Family & Community Services is a licensed child placing agency, facilitating the adoptive placement of children by families in Michigan and Ohio. Family & Community Services, hereafter referred to as F&CS, complies with all applicable laws and rules governing adoptive placements, fees and finances established by state, local and federal monitoring organizations. The agency also complies with regulations and rules existent within the overseas nations with which it is affiliated. F&CS maintains its own intercountry and domestic adoption programs and works directly with applicants to complete adoption studies and pre-placement and pre-finalization services required. F&CS also provides comprehensive local service to adoptive families working through other out-of-state intercountry and interstate adoption agencies.

The agency’s primary objective is to provide permanent, responsible families for homeless children. As part of the agency’s commitment to the well being of children, F&CS also provides aid and assistance to agencies and organizations overseas, furnishing medical supplies and other necessary resources for the health and nurturance of children. These programs benefit children awaiting permanent adoptive homes, and also encompass community outreach efforts to assist in maintaining children within their families of origin.


The agency is a non-profit corporation, complying with section 501(c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code. The Board of Directors is responsible for establishing policies, determining programs, guiding development and providing leadership. A review of all policies is conducted annually by the Board.

The Board of Directors receives no honoraria or other compensation for carrying out their duties, other than reasonable reimbursement for expenses associated with service to the agency. Board members receive no favor in applying for or receiving services from the agency.


The agency maintains financial resources sufficient to operate its programs and which meet state and federal laws and requirements for agency licensing, accreditation and maintenance of non-profit status.

The Chief Program Officer develops an annual plan for financing agency operations. The plan includes a budget plan for the current fiscal year which includes a listing of projected income and sources. A copy of income, expenses and non-profit tax return from the previous fiscal year is included. The plan of financing is presented to the Board of Directors for review, approval and monitoring. Significant variations from the budget receives prior authorization from the Board of Directors.

The agency demonstrates financial stability & responsibility by following its annual financing plan; uses generally accepted principles of sound financial management; has a bookkeeping and accounting system that tracks funds; receives and reviews an independent annual audit; monitoring and management of funds and resources; meets financial reporting requirements of local, state and federal regulators and maintains long term staff.

Funds contributed by donors are used for the announced purposes of the organization. The agency does not carry out any activities not permitted by an exempt organization under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.


The agency authorizes publicity and promotional activities based upon actual programs and operations existing in the organization. The agency does not sell or allow others to use lists of contributors. The agency does not mail unordered tickets or merchandise with a request for money in return.


The Board of Directors delegates responsibility for the day to day administration and management of the agency to its Director. The Director is responsible for assuring the agency is in compliance with rules and laws regulating adoption. The Board provides an annual, written formal evaluation of the Executive Director.


The agency employs or contracts with sufficient staff to provide efficient and effective service to clients of the agency and comply with all applicable rules and regulations. Qualifications, education, skills, experience, duties and responsibilities are outlined for each position in written, current job descriptions. Copies of the job description are provided to each employee or contractor at the time of employment in a specific position and when the job description is revised. Practice conforms to the job description. Initial orientation and ongoing training is provided to all staff as outlined in pertinent state and federal laws, rules and regulations.


The agency encourages adoptive parent volunteers to help with fundraising and events. Most volunteers have no unsupervised contact with children who are in care with the agency. Any volunteer who may have unsupervised contact with children must have a central registry clearance for child abuse/neglect. The agency supervises volunteers who have unsupervised contact with children. A guidebook is provided and all information is covered in detail with volunteers. Volunteers with children in agency foster care are not allowed unsupervised contact with other children.


The agency complies with all applicable laws or regulations governing the setting of fees for service. The agency’s adoption fees are based upon the direct cost to the agency for comprehensive adoption services provided. Program fees incorporate fees for comprehensive services rendered by the cooperating agency or liaison abroad. Applicants are informed in writing at the time of initial inquiry and at application of all fees and estimated expenses and time frames and manner of payment. Prior to referral of a specific child, fees are subject to change at any time without notice. Written notification of any change in fees is given to all newly inquiring or active adoptive applicants within 30 days of any applicable change. F&CS assumes no legal responsibility for changes in the availability of children, eligibility criteria for applicants, time frames for assignment, adoptive placement, or fee increases.

Service Delivery:

Intake status for adoptive families at F&CS is determined by the legal availability of children, with and without special needs, in the domestic program and in the foreign countries with which the agency works.


In all areas of service, the agency endeavors to safeguard the legal rights of children, their families, foster families, releasing parents, and adoptive families.

