Programs

KICKS: Kids Investing in Communities through Kindness and Service.

KICKS is a service club for children where they learn to give and serve without expectation of reward, prizes or winning anything for themselves. We know they will be rewarded by the good feelings they develop as they help others and see what a positive difference they are making in someone else’s life.

In the past, children have made cards and crafts for shut-ins at local nursing homes, appreciation cards for their teachers and parents, and sandwiches for the sack lunches at Kids Food Basket.

Do you know a child or group of kids who would like to be a KICKS kid? For more information about involvement in KICKS, call Cathy at (616) 451-0245

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Infant Adoption/ Direct Consent Adoption (You make your child’s adoption plan together with a family of your choosing.)

Our goal is to honor and respect you for who you are and whatever circumstances you may be in. Placing parents can be male or female, young or old, biological parents or adoptive parents.

Often placing parents do not feel ready to offer a new baby stability as they move fast forward through their teenage or college years into the responsibilities of parenthood.

Other times parents may choose to place a child because of prior experience with their other children being in foster care or involved in court actions.

One thing is for sure; all placing parents deeply love their children and have found themselves unable to provide for the day-to-day needs of their child. They all seek help from Greater Hopes Family Services in order to meet the needs of their child. Not one is giving up. Not one is failing. They are making the hardest decision of their lives, a giving decision, so that their children can have the best of both worlds.

That is one reason why Greater Hopes’ adoptive and foster families do not want placing parents to go away after placement. If you need to go for some reason, we will respect that. However, we all hope you stay involved in a way that offers your child your very best and in a manner that helps you grow and heal as well.

And, if you find your circumstances have changed and you find a healthy way to parent your child prior to the court hearing when the adoption takes place, we will still honor and support you. We won’t go away either.

Call Cathy Raidna or Lindsay Hosack at (616) 451-0245 to talk about your situation.

Please join Greater Hopes at an Orientation Meeting where you can learn more about these children and how you can help. We will discuss the roles of Family Friends, other volunteers, foster families and adoptive families. See our Events page to confirm meeting times.

Below is our Program Statement, which is most easily understand by discussing it live at an Orientation Meeting or by reading it in a different format which can be obtained by emailing cathyr@greaterhopes.org

PROGRAM STATEMENT
R 400.12602 and 400.12702 Program statement WORKSHEET
March 2017

Our Mission: Greater Hopes tenderly cares for Michigan’s children and families by thoughtfully providing ethical and professional adoption services.

Important Philosophies: We believe that when children are adopted they have the need and the right to be aware of, and connected to, their birthfamily and personal heritage as well as being connected to the adoptive family who has accepted the rights and responsibilities of parenthood. We encourage as much ongoing contact as possible as is healthy and positive for the child. The principles of loving one another, sharing, forgiveness, grace and service to others flow throughout our programs.

Statement of Purpose: Greater Hopes, Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)(3), child-placing agency. We facilitate voluntary adoption plans for parents placing their children for adoption. Services include but are not limited to evaluating circumstances, supporting placing parents, seeking family members and other important people in a child’s history, evaluating resource families, educating families, providing legal filing services, supervising placements, maintaining support groups, and seeking available supportive resources. Clients served include parents and children. At least one party to each adoption must be a Michigan resident. Participation in counseling and consultation services outside of Greater Hopes is supported and encouraged.

It is our mission to maximize children’s potential by offering suitable and permanent homes where they will be given every opportunity to grow and develop in the happiest and healthiest manner possible given each child’s individual history and situation. Adults respect a child’s life when they allow him or her to remain connected to what belongs to him or her. Charged to provide respectful and loving parents, we assist qualified adults in their desire to adopt a child.

Adoptive Parent Selection: A parent with parental rights to their child who is making an adoption plan selects the adoptive parents. A newborn assigned to Greater Hopes through the Safe Delivery of Newborn Law will be placed based on availability of a family most able to meet a specific child’s needs. An adoption plan for a child who is released to this agency may be made by a large group of people including but not limited to the placing parents, child, caseworkers, supervisors, prospective adoptive parents, therapists, teachers, relatives, a GAL, a CASA volunteer, and other people important in the child’s life.

