Children’s House International

Core Agency Policies & Procedures

“Loving a Child has no Boundaries”


Our mission is to provide children worldwide with loving homes and to provide families with the support they need to adopt and parent their children. We provide ethical adoption services.

Our humanitarian efforts also extend to the children who are not adopted; to provide options for them to remain in a positive, healthyenvironment in their own birth place.

Table of Contents

Absence of Executive Director/Administrator / 1


/ 1
Advocacy / 1
Agency Closure Plan / 2
Alternative Facilities for Individuals with Disabilities / 3
Asset Protection / 3
Background Checks / 4
Business Ethics and Conduct / (see employee/contractor handbooks)
Client Eligibility Requirements / 4
Client Complaint Procedure / 4
Client Program Overview / 6
Client Rights / 6
Confidentiality / 7
Conflict of Interest / 8
Contributions from Clients / 8
Custody of an Adopted Child / 8
Disruption of an Adopted Child Placed by CHI / 8
Employee Appraisals / 9
Executive Constraints / 9
Fee Schedule / 10
Financial Condition and Activities / 10
Home Study Process / 11
Insurance / 12
Medical Reports / 12
Personnel Development / 12
Prohibition on Child Buying / 13
Records Retention, Maintenance & Disposal / 13
Review of Policies and Procedures / 13
Risk Management Plan / 14
Medical Aspects of Foreign Adoption / 14
Travel Preparedness / 15
Adoption Process / 15
Case Monitoring / 17
Timing of Services / 17
Treatment of Clients / 18
Waiting List / 18

Absence of Executive Director/Administrator

If the Executive Director/Administrator is to be on leave for more than one month or has left prior to a replacement, the Placement Supervisor will act as the Executive Director/Administrator during the absence of the Executive Director. Local state licensing shall be immediately notified of the name of the person appointed by the Board of Directors to act in this capacity. The acting Executive Director/Administrator will meet local state licensing qualifications for the administrator of a licensed child welfare agency.

In the event that a replacement is needed, the Board of Directors will form a committee, charge the committee with the responsibility for conducting a formal search, and provide the resources needed to carry out that search effectively.


A stocked first aid kit will be available in the office for the treatment of minor cuts and abrasions. Should a client or staff member have an accident on the premises which causes bodily harm, he/she shall be accompanied to a hospital or clinic by a CHI supervisor or be transported by ambulance if necessary. The supervisor must then fill out an accident report which is to be kept on file for submission to the insurance company for liability coverage or Workman’s Compensation as applicable.


CHI staff will continue its cooperation and association with national and local organizations which advocate for adoptive families and their children. Information on organizations that provide details on and/or advocate for specific disabilities or disorders related to post-institutionalized children will be disseminated to clients.

All clients will be encouraged to join both local and national organizations which advocate for adoptive families and their children, and will be provided with a Parent Education Booklet that will assist them in making informed decisions during the adoption process. Clients will also be informed of their right to file a grievance concerning CHI with the appropriate licensed state.

Agency Closure Plan

In the event that CHI should cease operation, the Agency Closure Plan will be put into effect. The exact requirements for Agency Closure vary slightly by state*. The following steps will be taken:


(1) CHI will notify the department about the agency closure in writing at least 30 days prior to closing as well as where the client files/records will be stored.

(2) CHI will transfer all open and closed cases to the licensing department of family services for storage.


(1) CHI will notify the Office of Licensing about the agency closure in writing at least 30 days prior to closing as well as where the client files/records will be stored.

(2) CHI will archive all files and contact information will be given to the Office of Licensing for access.


(1) CHI will notify DSHS, children’s administration state adoption program manager about the closure of the agency and where the files/client records will be stored at least 30 days prior to closing.

(2) CHI will transfer all open and closed files to the Washington State Archival Files.

CHI will reimburse all clients for any funds paid for services not yet rendered or monies that have not already been sent abroad. Adoptions will finalize if possible through CHI; if not, another agency will be contracted to finish the case. If CHI must cease operations it shall provide original or complete copies of all child case records and licensing records for the children and families it has served.

CHI will notify the accrediting entity and the Secretary in writing within 30 days of the time it ceases to provide adoption services and provides information about the transfer of its adoption records.