Upon written request, (received by F&CS within thirty days of date of action to be grieved) an agency review shall be granted in response to a complaint regarding the application or home study process, denial of an applicant for adoptive placement, or other service provided by the agency. (Grievances concerning compliance with foster home licensing rules or foster care service provision shall be conducted according to grievance and administrative review processes outlined by the state licensing agency.) The review will be granted in a non-adversarial atmosphere, within thirty days of receipt of the written statement of grievance. The review will be conducted by an F&CS administrator, acting as review agent. If the administrator is directly involved in the provision of the adoption service being reviewed, the review agency will be another administrator or the Director, or a person known to be knowledgeable in child welfare services and capable of objectively reviewing the complaint. A written decision by the review agent, including the reason for such a decision, shall be provided to all parties to the review within forty-five working days of the review date.

Confidentiality, Rights & Privacy:

It is the policy of the agency to assure confidentiality and privacy of all protected information regarding our clients (children, adoptive & foster parents and birth parents considering placement of a child for adoption). Confidentiality is the protection of information given by or about any client. Confidentiality is between the client and the agency, not just between the client and an individual worker. Discussions of client matters are limited to the client and agency personnel with a “need to know.” Client matters are not to be discussed outside the office with anyone at any time.

Staff will make every effort to schedule meetings with clients in offices, homes or other private areas so that conversation cannot be overheard by others. Requests for information from external agencies will be given only with the consent or permission of the client. Subpoenaed information is not covered by the policy, nor is required reporting under the child abuse and neglect statute.

The agency will not identify an already adopted child in publicity unless a positive value accrues to the child. The agency will obtain the consent of a parent or legal guardian before using a child’s picture taken after adoption in any agency publicity.

Primary Client:

The child to be adopted is the agency’s primary client. The child’s need to belong to a permanent, responsible family is the paramount need. The child’s physical, medical, social, emotional and educational needs are considered in placement decisions. The child’s need for placement with or continued contact with siblings is a primary consideration in placement decisions.

Release of Child:

The agency provides counseling services to birth parents interested in making an adoption plan for a child. Counseling includes, but is not limited to, the meaning and consequences of a release of parental rights; services and resources available to the child and family and the legal process, and policies and procedures for adoption.

Application & Disclosure:

The agency expects that applicants will disclose information as requested, both during the application/study process and following approval. If information is withheld or misrepresented, F&CS reserves the right to discontinue processing and revoke approval.

Orientation of Adoptive Applicants:

Orientation for all prospective adoptive families is provided. All written information is part of orientation. Orientation may be provided in groups or individually. Orientation is intended to provide information regarding the needs and characteristics of children available for adoption, agency’s policies and procedures, services, resources available, fees and charges for services, and the legal process for adoption. Current written information is provided as part of orientation and throughout the adoption process.

Regulations, rules, licenses and agreements concerning intercountry adoption services are kept on file and available for review in the agency’s main office.

Adoptive Evaluation & Recommendation:

The agency reserves the right to make decisions based upon the best interests of the child, as well as in accordance with applicable policies of state & federal government and overseas cooperating agencies & governments.

In cases where an applicant has been treated for significant, life threatening illness (i.e. some forms of cancer); has received psychiatric care for significant mental health concerns; or has received drug/alcohol treatment; the agency requires that the applicant has completed treatment for five years without recurrence before proceeding toward an adoptive placement. Some exceptions may be made after three years without recurrence based upon supplemental reports from a physician/therapist providing a positive prognosis, and recommending the applicant for adoption. The agency reserves the right to require independent evaluations in all cases of this nature. The agency also reserves the right to make decisions based upon the best interests of the child, as well as in accordance with applicable policies of cooperating agencies.

F&CS will have a completed adoption evaluation and recommendation on file approving an adoptive family prior to referring a child to or placing a child in the home for purposes of adoption. The adoptive evaluation includes, but is not limited to, observations by a social service worker, personal interviews, written information provided by and about the applicants, and all other information as required to be documented by state, federal and international regulatory agencies and governments. A written report meeting all regulatory requirements is prepared and made available to the applicants.

Placement Decisions:

No one factor is the determinant in matching adoptive applicants and available children. The child’s needs and best interests are paramount in the process. Childless couples or couples with children of both sexes may not necessarily specify the sex of the child to be adopted in some programs in order to assure that all children are placed in a timely manner. The family’s request regarding age, sex, medical needs, etc. as listed in the approved adoption study is used as a guideline for assignment of a waiting child in the intercountry adoption program. All applicable rules and procedures of both countries are followed in the matching and approval of placement decisions.

