Good News for ICBF Valle del Cauca

Last week, I read a great article in El Tiempo about how an internal ICBF change in that region is getting children out of the system and into adoptive homes more quickly. So far this year (as of September) 114 children from the department of Valle del Cauca have found new homes. This is the same number that found adoptive homes in ALL of last year.

Here is a summary translation of the article.

All night he slept, covered from head to toe with a blanket. Only his hand slipped outside of his cocoon to take that of his mother, confirming that she would still be there when he awoke. This was the first time that Pepe (named changed) had shared a bed with a mother and father. In his nine years of life, he had never felt such a marvelous sensation. It was the sealing of a pact that had opened the door to the home he had waited for since he was born. Even though expressing what he feels is difficult because he has been deaf since birth, nothing is too difficult for this little boy -- not even the fact that his new family speaks another language.

After a month of living with his new parents and four of his five new brothers and sisters, all of them are now ready to start their new adventure.

"Family is the top priority. Children are the most important thing in life, now it is our mission to help our six children succeed." said Tiffani, who won't let Pepe out of her sight.

Her husband Edward added that it is like starting over again. But once they arrive home, things will return to normal and their new son will finally know what it is like to have a wonderful family.

Even though Pepe, because of his special needs, is part of a group of children considered difficult to adopt, he is one of the 114 children from Valle del Cauca that have found a home this year. This is the same number of children that found homes in all of last year.

John Arley Murillo, the director of the ICBF regional office in Valle del Cauca, that the successful increase in the number of adoption processes is directly related to a reassignment of the Family Advocates (Defensores de Familia) in each of the area offices.

"For ICBF, each adoption process has its own story. It is our mission to find solutions in a timely fashion so that those stories are of happy boys and girls with bright futures," said Murillo. He added, "Following a national directive, what we have done is reassign all 95 of our Family Advocates to one office. This allows the workers to get to know many different cases and to make recommendations about the future of the children in our care without having to travel. Before, it might have taken up to three years to determine a child's future. Unfortunately, during this time the child would grow up and become part of the group of children that have difficulty finding adoptive homes."

The new system allows the workers to review a larger number of cases which thereby is speeding up the process for those children. This has allowed the 114 children, which include a group with 4 siblings, to find homes with families where everyone has a place. "This is how we are accomplishing the goal that every child will have the dream of finding a home," concluded Murillo.

"We cannot continue to provide homes for children whose parents only visit them once every three months without fulfilling their responsibility to raise them and provide for them. The Family Advocates have the mission of determining the future of these children who would likely enter the adoption program. "


Anonymous said…
This is an insightful article especially in light of the ICBF wait lists and adoption statistics. It's interesting that some children could be under the care of ICBF and parental rights and custody issues could drag on for many years only to end up where the children need to be placed for adoption anyway. It makes sense that the ICBF would work with parents to have the children returned to their homes, but it must be so hard on everyone to have these cases linger indefinitely. I wonder if these kids are included in the numbers of adoptable kids published by ICBF?

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