinate resources where they live, making referrals to local service providers.
- helps families make connections with others who share their commitment, as well as their challenges, through its Adoptive Family Support Groups.
- advocates for childrenís special needs.
- offers specialized parenting education.
- offers education and training opportunities to a wide range of community service providers, to help them better meet the needs of those they serve.
- offers in-home counseling and therapy for children and families, provided by Masterís level therapists with extensive training in issues of adoption and attachment.
- provides a specialized Adoption Preparation curriculum to families considering adoption and their children. The Adoption Preparation curriculum is designed to guide pre-adoptive families through the important decisions and transitions ahead.
Who is eligible to receive ASAP services?Any family currently residing in the state of Tennessee, at any stage of the adoption process, with an adopted child or children 18 years of age or younger is eligible to participate. Families who have adopted or who have declared their intent to adopt through Tennesseeís Department of Childrenís Services receive ASAPís post-adoption services.
Families with children in permanent guardianship (either subsidized or unsubsidized) are also eligible for post-adopt services.
Those who have adopted privately or internationally may be served on a fee-for-service basis.
How can families find out more about ASAPís Adoptive Family Support Groups?ASAPís support groups are available to families and individuals at any stage of the adoption process, from those just beginning to consider adoption to those experiencing the joys and challenges of parenting adopted children. ASAP offers parent support group meetings across Tennessee, most with activities available for all family members, and several adolescent support groups.
Does ASAP help families with respite care?Respite care is an important and effective tool that makes a real difference in the lives of adoptive families, who consistently rank respite as a primary need. ASAP has developed a unique respite program, one that empowers families to develop respite networks and plans that work for them. ASAP does not employ or contract with respite providers. ASAP Family Counselors and Family Advocates work with clients to help them identify potential respite providers in their families and communities; then, when necessary, training is offered to those individuals, as well as stipend payments per day of care.
Does ASAP help families negotiate adoption assistance subsidy agreements?When families experience difficulties negotiating, or re-negotiating, their adoption assistance subsidy agreements, ASAP Family Counselors can make referrals to appropriate contacts at DCS, help them obtain and organize necessary documentation, or refer them to NACAC (North American Council on Adoptable Children) for comprehensive adoption assistance information, including up-to-date state subsidy profiles and fact sheets on various aspects of adoption subsidy policy.
How much do ASAP services cost?ASAP services are provided at no charge to Tennesseeís resource families. Families who have adopted privately or internationally may be served on a fee-for-service basis.
After a familyís ASAP case is closed, can it be re-opened?ASAP services are available as often as necessary, until a child turns 19. Families can request that their ASAP case be reopened by contacting ASAPís toll-free helpline, at 888.848.2727.
How can families access ASAP services?Families and referring professionals may contact the program directly by calling ASAPís toll-free helpline at 888.848.2727.