This month we talked to Kristina Daley, LMSW, Coordinator of Permanency Services, about her work.
Describe your job in three words.
Creating Forever Families.
When did you start working at Spence-Chapin?
I started working at Spence-Chapin in January of 2016.
How did you become interested in adoption?
I’ve always been fascinated with adoption. As a former foster child who was raised by one family, adoption was never presented as an option. When the law changed to ensure a child does not languish in foster care like I did, I celebrated it, as there were many children who were being raised by a family that they saw as their own – but adoption was not an option until the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) made it one.
Why did you want to work at Spence-Chapin?
I enjoy working with families and children. Spence-Chapin enabled me to do both.
What’s a typical workday?
Meeting with families to conduct home study interviews, checking in with families who have adopted to assist with transitions and adjustments to parenting, and writing reports!
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Often, families come to adoption with specific expectations. For example, an older child may come with connections to birth family, possibly to another country, and to a past which did not include their adoptive family. I think this can sometimes be challenging for families to think about. Our team is here to support families throughout the process.
Is there a particular family that you’ve worked with that has affected you in any way?
We ask our parents to be open and sharing of their child’s adoption story and to maintain connections with birth families. They know that for the best interest of their child they must be open to connecting with and maintaining connections with birth parents. I enjoy my part in helping them figure out how to do this and lessen fears related to open adoption.
Has working at Spence-Chapin changed you in any way?
It has solidified my commitment to creating families whose foundation is built on empathy, being genuine and respectful.