Family Placement Services
How does Project STAR find families for children?
Project STAR recruits and prepares resource families with comprehensive training programs and supportive services. County agencies refer children to Project STAR for placement, either in foster care or for adoption.
From foster care, a child may return to his or her birth family within several months. Foster parents are encouraged to adopt the child in their care if that child is unable to reunify with his or her birth family. Adoptive families may be foster parents first or may choose only to accept placements of children who are legally free for adoption.
When a Project STAR family is identified as the best resource for a child, a match is made. After the child makes a successful transition between the foster and adoptive families, the process to finalize the adoption begins.
How do I proceed?
Begin by attending a free orientation meeting at a location convenient to you. Meetings are offered twice monthly at various sites. You may then register for the next available series of parent education classes, typically held on three consecutive Saturdays in Pittsburgh and eight weeknights in Monaca.
Once you have completed training, a caseworker will meet with you and write your family profile (also known as a home study). Clearances are required for background checks of child abuse and criminal history. Upon completion of the family profile and appropriate clearances, the matching process begins.
How long does the process take?
From the time a family begins training until a child is placed, the foster care/adoption process may take up to a year. Finalizing an adoption usually takes from six months to a year, in some cases even longer. Foster parents are often able to bring a child into their home soon after completing the certification process.
What does it cost?
Because of our commitment to children, Project STAR at The Children’s Institute does not charge agency fees to families. Reimbursements from state and county agencies, charitable grants and personal contributions make this possible.
For more information
If you have additional questions about Project STAR’s Family Placement Services or would like to register for an orientation meeting, please call 412.244.3048.