Answer: The Placement Coordinator maintains an availability list of all Cherokee Nation certified homes who are open for placement. Requests for placement comes from a Cherokee Nation permanency worker, a private adoption agency, a birthparent or another tribe. When the Placement Coordinator receives a request, the Coordinator uses information specific to that child to make the most appropriate match to a resource family. Specific criteria is used to make an initial match; tribal affiliation, blood quantum location, length of certification, resource family preferences, child's needs, etc... The resource families who best match the needs of the child, are submitted to the requesting worker for consideration.
BirthParents: If it is a voluntary proceeding, Cherokee Nation ICW makes every attempt to comply with the wishes of the birthparents. If the birthparents want to choose the family for her unborn child, the Cherokee Nation submits families who are willing to comply with the birthparents' wishes (i.e. open adoption, meeting the family, closed adoption, pictures and letters, etc.). The worker then provides the birthparents with de-identified home studies of families whose preferences match those of the birthparents. In a voluntary proceeding, the birthparents have the right to choose the resource family who will raise the child.
Adoption Agency: The same holds true with private adoption agencies as well as with birthparents. Cherokee Nation tries to meet the birthparents; expectations and requirements for the family who will be parents to their unborn child. However, with adoption agencies, fees will apply. During the criteria matching process, resource families will be submitted who have stated they can meet the agency fee. In situations where the fees are so exorbitant, Cherokee Nation will attempt to negotiate fee reduction with the agency. It is not the intent of Cherokee Nation for any resource family to "purchase" a Cherokee child; however, these fees are controlled by the private adoption agency. In these cases, the profile books are vital to placement selection and play a perhaps more central role in birthparent selection than the actual home study.
Custody Child: Once homes are submitted to the Cherokee Nation permanency worker for consideration, the worker will review the home studies and potentially contact each home to get to know them better. Final determination for placement lies with the child's worker, as they know the child best. Cherokee children in state custody have a DHS and a Cherokee Nation worker who will work together to determine the best placement option.
Answer: Cherokee Nation ICW has specific Placement Resource Home Expectation and these will be discussed with during your certification process. All Placement Resource Homes will be expected to provide a loving, stable and caring environment for any child in your home. You will be expected to work with the child’s worker to help provide for all needs of the child placed with you.
Emotionally, as a Placement Resource Home it is vital to maintain a sense of reality and realize some children need a little more time, patience and love as they have had a traumatic experience in some cases. As a placement home remember to not give up so easily when you experience difficulty, but mostly was ask you to take the opportunity you are given and make a difference in a child's life.