Partnering with Communities
You Gotta Believe!
You Gotta Believe!Partnering with youth
Anita was reluctant to trust that she might find a permanent home, but her counselor and worker allowed Anita to adjust to the idea of permanence at her own pace. Anita's adoption by Linda was the result of a relationship that grew gradually as the two formed a close bond and became a family.
Anita was placed in the foster care system due to neglect. After several placements, the Nassau County Department of Social Services (DSS) referred Anita to the "You Gotta Believe!" Barriers program. This program was developed to help teens like Anita with their fears, concerns, and issues about permanency and adoption.
Linda first learned about Anita when she took the "You Gotta Believe!" 10-week class to be come an adoptive parent for a teen. After hearing Anita speak on a teen panel about what a teen needs from a permanent family, Linda asked to learn more about the teen. Linda's adoption home study was presented to the Nassau DSS for review and, later, she attended a full disclosure meeting to discuss Anita's needs. After hearing about Anita's background and her needs, Linda asked to become Anita's permanent adoptive family.
The You Gotta Believe! adoption counselor and Nassau DSS caseworker met with Anita to tell her that Linda was interested in providing her with a permanent home. While Anita was reluctant at first, she agreed to get to know Linda better, and the two of them had many day visits, overnight visits, and then week-long visits. The visits provided both a learning and bonding experience for Linda and Anita, and they began to form a close relationship. It was decided to place Anita in Linda's home after the school year was finished. A new school placement was set up, and therapy and medication monitoring were arranged. Anita was placed in Linda's home on June 26, 2009, and she was adopted on November 20, 2009.