FCASPL 204 (Individuals Required to Attend Matching Conference and Examples of Diligent Recruitment Efforts)
Family, Children and Adult Services Procedure Letter No. 204
October 6, 2010
TO: All Family, Children and Adult Services Manual Holders
FROM: Douglas E. Lumpkin, Director
SUBJECT: Individuals required to attend matching conference and examples of diligent recruitment efforts

This procedure letter serves as a reminder regarding participants who are required to attend the adoption matching conference and must be included in the placement decision-making process. According to Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) 5101:2-48-16 (O), the attendees shall include:

  • The adoption caseworker for the child;
  • The caseworker for the adoptive family; and
  • A member of the administrative or supervisory staff of the public children services agency (PCSA) or private child placing agency (PCPA) adoption program.

The agency is not permitted to conduct a matching conference and match an adoptive family with a child without the participation of the caseworker for the adoptive family during the matching conference.

Special Circumstances

If the adoption caseworker and family caseworker are the same individual, other adoption program staff members shall participate in the matching conference to assure that at least three individuals participate in the matching decision.

If the agency does not have at least three adoption program staff employees to participate in the matching conference, other professionals or para-professionals who are employed or contracted by the agency shall participate in the matching conference in order to meet the required minimum of three participants. These people shall have, at a minimum, basic knowledge related to special needs adoption and permanency planning.

When more than one agency is involved in an adoptive matching decision, a representative from each agency is required to participate in the matching conference. Participation by teleconference is acceptable.

The PCSA or PCPA is expected to submit notices of upcoming matching conferences to the matching conference mailbox weekly at MatchingConference@jfs.ohio.gov and to immediately update listings regarding cancellations or rescheduling to the matching conference mailbox.

If there are no available families identified for a specific child, the PCSA or PCPA may conduct a search for approved adoptive families in the State Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS). If the agency elects not to use SACWIS to search for approved adoptive families, the agency is required to document continuous recruitment efforts to find suitable approved families. Minimum child specific recruitment shall include:

  • Distribution of written information regarding the child to two or more adoption agencies;
  • Review of the case file for relatives or individuals in the child's past who may be able and willing to provide a permanent home for the child; and
  • Exploration with the child about individuals with whom the child is familiar who may be able and willing to adopt the child.

Examples of diligent recruitment efforts may include:

  • Engaging in activities that demonstrate a good faith effort to recruit approved adoptive families for a specific child.
  • Contracting for recruitment activities to be conducted on behalf of the specified child.
  • Transferring a child's case to a specialized unit within the agency to complete child-specific recruitment services. In such cases, the agency shall actively recruit approved adoptive families who can meet the child's individual needs.

The agency is required to document all specific recruitment efforts made for the child on the JFS 01690, "Documentation of the Pre-Adoptive Staffing and Updates."

In addition, agencies are to document inquiries received from families who want to be presented for a child, but for whom the agency does not consider on the JFS 01689.

For questions regarding this Procedure Letter, please contact your technical assistance specialist or your licensing specialist, or review OAC rules 5101:2-48-05 and 5101:2-48-16.

INSTRUCTIONS: The following chart depicts what materials should be deleted from the Family, Children and Adult Services Manual (FCASM) and what materials should be inserted in the FCASM.

Procedure Letters FCASPL No. 204