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Caring for the Children and Their Families after They Come Home

By Jennifer Knight, Ohio Director of Social Services & Post Adoption Program Director

For many years, America World has felt burdened to support adoptive children and their families after the adoption process has ended, and any survey of our families has validated this desire. However, we haven’t had the staffing and resources to execute these services. But we know God can make a way when we don’t see one. After much prayer on our part, God finally aligned the need, passion, and bandwidth to make late 2021 the right time to begin focusing on this essential program.

Equipped and Passionate about Support

Jennifer KnightI joined America World full-time in January 2021 as the Director of Social Services in Ohio. Before coming to America World, I worked in domestic infant adoption, I had my own (very small) agency working in waiting child adoption, and I’ve worked as a mental health therapist primarily for children and adolescents with mental health and behavioral issues, many of whom were foster or adopted children. I had planned to provide post-adoptive services to families through my own agency. However, after I started working for America World, I realized that this work would be an excellent match for the organization, and America World agreed. Therefore, we worked out an initial program plan, and I took on the dual role of Director of Social Services in Ohio and Post-Adoption Program Director.

In addition to my range of professional experiences, I am an adult adoptee. When my parents adopted me in 1971, the profession didn’t understand anything about the trauma associated with adoption and how parenting adopted children differs from parenting biological children. My family and I had to figure it out through trial and error. Fifty years of that has given me a passion for helping adoptive parents understand their children’s perspective and equipping them to parent their adopted children effectively.

Big Plans in 2023

The goals of our Post Adoption and Adoption Coaching and Training are:

  • To equip families for life after adoption
  • To help families change their perspectives about the challenges of parenting a child with trauma

With these goals in mind, we have big plans for 2023! We’re working on our support group schedule and looking to have several topic-focused groups and launch an ongoing general support group. This year, we’ve been gathering many updated training resources, and we plan to launch some exciting training classes for our adoptive and post-adoptive families next year.

We have also received approval for our pilot counseling program in Ohio and will be launching that in early 2023. We are looking forward to the opportunity to expand this program across other states as well!

Finally, we will continue to offer our one-on-one coaching this year and hope to begin exploring a mentor-family program that will connect experienced adoptive families with families who are earlier in their adoption journey.

How You Can Get Involved

We understand how important it is for post-adoptive families to access relevant and supportive services, and we are excited to continue expanding our offerings in this area! This program is just off the ground, but we welcome any questions or thoughts. You can contact me at any time.

Donate to the Season of Hope campaign if you would like to support post-adoptive services and more for 2023. Your partnership is crucial in helping us launch and expand programs like this one!

Tax-deductible gifts can also be mailed via check to:

America World Adoption 6723 Whittier Avenue, Ste. 202 | McLean, VA

Thank you, again, for being a vital part of our family and ministry. We could not do this work without your support!

Season of Hope

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