Services Provided throughout the process: Eligible adoptive applicants, placing parents, and adoptees may receive the following direct or indirect services: options counseling, orientation to adoption, training and education, a Preplacement Consultation and Assessment, counseling and mediation sessions, support groups, legal relinquishment services and/or adoption filing services, post placement supervision, post placement services and referrals, interstate services, post finalization support and guidance, intermediary/search services, application services for subsidies and other benefits, and referrals to other social service agents as needed.

Geographic area served includes all of Michigan. At least one party to the adoption must be a Michigan resident.
R 400.12606 Training requirements.
Rule 606. An agency shall document that an applicant for adoption has, at a minimum, had training in all of the following areas:
(a) Separation.
(b) Attachment and bonding.
(c) Child development, including safe sleep practices for children under 1 year of age.
(d) Behavioral and emotional needs of adoptive children.
(e) Impact of adoption on the family.
(f) Post adoption service availability.

EFFECTIVE 02/01/2017: Adoptive parents who adopt children who have been a part of the child welfare system, any institutionalized child care system, or who adopt children from the child’s previous adoptive family will also be required to train in the following areas:
(a) Characteristics and needs of the child being placed into the home.
(b) Safe sleep practices for infants.
(c) Effective parenting.
(d) Behavior management, including de-escalation techniques.
(e) Importance of the child’s prior families.
(f) Concurrent planning.
(g) Role of the agency.
(h) Safety planning per the child’s behaviors

Each adoptive family shall identify a preferred method of appropriate discipline that is free from physical or corporal punishment in which they will attend a class, or otherwise perform a study in. For example, PRIDE, Pressley Ridge Training, Love and Logic, 1-2-3 Magic Parenting, Nurturing Parent Programs, or Advanced Parenting for Challenging Children would be acceptable options. Other classes may be approved upon request. Adoptive parents who make a reasonable case that shows prior experience participating in nurturing parenting classes might be exempt from this specific requirement.

All families may also have other specific training requirements to adhere to as noted in any of our agency generated assessments. These types of training requirements may arise out of a variety situations in which staff determine a family needs additional support or information in order to provide the best possible care to the children we place in their care.

Types of Adoptions Provided: (a) Types of adoptions and children served and their special needs:
Greater Hopes assists in voluntary domestic adoptions in which placing parents have selected the adoptive family from either their own support systems and communities, or from our pool of resource families. Resource families/ potential adoptive parents also have the right to identify which placing parent circumstances they feel best able to support and assist. We fully support an ongoing and open relationship between the adoptive parents and the placing parents to whatever extent possible to benefit the child.

The agency accepts children released under the safe delivery act, section 20 of 1939 PA 288, MCL 712.20

Children in all programs will all have the need to explore their history openly. Many will have issues trusting, bonding and attaching but these obstacles can be managed through the use of supportive counseling and training. Some children will have developmental delays or impairments. Often times, children have disorders that have evolved as a result of their early childhood experiences with trauma. All of these children need an ongoing connection to the people who have loved and cared for them already.

Eligibility Requirements for Adoptive Families: Greater Hopes desires that any healthy and well-adjusted Michigan residents who wish to adopt apply at this agency. It is believed that in order to meet the wide range of needs that children have, there must be a range of family types available to these children. Any family could be a desirable adoptive family if they are able to lovingly and freely embrace the adoptive child, his birthfamily, his culture, his self, and the difficult behaviors that the child may have. Inability to pay for services shall not make a family ineligible to adopt and waivers will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The adoptive evaluation under CPA R 400.12605 will include but is not limited to exploring the following topics: motivation to adopt, infertility, criminal activity and convictions, emotional stability, compatibility between joint applicants, adjustment of other children, attitudes toward adoption, health, and parenting ideals. An agency must recommend approval for adoption as a result of this assessment in order for a family to be eligible to adopt from this agency. Applicants with a serious criminal history, a child abuse history as a perpetrator, or a current substance use problem shall not be eligible for adoption. This list of excluded backgrounds is not exhaustive.

PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT FEE SCHEDULES BELOW. THE FIRST ONE IN BROWN FONT IS FOR FAMILIES USING ALL OF OUR SERVICES. THE SECOND ONE IN ITALICIZED GREEN TYPE IS FOR FAMILIES USING ONLY SOME OF OUR SERVICES. THE SERVICE AGREEMENT IN RED VIOLET AT THE END IS FOR BOTH FEE SCHEDULES.

Fees and Services for Full Service Michigan Adoptive Applicants

ALL ADOPTIONS: Your county court may assess filing fees up to $185 per adoption. You may be required to pay others at their rate of pay for indirect services including but not limited to background checks, medical exams, home improvements, or counseling services. There may be additional fees paid to other agents or for ADDITIONAL SERVICES as outlined below. Please obtain specifics from your primary facilitator.

CHILDREN PLACED BY CHILD’S FAMILY OR GUARDIAN*: One adoption that uses all and only this agency’s REGULAR services for an adoption plan for a child who is not a permanent state ward will cost $15,000 plus mileage*. A non-refundable Monthly Participation Fee (MPF) is charged starting 2 months after the date of your file being opened at Greater Hopes. The Monthly Participation Fee is $200 per month and must be arranged as an auto-draft payable to Greater Hopes. The MPF will stop being charged the month after the Termination of Parental Rights or the Order Placing Child is signed by the Judge. At the time of either order, non-refundable fees due will equal $15,000 minus MPF and other service fees paid to date. The fees below apply to clients who have signed a Service Agreement. The following services may be provided:

DIRECT REGULAR SERVICES
ORIENTATION TO ADOPTION: This meeting is open to anyone. Clients may schedule a meeting at a mutually agreeable time with the specialist, or attend a group meeting. Discussion topics include types of adoptions, types of children available for adoption, the adoption process, current laws, agency policies, fees, and information regarding support services available. Time is provided for questions. No charge.

APPLICATION: Adoptive applicants submit an application when they wish to proceed. Non-refundable $300.

PRE-PLACEMENT ASSESSMENT CONSULTATION: This assessment addresses major issues addressed in a complete assessment. It is designed to help determine whether an applicant is likely to be a suitable adoptive parent and be able to successfully complete a Preplacement Assessment prior to committing the remaining fee for a complete assessment. We will review any previous experience with adoption or foster care at this time, including review of previous evaluations. Non-refundable $500.*

PRE-PLACEMENT ASSESSMENT (HOME STUDY): This necessary assessment of an adoptive family and their desires is handled with utmost care and sensitivity. An experienced specialist will collect information about the adoptive applicants in a relaxed, friendly and open manner over the course of several meetings. Included in the Pre-Placement Assessment is a narration and supporting documents such as reference letters, Physician’s Certificates, criminal clearances, financial evaluation, birth certificates, and marriage and divorce decrees. Non-refundable $1500.*

YEARLY UPDATE TO PRE-PLACEMENT ASSESSMENT: When no placement or addition of a household member has occurred since the original study was approved, an update to a recently expired Pre-Placement Assessment may be completed for a client who has an approved Pre-Placement Assessment written by Greater Hopes. (MPF)

ADDENDUM TO CURRENT PRE-PLACEMENT ASSESSMENTS: (MPF)

REFERRAL SERVICES: Agency staff may make referrals to other services if it is noted that a family has needs to be addressed outside of the scope of providing adoption services. (MPF)

ADOPTION EDUCATION/SUPPORT GROUP: Adoption education sessions occur monthly to address common issues in adoption. We encourage all families to participate in our monthly support group meetings. (MPF)

ADOPTIVE FAMILY PRE-PLACEMENT SUPPORT SERVICES: Adoptive families find that support from an experienced professional is comforting and helpful when experiencing the roller coaster of adoption. They find relief in consulting with their specialist. Sensitive to the existing issues of loss and frustration, the specialist eases adoptive applicants through complex issues. These services occur to ascertain information required about an adoptee in a variety of settings including adoption education sessions, live and online support groups, caseworker contacts, phone interviews, face to face encounters, meeting with birthparents, waiting at the hospital for the birth, attending court events, etc. (MPF)