Information Provided Adoptive Parents:

The agency is committed to full disclosure of verified information to adoptive parents. Complete and honest information is necessary for the adoptive parents to make a decision about placement, and if they choose to adopt a particular child, to provide a permanent, stable, safe and healthy environment for that child.

Supervision & Follow-Up Services:

F&CS requests adoptive families to arrange a minimum of six weeks off of work following placement to assure bonding and attachment with their newly adopted child.

The agency provides comprehensive pre-finalization services for adoptive families, from the date of adoptive placement until the issuance of a final decree of adoption, following applicable regulations of the State, the local court and the child’s country of origin. Face-to-face contacts throughout the supervisory period incorporate family life education, case management and counseling. Crisis intervention and information/referral to community service providers are provided as needed. Adoptive families are expected to work cooperatively with F&CS to schedule all required visits so that reports can be issued in a timely manner. F&CS does require a supervision visit be conducted during the first 30 days of placement regardless of specific country requirements.


The agency provides and maintains office space in each state in which it is licensed to provide services. Such facilities are adequately heated, cooled, vented, and lighted to ensure employees are able to effectively complete their assigned duties and responsibilities. Sufficient equipment and supplies are provided.

Post-Adoption Services:

The agency provides post-finalization services following issuance of a final decree of adoption to adoptive family members previously served by the agency. Services are provided upon request of the adoptive parent or adoptee. Services include short term counseling, review of case history materials, referral to community services, and consultation on adoption related issued to non-agency professionals working with the family. F&CS reserves the right to set reasonable fees for direct post-adoption services provided to the family. As needed, F&CS will also refer persons requesting post-finalization services to an agency specializing in such services, or to local therapists with expertise in adoption issues.

Behavioral Management For Foster & Adoptive Parents:

The children placed in foster care with F&CS are newborn infants. Children in court ordered adoptive supervision or post- placement follow-up may be of any age, but are typically school age or younger. The agency encourages utilization of positive methods of discipline, punishment and management. Behavioral management for young children may include protecting the child by removing the child from an unsafe situation; modifying the environment; distracting; re-directing; time out; removal or denial of privileges and other methods related to the child’s stage of development and that promote self-control, self-esteem and independence. All applicants are provided written resources and guides concerning practical and appropriate discipline and child management techniques.

The agency prohibits the use of physical and/or corporal punishment. Physical punishment includes shaking, hand slapping, thigh slapping and spanking. A parent may use reasonable restraint to prevent a child from harming himself or herself, other persons, or property, or to allow the child to gain control of him or herself. State of Michigan Licensing Rules For Child Placing Agencies specifically prohibits the following types of punishment:

  • Physical force, excessive restraint, or any kind of punishment inflicted on the body, including spanking
  • Confinement in an area such as a closet or locked room
  • Withholding necessary food, clothing, rest, toilet use or entrance to the home
  • Mental or emotional cruelty
  • Verbal abuse, threats, or derogatory remarks
  • Prohibiting visits or communication with a foster child’s family
  • Denial of necessary educational, medical, counseling or social work services

Personnel Records:

The agency creates and maintains a personnel record for each staff member. It is the policy of the agency to check references of at least three individuals unrelated to the applicant; verify education and work history and document any criminal convictions before employment may occur.

Adoption Placement Record:

The agency maintains a case record for each adoptive placement. Contents of the record are outlined in the rules.

Record Management:

Records must be created in all instances where there is a need for the agency or individual to be accountable for, and/or provide evidence of, decisions made and actions taken. Adoption evaluation records, adoption placement records and foster care/home records will contain all information required by state, federal and international regulatory bodies.

The objectives in managing records are: to make the records uniform, usable, accurate and complete, to make them available during any required retention period, to protect them from unauthorized access and/or damage, to make the records serve the purpose for which they were created as cheaply and effectively as possible, to prevent the creation and storage of unnecessary records, to make records readily available to staff when needed, thereby minimizing time spent in seeking out information.


The agency enforces all policies in compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978; the Adoption Promotion and Stability Act of 1996; the Small Business and Job Protection Act of 1996; and the Safe Families Act of 1997. The agency does not discriminate in providing services to children or adoptive families on the basis of race, sex, religion or cultural heritage. An applicant cannot be denied based on geographic location, race, color, creed, religion, ethnicity, national origin, handicap or age. The placement of children cannot be delayed or denied based on race, color, creed, religion, ethnicity, national origin, handicap or age. Placement of children also cannot be denied based on geographic boundaries. The organization shall not discriminate in employment practices on the basis of age, sex, race, religion or cultural heritage. Training opportunities, including but not limited to conferences and staff meetings, are provided to all agency personnel working with adoptive families of diverse cultural, racial, religious and economic backgrounds.