“This Request for Response (RFR) is issued by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF or the Department) to solicit responses from bidders interested in providing certain Placement and Support Services for DCF, specifically Adoption Support Services. The services being procured under this RFR are currently categorized under two distinct service models, and together they provide a variety of adoption support services to both pre-adoptive and adoptive parents, and to both the children waiting adoption and those who have already been adopted.
The DCF is charged with protecting children from abuse and neglect and strengthening families. Three paths to achieving this mandate are Safely Preserving Families; Safely Reunifying Families; and Safely Creating New Families. Each of the two service models being procured in this RFR supports those on the path of Safely Creating New Families.
At the end of the 1st quarter of state fiscal year 2015 – September 2014, there were 2,533 consumers in placement in DCF with a goal of adoption. 49% of those consumers were white, 24% were Hispanic/Latino, 10% were Black, 1% was either Asian or Native American, and 10% were multi-racial.
29% of those consumers were 0-2 years of age, 26% were age 3-5, 31% were age 6-11 and 14% were age 12-17.
52% were male and 48% were female.
Of the 2,533 consumers in placement with a goal of adoption, 38% were legally free for adoption; and 74 % of the freed consumers were matched to a permanent family. Of those children who were not legally free for adoption, 55% were matched to a permanent family.
Based on the information above, a minimum of 250 children were eligible at that time – September 2014, for referral to the Massachusetts Registry of Children Awaiting Adoption where their profiles can be viewed by those interested in adoption.
In state fiscal year 2015, 603 children were legally adopted and 396 guardianships were finalized through DCF.
For the 999 children adopted or whose guardianship was finalized in state fiscal year 2015 and their newly formed families, the journey officially began for them as a family unit; the beginning of their stated commitment to nurture, love and support the child through adulthood. This is a lifelong process that might have unique challenges due to traumatic life experiences that the child(ren) has endured through abandonment and/or placement in foster care. Even with a rigorous ‘matching’ process of children with adults, some conditions or needs, emotional and/or behavioral may not immediately be known and may not become apparent for some time, emerging when the child starts school or reaches adolescence. The support to both the adoptive parent(s) and guardians, and the child(ren) must be available when the emergency arises; and the supports must be varied in content, intensity and service delivery to address the unique needs of the children and families. There must be a shared commitment to provide the supports needed to truly achieve permanency, safety and well-being for the children removed from their homes.
The service models included in this RFR are listed below. The list includes both the current program names with the revised service model names that align with EOHHS rate regulation 101 CMR 411.00: Rates for Certain Placement & Support Services.
Current Service Models Proposed Service Models
Adoption Management & Support Multiple Pre-Adoption Services
Adoption Management & Support Multiple Post-Adoption Services
1.1 Vision Statement
A successful bidder must be able to demonstrate its commitment to supporting the strengths and needs of children, youth and families. Its philosophy and culture must complement that of the Department’s – to strive to protect children from abuse and neglect and, in partnership with families and communities, ensure children are able to grow and thrive in a safe and nurturing environment with access to food, shelter, clothing, health care and education. To that end, DCF will make every reasonable effort to encourage and assist families to use all available resources to maintain the family unit. However, when a family cannot or does not provide the necessary amount of care and protection for its children, the Department will intervene to protect the rights of children and youth to sound health and physical and mental development; providing a safe, caring, stable family in which to mature.
To achieve this goal, services and supports provided or purchased by the Department must reflect its core values of:
- Committed to diversity and cultural competence and
- Committed to continuous learning
The services described in this RFR are for those children and youth who are waiting to find that safe, caring and stable family through adoption or guardianship; or have already joined with adults/families to form a new family unit. The Department along with the successful bidders will work towards increasing awareness of adoption; increasing the number of families recruited to be an adoptive resource; and supporting those adoptive families and those in a permanent legal guardianship to provide permanency, safety and well-being for these children.”
Excerpted from Massachusetts Department of Children and Families’ Request for Response (RFR) – RFR Title: Adoption Support Services – RFR Number: DCF ADOPT17