Congratulations and kudos to caseworker Danielle Johnson in Region 4! Together with her team, she was able to finalize 11 adoptions in June. Nine of the children were placed with relatives. The other two were placed with their foster families and remain close to their biological families. Danielle says she was able to accomplish this through, "Kismet, the pandemic and AMAZING team support."
Danielle says that teleworking freed up time that she would have otherwise spent commuting to court or community meetings. This extra time allowed her to focus more on finalizing these adoptions, though "getting things processed through the various systems was a bit challenging at times," she says.
Danielle also attributes these placements to her incredible team saying, "The team I’m surrounded with who aid in getting adoptions finalized and adoption support setup have been phenomenal. All the adoption attorneys were champs about me pestering them to accept finalization packets via secure email and not through snail mail, which would delay the process by several days. Some attorneys were initially hesitant, but checked with the court and eventually agreed to secure email."
One of Danielle's cases was an ICPC, which she is particularly proud of. The youth was placed with out-of-state family and was having anxiety about her adoption not being finalized. "She had it in her head that when her older, previously adopted sibling turned 16 in May, she would no longer be able to be adopted," says Danielle, who put her fears to rest. Additionally, the caregiver's mother was experiencing declining health and there were concerns that she wouldn't live to see the young girl adopted. At that time, the adoption was stalled because the home study had not yet arrived at WA ICPC. With the incredible help of DCYF's ICPC worker, Carolyn Tarleton, and with support from Danielle's team, she was able to finalize the adoption within nine days! "The extra effort put in by the team to make this happen so the caregiver’s mother could witness the adoption was awe-inspiring to see and be a part of."