*Agency Closure Regulations by State:

Florida65C-15.035 Agency Closure

If a child-placing agency ceases operation, for any reason, it shall notify the department in writing at least 30 days prior to closing and shall provide the following information to the department:

(1)Legal transfer of surrender and releases of any children in its custody to another licensed child-placing agency or to the department; (2) appropriate transfer of responsibility for children in temporary placement to another licensed child-placing agency or to the department. Deposit all open and closed records to the department or another licensed child-placing agency; (3) appropriate transfer or termination of services to all other clients. UtahR501-7.4 Administrative Requirements

D. A child placing adoption agency shall provide at least 30 days prior written notice to the Office of Licensing that the agency is: 1. dissolving or ceasing to provide child placing services

R501-7-7 Documentation

A child placing adoption agency shall maintain a policy and procedure manual demonstrating how it shall:

21. preserve client records when a case is closed and in the event that the agency changes ownership or ceases to provide child placement adoption services , and notify the Office of Licensing and each client where the records shall be stored; and;

22. enable record retrieval by individuals with a right to access them. WashingtonWAC 388-148-1135- Child Placing Agencies –Adoption Records

If your agency closes, you must make arrangements for the permanent retention of the adopted children's records. You must inform DSHS, children's administration state adoption program manager about the closure of the agency and where the files will be kept (for example, by another adoption agency or Washington state archival files).

Alternative Facilities for Individuals with Disabilities

In the event that agency facilities are inaccessible to clients with a physical disability, an alternate location will be designated for home study and educational services. Public facilities that are used for conferences will meet the following minimum requirements:

1.Designated reserved parking spaces must be provided for persons with disabilities;

2.Walkways, ramps and curb cuts are available from the parking area to the accessible entrance;

3.At least one primary building entrance is accessible at ground level or ramped with no steps;

4.Bathroom facilities include a toilet for the disabled that is large enough to permit a wheelchair to turn and enter a stall;

5.Fire alarm system must have both visual and audible features;

6.Communication assistance will be provided for attendees who express a need for such services.

Asset Protection

The Executive Director shall not allow the assets to be unprotected, inadequately maintained, or unnecessarily risked. Therefore, the Executive Director may not:

1.Fail to insure against liability losses to board members, staff, and the organization itself in an amount greater than the average for comparable organizations;

2.Subject agency equipment to improper wear and tear or insufficient maintenance;

3.Unnecessarily expose the agency, its board, or its staff to claims of liability;

4.Fail to protect information, property, or files from loss or significant damage;

5.Receive, process, or disperse funds under controls that are insufficient to meet the board-appointed Financial Officer's standards;

6.Invest or hold operating capital in insecure instruments including uninsured checking accounts and bonds of less than AA rating or in non-interest-bearing accounts except where necessary to facilitate ease in operational transactions;

7.Endanger the agency's reputation or credibility, particularly in ways that would hinder accomplishment of its mission.

Background Checks

All staff, volunteers, and clients shall sign statements authorizing a background check and otherwise meet the necessary requirements. All prospective and current employees and independent contractors who provide direct services to clients shall furnish CHI with any and all information pertaining to any offenses (other than minor traffic violations) for which they have been convicted in accordance with the requirements noted in the previous sentence.

Client Eligibility Requirements

CHI does not impose age limitations, but clients must be made aware of any limitations set by the government of the country from which they are seeking to adopt. The family must be able to provide health insurance for the child and must meet financial standards as set by Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS). CHI accepts families of any religious background or marital status. Prospective clients who have been married previously are accepted and must provide copies of the divorce papers as part of the home study process. Clients with children currently living in the home are accepted, but they must prove the ability to emotionally and financially support an additional child.

CHI will grant equal opportunities to all clients regardless of race, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, age, or disability as allowed by each country’s laws. Special arrangements will be made for any client with communication needs or physical disabilities.All clients will be treated equitably and without favoritism.

Client Complaint Procedure

The Client Complaint Procedure is designed to provide an avenue for any birth parent, prospective adoptive parent, or adoptee to lodge directly with the CHI signed and dated complaints about any of the services or activities of CHI (including its use of supervised providers) that her or she believes raises an issue of compliance with the Convention, the IAA or the regulations implementing the IAA and advises such individuals of the additional procedures available to them if they are dissatisfied with CHI’s response to their complaint. Under this plan, clients may submit grievances in the following sequence:

1.When a client has a complaint, the complaint must first be discussed with the client’s Program Coordinator. If the client feels that a suitable agreement has not been reached, the client is encouraged to exercise his/her right to proceed to the second step of this plan. If the complaint involves the client's program coordinator, the client will start the complaint procedure at the second step.

2.The client must put the compliant in writing and present it in an email or by mail to the Placement Director or his/her designee. The Placement Director has ten (10) working days to respond to the client's complaint. If the client still feels dissatisfied with the outcome, he/she is encouraged to exercise his/her option to take the next step in this procedure.

