Post-Placement Supervision: This term refers to the services provided by an adoption caseworker between the time that a child is placed in the home of his or her prospective adoptive parents, and the time that the child's adoption is finalized in court. The caseworker that is assigned to do the post-placement supervision of the adoptive parents will visit their home several times during this period, which will generally be somewhere between 6 and 12 months, depending on the legal requirements in that state.
The purpose of post-placement supervision is two fold:
(1) to gather the necessary information that will be required for the caseworker to prepare a written report to the court, addressing the issue of how the parents and the child are doing together, including a recommendation of whether the Petition to Adopt of the adoptive parents should be granted, thus allowing the child to be adopted, with this recommendation being based on what would be in the "best interests of the child," and
(2) to provide support, assistance and education to the adoptive parents, and other members of their family, as they adjust to the new experience of being parents to their new child. This support could include assisting the parents in making arrangements for other professional assistance, if needed, to make the placement successful.
Although the actual number of post-placement visits that are required before an adoption can be finalized will vary, depending on the unique laws of each state, all states require these visits to result in a favorable finding and recommendation by the caseworker that a finalization of the adoption would be in the "best interests of the child."
Most adoptive parents will to some extent be concerned that the post-placement visits of their caseworker amount to "spying," and that they must always put their best foot forward in the visits, and never admit to the caseworker that their experience as new parents is anything less than perfect. In reality, however, most caseworkers will genuinely want the adoption to take place, and will be eager to be of whatever assistance they can to the new parents to make certain that this happens. Prospective adoptive parents should take comfort in the fact that once a child is placed in the home of prospective adoptive parents, almost all adoptions are finalized by the court, based on a favorable recommendation by the caseworker that performed the post-placement supervision.