State seeks to close adoption agency
Ohio department to yank A Child's Waiting license; Copley operation to appeal
By Rick Armon
Beacon Journal staff writer
Published on Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008
The state is seeking to shut down a local adoption agency, citing numerous violations, including placing a child in an uncertified foster home and not documenting background checks.
A Child's Waiting of Copley Township was notified last week in a 12-page letter that the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services won't renew its certification and plans to revoke its license.
The agency is appealing the decision and continuing to operate, co-director Crissy Kolarik said Tuesday.
''We are going through the appeal process, which can take months,'' she said. ''We are optimistic that this will have a positive outcome after the appeal process.''
Working Mother magazine last year named the agency as one of the nation's
best 25 small companies because of its family-friendly culture. A Child's Waiting, which has handled about 1,400 adoptions since it was founded in 2000, also was featured glowingly on ABC News' 20/20 a few years ago.
The state says violations indicate a pattern of sloppy paperwork in the adoption process. For example, some records are incomplete, documentation of background checks isn't included in files and mandatory face-to-face visits weren't held in the required time frame.
State spokesman Dennis Evans declined to identify any violations as more serious than others, saying they ''collectively led to the decision.'' He said the state had not received an official appeal from the agency as of Tuesday afternoon.
The state also notified all public and private adoption agencies in Ohio of its decision. In all, the state alleged that A Child's Waiting violated 20 adoption rules, some of them numerous times between 2005 and 2007. They include:
• Placing a few children in other states and receiving children from other states without first receiving state permission. The agency also placed several children without having permanent custody of the child.
• Placing a child in an uncertified foster home.
• Failing to document discussions with a child about injuries or determining how the placement was progressing.
• Asking the state to reimburse the agency for foster care training for individuals who were not eligible for payments. The agency also ''failed to make stipend payments to foster caregivers for training sessions they successfully completed.''
• Failing to make sure a child received appropriate medical care after identifying injuries. ''The child was removed from the foster home by local law enforcement due to allegations of physical abuse,'' the state said. The foster family, and not the agency, was accused of the abuse.
The state did not provide details about each violation. One violation was erased from the letter provided to the Beacon Journal.