3. The client may request that his/her complaint and the results of the previous steps be forwarded to the Executive Director. The client may present the complaint in person or in writing to the Executive Director. After investigation and careful consideration the Executive Director will make a final decision regarding the complaint within ten (10) days of receipt.

4. The client may request that his/her complaint and the results of the previous steps be forwarded to the Board of Directors of CHI. The client may present the complaint in person or in writing at a quarterly Board of Directors meeting. After investigation and careful consideration the Board of Directors will make a final decision regarding the complaint within ten (10) days of receipt.

If the complaint cannot be resolved through Childrens House International’s complaint process, the party to the adoption case will then be able to file the complaint with the Hague Complaint Registry (HCR), a web-based system established by the Department.

5.Childrens House International provides expedited review of such complaints that are time sensitive or that involve allegations of fraud.

6.Childrens House International maintains a written record of each complaint received pursuant to the introduction of this section and the steps taken to investigate and respond to it and makes this record available to the accrediting entity or the Secretary upon request.

7.Childrens House International does not take any action to discourage a client or prospective client from, or retaliate against a client or prospective client for: making a complaint, expressing a grievance, providing information in writing or interviews to an accrediting agency on Childrens House International’s performance, or questioning the conduct of or expressing an opinion about the performance of Childrens House International.

8.Childrens House International provides to the accrediting entity and the Secretary, on a semi-annual basis, a summary of all complaints received pursuant of the introduction of this section during the preceding six months (including the number of complaints received and how each complaint was resolved) and an assessment of any discernible patterns in complaints received against Childrens House International to the introduction of this section along with information about what systematic changes, if any, were made or are planned by Childrens House International in response to such patterns.

9.Childrens House International provides any information about complaints received pursuant to the introduction of this section as may be requested by the accrediting entity or the Secretary.

10.Childrens House International has a quality improvement program appropriate to its size and circumstances through which it makes systematic efforts to improve its adoption services as needed. Childrens House International uses quality improvement methods such as reviewing complaint data, using client satisfaction surveys, or comparing Childrens House International’s practices and performances against the data contained in the Secretary’s annual reports to Congress on intercountry adoptions.

Client Program Overview

All clients will receive an overview from their program coordinator of the program they are adopting from at the commencement of services. Outlined in the plan will be the services contracted for, an estimated completion time for the services to be provided, and an estimated referral timeframe. Any changes in service outcome or timeframe will be communicated to the client.

Client Rights

All clients are entitled to the following:

1.The right to be treated in a fair and equitable manner, without favoritism;

2.The right to review their file;

3.The right to easy accessibility to their social worker and other CHI staff;

4.The right to amend errors in home study or post-placement reports;

5.The right to terminate services under agreed upon stipulations;

6.The right to request the transfer of original documentation to another Child

Welfare Agency should services be terminated;

7.The right to request additional referral information;

8.The right to seek professional medical evaluation of referral information before acceptance or denial of referral;

9.The right to be given an adequate amount of time to review referral information before acceptance or denial of referral;

10.The right to decline a referral without reprisal;

11.The right to receive respectful treatment with regard to cultural differences and/or needs;

12.The right to post-placement services and referral information;

13.The right to bring complaints before CHI staff and board members according to the Client Grievance Procedure.


Home studies and supporting documentation will be kept confidential to protect the rights of the client. Access to home studies and other documentation contained in the client file will be limited to agency personnel, the external auditor, and local state licensing and accreditation personnel. Original documents will remain on file at the corporate office at all times. Copies of documents may be kept by case workers and their supervisors outside the office at a secure location pre-approved by the Executive Director. A copy of the home study may be released to other licensed Child Welfare Agencies or government authorities for the purpose of CIS processing or submission of documents to foreign government officials.

Copies of home study information and other documentation will be released to other Child Welfare Agencies, clinicians or qualified professionals as necessary, based upon permission granted on the agency application.

Clients, parents, and legal guardians have the right to review their records. Clients must be informed of this right. Upon written request, the client, parents or legal guardian will be given an appointment and allowed to review the contents of their file. At no time will the client or others reviewing the file be unsupervised by agency personnel or allowed to remove any contents of the file from the corporate office. Before the review, contents of the file will be examined in order to remove any information or documents for the protection of the confidentiality of family members or other individuals or to protect the client should direct access to the information be injurious or harmful to the person served. Any refusal by agency staff to allow a client, parent or legal guardian to review their records due to a perceived harm to the client will be reviewed and approved in writing by the Executive Director or Placement Supervisor. The agency is allowed to permit the review of said information by a qualified professional upon the written consent of the client, parent or legal guardian provided that the professional agrees in writing not to divulge any material to the client that may be harmful or injurious.