Derived from the Social Security Act – Title IV-B, Subpart 2, APSS (Adoption Promotion and Support Services) promotes the permanent placement of Native American children in Native American homes for the preservation of cultural identity. APSS provides the following: Adoptive and Kinship Home Studies, Identifies Certified Adoptive Homes, Adoption Support Services, and Community and Public Awareness/Recruitment Activities.
Adoptive and kinship home studies are completed with potential adoptive/kinship families prior to children being placed in their home. APSS staff identifies and match children who have been freed for adoption with a certified adoptive family. Adoption Support Services are available to parents who have an adoption plan for their newborn. Parent Skills Trainings are intended to increase overall parental awareness and skils for potential adoptive and foster parents. Lastly, Community and Public Awareness/Recruitment Activities concentrated on the promotion of APSS activities with emphasis on recruiting potential adoptive and kinship families.
APSS will protect the best interest of Navajo children by promoting stability and security of Navajo children in homes that will maintain the unique values of the Navajo culture and heritage.
To assist those interested and committed in providing a permanent home for children.
Eligible adults who are interested and committed in providing a permanent home for children;
Individual(s) who can promote, preserve and educate on Navajo culture;
Individual(s) who can provide permanent home environment and can meet the child’s physical, spiritual, cultural, emotional, financial and developmental needs;
Complete Adoption Application and return to Dept. of Family Service Office;
case assigned to APSS worker;
assigned to worker will contact family to complete a case plan, which includes a timeline;
Parent Training – minimum of 12 hours of parent-training, which will include pre/post test.
when documents and criminal background check clearance return, worker will schedule a home interview;
home study is completed; the adoptive family home will be certified for a period of two (2) years.
The Home Study Report is scheduled to be completed in 120 days, the applicant’s assistance and participation in finalizing their home study is crucial.
Placement Preference: In accordance with the adoption regulation, priority is given to placement of children in the descending order
Children’s immediate birth family; extended family members; and Clan Relatives;
Enrolled Navajo family living within the Navajo Reservation;
Enrolled Navajo family living outside the Navajo Reservation;
Enrolled member of any federally recognized Tribe living within the Navajo Reservation;
Enrolled member of any federally recognized Tribe living outside the Navajo Reservation;
Non-Indian family who can provide a suitable home and will maintain the unique values of Navajo culture and able to provide guidance to the child(ren) in maintaining their Navajo cultural identity.
Criminal Background Investigation (CBI) Process
State and Federal: Applicants must submit completed fingerprint card and money order to Dept. of Family Service; Dept. of Family Service will submit fingerprint card and money order for processing
Consent Form NCPS-IMS, Applicants can obtain a copy of their CBI from the Navajo Law Enforcement in Window Rock, Arizona; NCFS can obtain Tribal CBI from Window Rock, with a notarized Consent Form NCPS-IMS from the Applicants and a clear copy of the photo ID/driver’s license, and Social Security Card.
Child Protective Services (CPS) Clearance: consent forms are sent to the local CPS office with names of all children in the home.
To assist referring child welfare agency in identifying permanent homes for children.
- Children who have been legally freed for adoption.
- Parental rights have been terminated in tribal or state court.
- Parents have voluntarily relinquished before a competent tribal or state judge.
- Children with a permanency plan of adoption.
Referral Process (when relative search has been exhausted):
- Referrals are made by the assigned ICWA social worker, Navajo Nation Regional Division of Social Services offices, and/or other social services entities
- Assigned social worker will make contact with the certified adoptive families who are interested.
To assist relatives who are interested and committed in becoming permanent caretakers.
Relative who are interested and committed in becoming permanent caretakers.
Immediate and/or extended relatives who can provide a safe and stable home environment.
Referrals are made by the assigned ICWA social worker, Navajo Nation Regional Division of Social Services offices, and/or other social services entities on active cases with a plan for temporary or permanent placement.
A worker will be assigned to assist the relative family in fulfilling requirements for a kinship home study report.
The family will be responsible in completing and submitting all required documents.
Once documents are returned to Dept. of Family Service and the criminal background results are received by Dept. of Family Service, the APSS worker will schedule a home interview.
After the home interview is conducted and home study is completed, the case is returned to the referral source.
A completed home study report is usually current for 2 years; with any changes the home study report will need to be updated with an Addendum.
The Home Study Report is scheduled to be completed in 120 days, the applicant’s assistance and participant in finalizing their home study is crucial.
To assist birth parent(s) who are considering placement of their newborn for adoption.
- Navajo birth parents who are over the age of 18 years who are voluntarily considering placement of their newborn for adoption. NOTE: Birth mothers who are under the age of 18 years will need parents’/legal custodians’ written consent for their adoption plan.
- Infants not involved in family custody proceedings, i.e., divorce or parents vs. kinship;
- Infants, 0 to 6 months of age.
- Referrals are made through individual self-referrals, hospitals, private adoption agencies, and/or other tribal social services entities.
- The Adoption Support Services is scheduled to be completed until the adoption is finalized.
To provide parent skills training to potential adoptive/kinship and foster parents who need to fulfill parent training requirement for home study.
Four (4) Parent Skills Training sessions are conducted each year through our program. An adoptive/kinship or foster parent may complete parent skills training requirement by going to http://www.fosterparentcollege.com
Curriculum: The Traditional Diné Parent Training curriculum offers information about Navajo traditional child rearing practices with the Diné philosophy and beliefs.
Quarterly Publication Listing
A quarterly publication listing all the children who have been referred to Department of Family Service Adoption Unit are featured and distributed to our certified foster/adoptive families. Helpful tips, parenting information, and calendar of events, are announced in this newsletter.
Recruitment and Public Awareness
To promote public awareness of APSS services, recruit applicants to provide permanent homes for children in the child welfare system, and increase the need for permanent homes on the Navajo reservation to the general public.
Below are a list of department or program documents:
Complete Adoption Application and return to Department of Family Service Office.
Consent Form NCPS-IMS
Applicants can obtain a copy of their CBI from the Navajo Law Enforcement in Window Rock, Arizona.
Four (4) Parent Skills Training sessions are conducted each year through our program.