CRISIS PREGNANCY/PLACING PARENT SUPPORT SERVICES: Parents need the support and encouragement from an experienced professional and support activities while undergoing the crisis leading to an adoption plan. They find value in talking about and problem-solving their situation with someone whose only goal is to help them. Effective counselors are sensitive to the issues of grief and loss, trauma, indecision, frustration and intensified interpersonal relationships that accompany this situation. Information about the adoptee and his family is collected through this process and is compiled for the court and the adoptive parents. (MPF)

LEGAL RELINQUISHMENT/ADOPTION FILING SERVICES: Experienced adoption professionals will carefully prepare legal paperwork for all parties to complete the release/consent process and submit it to the probate court in a timely manner. (MPF)

INTERSTATE and MULTIPLE AGENCY SERVICES: Domestic adoptions involving two states require communication with and approval from each state and each agency. Your specialist will insure that all state laws are being met to insure a solid legal placement of the child. (MPF)

POST PLACEMENT SUPERVISION: The specialist will provide on-going support and make necessary visits to the adoptive home as required after placement. (All fees must be paid in full on date of Order Placing Child or Termination of Parental Rights.)

POST ADOPTION SUPPORT SERVICES: As difficult issues arise over time, the adoption specialist is available for necessary support for members of the adoption triad.

*Plus mileage @ the federal rate at the time of travel

PAYMENT SCHEDULE FOR FULL SERVICE ADOPTION FEE AND SERVICE DUE
$300 Application fee at application
$500 Preplacement Assessment
Consultation (PPAC) at start of PPAC
$1500 Preplacement Assessment at first home visit
The following fees cover all other expenses:
$200 monthly participation fee will begin
2 months after the application is submitted to
GHFS __________/_______/2017
$15,000 minus the amount paid to date* on the date of parents’ termination of
(*not including mileage) parental rights OR order placing child,
whichever comes first .
IRS approved cents per mile for case related mileage due upon billing

THE FOLLOWING FEE SCHEDULE IN ITALICIZED GREEN IS FOR THOSE
NEEDING ONLY SOME SERVICES FROM US.
FOLLOWING THIS SECOND FEE SCHEDULE IS
THE CONTRACT FOR ALL ADOPTIVE PARENTSERVICES.

Fees and Services for Partial Service Michigan Adoptive Applicants (all non-refundable)

ORIENTATION TO ADOPTION: Discussion topics include types of adoptions and children available for adoption, the adoption process, current laws, agency policies, fees, and support services available. Time is provided for questions. No charge.

APPLICATION: Adoptive applicants submit an application when they proceed. $300.

OPEN ADOPTION EDUCATION: Adoption education sessions occur year round to address common issues in adoption. All families must participate in at least 8-24 hours of formal adoption education, and are encouraged to attend monthly support group meetings. As of 01/05/2015 this is a requirement for your Pre-Placement Assessment and is charged separately. $500

PRE-PLACEMENT ASSESSMENT (PRE-HOME STUDY) CONSULTATION: This assessment addresses major issues addressed in a complete assessment. It is designed to help determine whether an applicant is likely to be a suitable adoptive parent and be able to successfully complete a Preplacement Assessment prior to committing the remaining fee for a complete assessment. $500.*
PRE-PLACEMENT ASSESSMENT (HOME STUDY): This necessary assessment of an adoptive family and their desires is handled with utmost care and sensitivity. An experienced specialist will collect information about the adoptive applicants in a relaxed, friendly and open manner over the course of several meetings. Included in the Pre-Placement Assessment is a narration and supporting documents such as reference letters, Physician’s Certificates, criminal clearances, financial evaluation, birth certificates, and marriage and divorce decrees. Normal process (3 months**): $1500.* Expedited process (requested anytime less than 3 months**): $2000.*

ADOPTIVE FAMILY PRE-PLACEMENT SUPPORT SERVICES: Once a family is ready for matching adoptive families find that support from an experienced professional is comforting and helpful when experiencing the roller coaster of adoption. They seek advice and find relief in consulting with their specialist. Sensitive to the existing issues of loss and frustration, the specialist can help ease adoptive applicants through complex issues in adoption planning. These services occur in a variety of settings and situations including adoption education sessions, support groups, caseworker contacts, phone interviews, face to face encounters with placing parents, waiting at the hospital for the birth, attending court events, etc. $5000

