Finding Families for Children & Providing Ongoing Support
In 2012, Children’s Home Society of Minnesota (Children’s Home) and Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS) combined complementary adoption services, high standards of quality, and experience creating and supporting families. To meet the growing need of children in Minnesota’s foster care system, in 2018 Children’s Home expanded our services to provide licensing, education and preparation for foster care resource families.
Both organizations have a long history that began with the mission of providing care and finding families for orphaned children in 1865 (LSS) and 1889 (Children’s Home). Our current adoption services include; International Adoption, Infant Adoption, Foster Care, Foster Care Adoption, and Post Adoption Services.
Our Shared Values
- Child-Centered — The best interest of the child is at the center of our work. We believe that all children deserve and need permanent families.
- Best Practice — We are committed to using best practices that provide thorough, ethical, transparent, and inclusive services throughout the adoption and foster care journey. We strive to provide quality services that meet the needs of children and families and set an example of excellence for the adoption and foster care community.
- Respect for All Voices — We value the perspectives of all people we serve; the voices of adopted persons, foster youth, birth or first families, and adoptive families form our practice.
- Collaboration — We believe in fostering relevant and effective relationships in order to support children and families.
- Lifelong — We recognize that adoption is a lifelong journey and believe that all members of the adoption circle should have access to education, support, and resources at every stage of life.
The services of Children’s Home and LSS are available to all people regardless of race, color, ethnicity, religion, disability, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
Reasonable accommodations shall be made for people who have communication disabilities and those who speak a language other than English.
Licensing & Accreditation
Children’s Home is Hague Accredited by the IAAME and both Children’s Home and LSS are 501(c)3 not-for-profit organizations. Both organizations are members of the National Council for Adoption (NCFA) and the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC).COA WebsiteNCFA Website NACAC Website
In Maryland, Children’s Home East Office is licensed by the Department of Human Resources, Office of Licensing & Monitoring. In Virginia, Children’s Home is licensed by the Department of Social Services for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Children’s Home East Office is a participating member of the Combined Federal Campaign for federal employees, CFC #50400. This office was formerly known as A.S.I.A. (Adoption Service Information Agency).
In Wisconsin, Children’s Home is licensed by the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families.
We are committed to transparency in our practice and policies. If you would like a copy of our adoption services guidelines, contracts, fee structures, placement statistics, or the supervised providers we work within the U.S. or abroad, please contact us.Contact Us
Children’s Home and LSS will respond to all grievances in a fair and efficient manner for all parties involved. There will be no adverse action or retaliation taken against a client or prospective client as a result of filing a complaint or grievance, regardless of the outcome.
The purpose of the Client Grievances Policy is to establish means by which a client or prospective client (hereafter “Client”) may resolve situations or incidents in which they believe they have received unfair treatment as the result of a specific action on the part of the Adoption Worker and/or Children’s Home (CH) staff.
To ensure that CH does not take any action to discourage a Client from, or retaliate against them for, making a complaint; expressing a grievance; providing information in writing or interviews to an accrediting entity on the agency’s or person’s performance; or questioning the conducts of or expressing an opinion about the performance of an agency or person, pursuant to 96.41 (e), and that all complaints/grievances are considered and addressed in a timely fashion and are reviewed for ongoing quality improvement, CH will comply with the following procedures:
13.1 Attempt a Resolution. Client should first take his or her question or concern to the Adoption Worker or other staff. The staff’s role is to listen, evaluate, investigate, and respond to Client with his/her findings within ten (10) business days.
13.2 Address a Grievance. If the matter cannot be resolved, Client may: (1) accept the decision of the Adoption Worker or other CH staff and take no further action, or (2) appeal the decision of the Adoption Worker to the Program Manager/ Supervisor.
13.3 Appeal a Decision. An appeal must be made to the Program Manager/Supervisor within ten (10) business days from receipt of the Adoption Worker’s or staff’s response to the grievance. The Program Manager/Supervisor will conduct an investigation. The purpose of the investigation will be to determine and attempt to understand the point of view of the Client and that of the Adoption Worker. Based on the results of the investigation, the Program Manager/Supervisor will prepare a written recommendation for the Director. The Director will consider all relevant information, including the Program Manager’s/ Supervisor’s recommendation, and then will make a decision regarding the appeal within ten (10) business days. If the decision of the Director is to deny the appeal, Client has two options: (1) accept the decision of the Director and take no further action, or (2) file a written request to elevate a grievance for review by the Adoption Leadership Team.
