Private Agency Or DCS? Cecil County, Maryland.
Hi everyone -

Any opinion on whether it is better to try to foster to adopt through a private agency or through the local DCS?

We are looking for a sibling group of 2 to 4 kids, ages 0 to 4, boys or girls, any race, any disability, but only mild behavior issues and low legal risk.

I have read horror stories about DCS, but is it really better going through private agencies?

:thankyou: Any opinions would be valued. Thanks! :thankyou:
Have you gotten any feedback on this? I too am wondering. We live in Baltimore City.
We did alot of info gathering before deciding to go through our DCBS. I probably spoke to 4 different agencies before deciding. In my opinion the agencies felt too "coorporate". I spoke to one agency rep for about 2 hours on the phone and he was eventually very comfortable with me. While discussing he said that they had recently placed 4 siblings with a family and the family had to buy a van for transportation. Then he laughed and said "well if they had enough money for a van we should probably cut their per diem rate". This surprised me obviously so I just laughed and ended the call shortly after. That was the deciding factor for us.

I'm not sure if this applies to every state but in ours, the families that are licensed by the state get first choice in foster children and if they can't find a home for them, they release the children to agencies to find homes. Seeing that you want mild behavior issues, this may be a factor for you because most agencies receive the "higher level" children because they couldn't be placed in a state foster home.
DCS or Agency?
@Cherish,

Hello! I am wondering the same thing. We have been approved with our agency for over a year, and are still waiting. We are looking for a little girl age 6 and under. We would take a sib group of 2. We've done a lot of respite, and enjoyed it, but are ANXIOUSLY waiting for our own to fost-adopt.
We've gotten a few calls for other placements, but they have either been:
1. sib groups of all boys....we love boys but have 2 bios of our own, so we would like a daughter.

2. Calls for a placement that we said we'd accept. A date was set up to meet with one of the sib groups...but later cancelled because they were placed with someone else.

My husband and I don't understand this :/
Any advice for us?

Maybe we should try our local DCS when our renewal is up?
I like the people we've been working with, and would hate to switch, but we have been waiting long enough. It seems like all these other families are getting placements and here we are, still waiting.

I appreciate any advice!

Cherish said...
We did alot of info gathering before deciding to go through our DCBS. I probably spoke to 4 different agencies before deciding. In my opinion the agencies felt too "coorporate". I spoke to one agency rep for about 2 hours on the phone and he was eventually very comfortable with me. While discussing he said that they had recently placed 4 siblings with a family and the family had to buy a van for transportation. Then he laughed and said "well if they had enough money for a van we should probably cut their per diem rate". This surprised me obviously so I just laughed and ended the call shortly after. That was the deciding factor for us.

I'm not sure if this applies to every state but in ours, the families that are licensed by the state get first choice in foster children and if they can't find a home for them, they release the children to agencies to find homes. Seeing that you want mild behavior issues, this may be a factor for you because most agencies receive the "higher level" children because they couldn't be placed in a state foster home.
In our area of Maryland, the "easy" placements go to families licensed w/DSS. Agencies are only sent placements in the case of an overflow (which actually happens frequently, since we have so many public homes), or if the kids are deemed "therapeutic." So, I guess what I'm saying is...the "easy" kids, the babies, the younger sibling groups - are likely to stay w/the DSS homes in our area b/c they're easy to place. DSS only reaches out to private agencies with more difficult placements.

In my county, we don't have the option of being licensed w/a private agency. Sometimes, I wish that we had the support that one would provide, and/or the additional stipend that would come commensurate with the needs of our FKs. I plan to fight for more with our adoption stipend negotiations - we shall see how that goes.

Anyway...I know that in Baltimore, private agencies are more common. In our area, DSS is the only way to go - and there are tons of LOs and younger sibling groups.
slackwater said...
In our area of Maryland, the "easy" placements go to families licensed w/DSS. Agencies are only sent placements in the case of an overflow (which actually happens frequently, since we have so many public homes), or if the kids are deemed "therapeutic." So, I guess what I'm saying is...the "easy" kids, the babies, the younger sibling groups - are likely to stay w/the DSS homes in our area b/c they're easy to place. DSS only reaches out to private agencies with more difficult placements.

In my county, we don't have the option of being licensed w/a private agency. Sometimes, I wish that we had the support that one would provide, and/or the additional stipend that would come commensurate with the needs of our FKs. I plan to fight for more with our adoption stipend negotiations - we shall see how that goes.

Anyway...I know that in Baltimore, private agencies are more common. In our area, DSS is the only way to go - and there are tons of LOs and younger sibling groups.

Thanks for getting right back to me Smile
I'm not sure what to do. Maybe it varies by state? We are in PA. We've done respite with this agency many times, and the kids have pretty much all been great. We've had ages 18 months-10 years for respite.

I think it's time I just come out and ask our agency. I feel like I'm being a pain, but this is our life, and we aren't getting any younger. We have a meeting coming up soon,
and I'm going to talk to them about it.

I pray all goes well for you and your adoptions go through soon!
I would definitely call the local state agency to check it out. The more info that you have the better off you will be. Good luck and stay strong during your wait Smile Let us know what happens!
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