CRISIS PREGNANCY or CRISIS PLACEMENT SUPPORT SERVICES: Parents need the support and encouragement from an experienced professional and support activities while undergoing their crisis pregnancy or adoption dissolution. They find value in talking about and problem-solving their situation with someone whose only goal is to help them. Effective counselors are sensitive to the issues of grief and loss, trauma, indecision, frustration and intensified interpersonal relationships that accompany these circumstances. Information about the adoptee and his family is collected through this process and is compiled for the court and the adoptive parents. $5000*

**Completion of report in these timeframes depend largely on progress of clients, references, physicians and DHHS DCWL and their productivity in completing related tasks.

CHILD EVALUATION SERVICES: In the event the placing parents use an outside source for their support services, or they waive support services all together, this service must be used to collect information about the adoptee and his family. This information will be provided to the adoptive parents and will meet agency licensing rules and state law. $1000.

LEGAL RELINQUISHMENT/ADOPTION FILING SERVICES: Experienced adoption professionals will carefully prepare legal paperwork for all parties to complete the release/consent process and submit it to the probate court in a timely manner. $2500.* Birthparents only, $1500. Adoptive parents only, $1500.*

INTERSTATE and MULTIPLE AGENCY SERVICES: Domestic adoptions involving two states require communication with and approval from each state and each agency. Your specialist will insure that all state laws are being met to insure a solid legal placement of the child. $100 per hour.*

UPDATE TO GREATER HOPES PRE-PLACEMENT ASSESSMENT: An update to a Pre-Placement Assessment may be completed for a client who has a Greater Hopes Pre-Placement Assessment that is less than two years old. $800.00*

UPDATE TO NON GREATER HOPES PRE-PLACEMENT ASSESSMENT: An update to a Pre-Placement Assessment for a client who has a Michigan approved Pre-Placement Assessment that has been written since 01/05/2017. $1200.00*

ADDENDUM TO CURRENT PRE-PLACEMENT ASSESSMENTS: $100 per hour.*

POST PLACEMENT SUPERVISION: The specialist will provide on-going support and make necessary visits to the adoptive home as required after placement. Reports to the court are included in this service. $200 per month (minimum five months).

POST ADOPTION SUPPORT SERVICES: As difficult issues arise over time, the adoption specialist is available for necessary support for members of the adoption triad. $100 per hour.*

*Plus mileage @ the current rate from http://www.irs.gov/Tax-Professionals/Standard-Mileage-Rates

THIS IS THE CONTRACT FOR ALL FEE SCHEDULES:
TYPE OF ADOPTION FEE SCALE SELECTED: _______________________________
PAGE NUMBERS OF APPLICABLE FEE SCHEDULE:_________________________

I agree to pay the amount listed for services described when services are initiated.

I understand that it is not possible to move forward in the process until all fees are paid in full.

I understand that there is no guarantee that a child will be placed with me as a result of working with this agency.

I understand that these fees cover the costs of services related to making an adoptive placement and that fees paid are non-refundable. In the event the agency elects to refund any fee, a Refund Verification Record must be completed in full and signed by the client.

I understand that should I complete a Pre-Placement Assessment that I may be approved or not approved to adopt by this agency and that the fee for this service is non-refundable.

I understand that if my account is not paid in full that the agency may decline my request to complete further work related to my case. Additionally, if the participation fees are not paid, the agency reserves the right to place a family on hold until fees are paid up to date.

I have the remaining questions about fees and services with this agency:
Fee agreements that vary from any part of this program statement shall be made in writing and signed by all parties. I understand and agree to the statements made above.

Applicant signature: ___________________________________Date: _____________
Applicant signature: ___________________________________Date: _____________
Worker signature: _____________________________________Date: _____________

 

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Waiting Child Adoption

As of October 1, 2016 we no longer have a waiting child program. However, many children still need homes! If you are just considering adopting a waiting child for the first time, MARE can answer the question, “Where Do I Begin?”

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