Advocacy

FamilyWorks Together’s direct services are compounded by its collaborative advocacy efforts around the region to improve the lives of the foster and adopted children and their families. Our work with organizations like the Coalition to Protect Maryland’s Children, the Maryland Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, the Maryland Coalition for Adoption, The Maryland Department of Human Resources, and Local Departments of Social Services have helped us to successfully pass countless legislative efforts in Maryland, making our region a better place to live for children and families. Here are some highlights that demonstrate that work has paid off.

  • Adoptions Together was licensed as a child placement agency on September 18th, 1990 by founder and Executive Director, Janice Goldwater.
  • Hired our first pregnancy counselor and expanded our on-call hours to 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year to respond to women in need of our services.
  • Adoptions Together completed its first international placement of two Russian sisters in December of 1992.
  • After recognizing that children who experienced prenatal substance exposure, abuse, or neglect often struggle to succeed in school and may have learning differences, we created Project Succeed and received our first federal grant to support post adoption services like counseling, training, education and advocacy. We kicked off our Center for Adoptive Families with the support of this grant.
  • Adoptions Together expanded into Washington, DC and opened its first office in the District’s downtown neighborhood.
  • Building Black Adoptive Families initiative was founded to expand our outreach efforts in the African American community, and to identify culturally competent potential adoptive families.
  • In January, 1996, we facilitated our first placement through the public foster care system. This was a sibling group of 3 and spurred the foundation of our AdoptionWorks program.
  • Partnered with Local Departments of Social Services around the state of Maryland to provide post adoption support groups to families. These jurisdictions included Montgomery, Prince George’s, Howard, and Baltimore County.
  • AT’s fundraising initiative Share the Care for Children partners with NBA player Juwan Howard and other players to raise funds to support our programs that create family for children.
  • Formally founded our AdoptionWorks Program to place children living in the public foster care system with stable adoptive families. AdoptionWorks focuses on creating adoptive homes for children living in foster care across the US with families in all 3 of our jurisdictions.
  • In 2000, we are working with the governments of Russia, China, Guatemala, and Vietnam to find stable, loving families for orphaned children. Many of these children were impacted by unique traumas such as life in an orphanage environment, prenatal substance exposure, and lack of stimulation. Our counseling staff is uniquely prepared to helping these children adjust and thrive.
  • The Congressional Coalitional on Adoption awards Janice Goldwater an Angel of Adoption Award
  • Adoptions Together's Project If Not Us kicks off to recruit families from the African American Community to adopt children from foster care. AT received federal funding to support this initiative.
  • International Relief initiatives actively improving the lives of children in China and Russia through Children in Common and Chinese Children Humanitarian and Aid Fund. These efforts provided medicine, supplies, education and aid to children living in regions where Adoptions Together’s Eastern Europe and China programs were most robust.
  • Adoptions Together expands into Virginia and opens its Herndon office, serving pregnant women exploring adoption and adoptive families throughout the region.
  • Janice Goldwater is appointed to the Human Rights Campaign’s All Families National Advisory Council to serve as a key advisor in the development and implementation of the All Children - All Families initiative and provide leadership in educating the broader child welfare community about the importance of supporting LGBTQ youth and families in every aspect of practice.
  • 100th community-based therapist completed our one-year Attachment Training Series, better equipping them to serve clients affected by attachment disruption.
  • In collaboration with the DC Child and Family Services Agency, the Post Permanency Family Center opens in DC to provide pre and post permanency therapeutic support to families and children.
  • Founded the Permanency Opportunities Project to create permanent families for youth in DC foster care.
  • Received International Hague Accreditation from the Council on Accreditation.
  • Founded the Work of Heart Respite program to provide respite care for pre-adoptive and foster parents working with the DC Child and Family Services Agency.
  • Mentoring and reunification services for parents with children in foster care begin through the Parent Advocate Project.
  • The Family Find Step Down project is founded to find permanent family resources for youth in Baltimore City foster care before they age out.
  • Adoptions Together takes over stewardship of the Heart Gallery, a traveling photo exhibit of adoptable foster children in the Maryland and DC region.
  • Established the Successful Family Permanency Model ™ and introduced the inaugural intensive SFPM Trauma Training Series to behavioral health professionals serving the child welfare community.
  • Expanded our work with community school systems advocating for children who’ve experienced trauma, lived in foster care, or were adopted. Increasing adoption and foster care competency among school professionals helps children succeed in school.
  • FamilyWorks Together is created through the collaborative efforts of Adoptions Together’s counseling and education & training departments to serve families formed through adoption, guardianship and kinship, and to assist families impacted by the child welfare system.