MARE serves children and teens in the Massachusetts foster care system who are not able to be reunited with their birth families and need permanent adoptive homes. We provide vital services to these children by working with the Commonwealth’s Department of Children & Families (DCF) and its contracted agencies to register each child that cannot be reunited with his or her birth family and then recruiting families that meet an individual child’s very specific needs.
MARE has two programming departments, Child Services and Family Support Services. Child Services engages in child-specific recruitment, finding an adoptive family to match a particular child’s needs. Family Support Services advises families interested in adoption and provides assistance to those going through the process. MARE’s model uses these complementary programs to cast as wide a net as possible to find potential adoptive families and then match them with a specific child whose needs they meet.
MARE’s Child Services Team engages in child-specific recruitment of families by developing an individual recruitment plan around the needs and strengths of each child with the goal of finding the right family to adopt them.
Tools used in child-specific recruitment:
Families come to MARE by inquiring about adoption in general or about a specific child for whom MARE is recruiting. The Family Support Services department provides support to families who want to learn about adoption from foster care.
MARE assists and supports families by:
- Providing individualized follow-up with all families who inquire about adoption from foster care, personal consultation via phone to those who desire it, and referrals for families to DCF and other agencies in their area for adoption licensure;
- Providing education on topics of interest to prospective families via webinars, panels, and newsletters;
- Hosting networking events for families at varying stages in the adoption process;
- Registering the home studies of licensed Massachusetts families and supporting the efforts by social workers to identify children and families across the state as potential matches;
- Connecting families with providers of post-placement and post-adoption services;
- Working with experienced adoptive families to help spread the word about adoption from foster care whether in their own communities or through media; and
- Pairing experienced mentor families with families in process for support and mentorship through the Friend of the Family Program.