THE HAT BOX APPROACH: A RESEARCH AND COMMUNITY-INFORMED CAPACITY-BUILDING APPROACH TO POST-ADOPTION SUPPORT
As awareness about both the impact and complex nature of adoption has developed, so has the understanding that the effect of adoption is lifelong, requiring lasting support. Furthermore, the adoption landscape continues to shift with the largest population of adoptees coming from the foster care system. A growing body of research necessitates post-adoption support provision; however, research also demonstrates that post-adoption support is inaccessible, unavailable, or lacks competent service provision. This project presents the creation of a socially innovative approach to address the gaps in post-adoption service provision and is rooted in biblical leadership principles and principles of Community Based Participatory Research. Both informal and formal community engagement strategies solicited feedback from professionals and individuals with lived experience to better inform the socially innovative model. A Quality Improvement research process utilized two focus groups, one comprised of professionals in the social work field and the other of adoptive parents. Semi-structured interviews elicited feedback from each focus group participant regarding their lived and professional experience to help inform and improve the proposed innovative model. These findings were used to inform and improve the development of the Hat Box Approach. A Logic Model presents the interactions within systems to bring about changes in the narrative of adoption work leading to the creation of the Hat Box Approach: A Community and Research-Based Capacity Building Approach to Post-adoption Care. Utilizing best practices in adoption and post-adoption care, this approach provides a framework for agencies and faith-based communities committed to adoption work to evaluate current infrastructure and capacity to infuse post-adoption care into their adoption programming or ministries. While a tailored approach can be applied to each agency or church for evaluation, this approach encourages a mix-method approach to evaluation. The initial implementation plan is to present the proposed framework to the Inland and Desert Communities of Olive Crest with the hopes of the agency adopting the approach. Once implemented, considerations will be made for expansion into other regions. Should the implementation show promising change and impact, presenting this model to other agencies and faith-based communities would encourage a grander scale cultural shift in adoption services. There is potential for a greater narrative to shift in adoption programming and ministry to see post-adoption work as inclusive of adoption, creating better access and awareness related to the post-adoption needs of families.
A capstone project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Social Work