13.4 Elevate a Grievance. The request to elevate a grievance must be made to the Adoption Leadership Team within ten (10) business days from receipt of the Director’s response. The Adoption Leadership Team will consider all relevant information and then will make a decision within ten (10) business days regarding the elevated appeal. If the decision of the Adoption Leadership Team is to deny the elevated appeal, Client has two options: (1) accept the decision of the Adoption Leadership Team and take no further action, or (2) file a written request for a Formal Grievance Review by the CH President.
13.5 Request a Formal Grievance Review. The Client must file a Request for a Formal Grievance Review within ten (10) business days from receipt of the Adoption Leadership Team’s response to the elevated appeal. Client must submit the appeal to the Adoption Leadership Team, who will then forward it to the CH President. The CH President will review all relevant information and prior recommendations and then make a final decision and notify Client in writing of the decision within ten (10) business days.
13.6 Request a Final Review. After receipt of the President’s Review, if concerns are not addressed the Client must file a Request for Final Review within five (5) business days. Client must submit the final appeal to the President, who will then forward it to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors. The Executive Committee will review all relevant information and prior recommendations within ten (10) business days and then make a final decision and notify Client in writing of the decision within thirty (30) days. The decisions of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors will be final and binding.
13.7 Withdraw an Appeal. Client may withdraw an appeal at any time during the process.
13.8 Limitations of Liability. In consideration of CH’s efforts to assist Client with an adoption, Client hereby waives any and all claims which Client may have now or in the future against CH and its directors, officers, employees, and agents for any of its actions that may arise out of this application, receipt of services from, or adoption through CH, pertaining to any of the risks discussed in this document, to the extent enforceable by applicable state law.
13.9 Hague Complaint Registry. Any birth parent, prospective adoptive parent, adoptive parent, or adoptee who believes CH (or any of its supervised providers) is in violation of the standards set forth in the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA), the Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 (UAA), or the regulations implementing them, may initiate directly with CH a signed and dated complaint. If dissatisfied with CH’s response, the individual(s) may register a complaint through the Hague Complaint Registry and the U.S. Department of State at https://adoptionusca.state.gov/HCRWeb/Welcome, pursuant to 96.41(b).
ADDITIONAL PROCEDURES: Intercountry Adoption Program Staff and Clients
13.10 Grievances involving an allegation of fraud, trafficking, or child buying, or that involve allegations regarding compliance with the standards set forth in the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, the IAA, the UAA or the regulations implementing them, must be communicated to the President immediately and the investigation process is expedited. A written response to such complaints must be provided within thirty (30) days of receipt. Information about such allegations will be provided to the accrediting entity or Secretary, as may be requested, pursuant to 96.41 (c).
13.11 CH will maintain a written record of each complaint and the steps taken to investigate and respond. The record will be made available to the accrediting entity or the Secretary upon request, pursuant to 96.41 (d) (g).
13.12 Staff involved in assisting clients with complaints and resolving client complaints should document all related activities, including the content of the complaint, details of the investigation into the complaint and resolution of the complaint in the client’s case notes.
13.13 A Critical Incident Report regarding the grievance is completed by the staff member(s) directly involved. As is required with all incident reports, it is forwarded to the staff’s Director. The Director is responsible for 1) recording the incident in the database and forwarding the report to 1) the Critical Incident Team, and 2) the Hague Contact.
13.14 Additionally, the Senior Administrative Assistant submits a copy of the Critical Incident Report to the Critical Incident Executive Team for their review. The team will present information about all incidents reported, including client complaints, to the Executive Leadership Team on a quarterly basis as part of the agency-wide quality improvement program.
13.15 A summary of all signed and dated complaints about any of the services or activities of the agency that raise an issue of compliance with the Convention, the IAA or related regulations through the Accrediting Entity for the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, as well as an assessment of any discernible patterns in complaints and the changes and/or improvements implemented by the agency to address those concerns, will be provided to the President and Hague Contact for submission to the Accrediting Entity or Secretary on a semi-annual basis, pursuant to 96.41 (f).
13.16 CH has a quality improvement program through which it makes systematic efforts to improve its services by reviewing complaint data, using client satisfaction surveys, and other methods, pursuant to 96.41 (h).