Meet the DSS: Amy Kryszan
Amy Kryszan, MSW, is America World's Director of Social Services for Florida. She has a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Central Florida, and her background is in case management and counseling with foster and adopted children. Over the last several years, she has spent time in non-profit administration/management through quality assurance positions.
Amy and her husband are adoptive parents of three children! They enjoy spending time hanging out as a family. It was their adoption and her experience in the foster care system that led her to become an adoption social worker. She says, “I have always felt led to help children in need. Once my husband and I adopted, adoption became a ministry of mine. I had the desire and the heart to help others see and feel the joy of adoption just as we had experienced with our children.”
When asked what the most rewarding part of her job is, Amy says, “The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the passion and heart adoptive parents have for the adoption process. This process isn’t without frustration or stress, but it is always rewarding to see that no matter what, so many fortunate kids are blessed to be loved by all of these wonderful individuals who have weathered the storm and rode the rollercoaster to provide them with a forever family.”
We serve the entire state of Florida with social services. Amy's office is in Orlando, and she has three home study coordinators with amazing hearts for the families and children they serve! They are located in these areas: Lakeland, Jacksonville, and the panhandle.
The state of Florida requires that home studies (including clearances) be no more than 12 months old at the time you return home with your child, so please check in with Amy prior to your travel to ensure your home study is valid. In addition, always feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. We are happy to be here to assist during your adoption process.
Amy's advice to adoptive families is to take your time and consider your family’s strengths and needs before making your decision on the type of child you would like to adopt. Consider the feedback of your social worker and your family coordinator when making your decision. Adoption can be an emotional process and it is important to think through all aspects of the adoption before making a final decision. There may come a time when your thoughts and your social worker’s thoughts do not match: be willing to be open and honest and understand they have the best intentions for you and your family.
One common question that Amy gets is if a family can meet somewhere outside the home for a post adoption visit. The best practice is to meet in the home, so a social worker can ensure you are all adjusting in the natural environment. Meeting in the home helps a child feel comfortable, as this has been astablished as a safe place for them.
When families are home, the social worker's role is to assist them with referrals, answer questions about situations as they arise, and check in with them through the post adoption report phase per the country’s requirements. We are always available to answer questions or walk you through anything you might need.