TRAC’s mission is to create and provide adoption opportunities and a range of services for all children growing up without permanent, caring families TRAC has served for over 35 years as the region’s central resource for adoption information and referral services, support and education. TRAC was founded by adoptive parents and professionals and established as a volunteer-staffed project of the Junior League of Pittsburgh. Today, TRAC includes a consortium of over 20 adoption agencies, adoptive parent groups, and community agencies. TRAC is one of only a few agencies that recruit families for public and private agencies throughout Western Pennsylvania. TRAC works with public and private agencies to implement cooperative, cost effective programs to meet the placement and post-placement needs of children with special needs. Since its inception in 1978, TRAC has evolved from a small group of adoptive parents and agencies exchanging information about waiting children into an agency offering multiple adoption services. Although the programs have evolved to meet a changing adoption environment, the mission to improve adoption opportunities for all children without permanent families has remained constant. Delivering services in a personal and caring manner always is the basis of TRAC’s efforts. Adhering to the Adoption Standards of the Child Welfare League of America, TRAC is a multi-service agency serving more than 2,000 children and 4,000 families annually. TRAC serves individuals from all segments of the population. This is also reflected in the composition of TRAC’s Board of Directors, representing a cross-section of the community. TRAC is a member of the North American Council on Adoptable Children, the National Adoption Exchange Association and Voice for Adoption. TRAC is also an affiliate agency of the Statewide Adoption Network (SWAN).
Black Adoption Services (BAS) Black Adoption Services provides (pre) adoptive homes for children whose parents are unwilling or unable to provide care for them in their own homes. Because of the disproportionate number of African American children needing adoptive home placements, BAS focuses much of its efforts on the particular cultural values and needs of the African American community. Children from birth to 18 years of age are considered for placement. As indicated above, minority children, as well as siblings groups and children with special needs, are considered for placement. Children are placed with BAS families by several means, including County Children and Youth and private agencies and the regional and national adoption exchanges.
Family Connections Family Connections provides in-home therapeutic services to adoptive and foster families to alleviate the possibility of adoption/placement disruptions. Family Connections also provides training to foster and adoptive families, agencies and professionals. Training covers topics that are relevant to the development of skills that will enhance the functioning of the families and children served. Family Connections is also available for professional consultation. Family Connections is recognized as one of the most comprehensive post adoption services in the United States. TRAC’s outpatient therapy department has traditionally worked with those who have been adopted, both children and adults, and their families. We continue to provide outpatient therapy services to the adoption community. In addition to our traditional services we are pleased to announce our new therapeutic program: Family Re-connections. Family Re-connections provides either therapeutic supervised visitation and/or family therapy to families who need to re-establish or strengthen their family connections. The program is offered to any type of family – biological, kinship, foster or adoptive that needs assistance in building, rebuilding or repairing family relationships.
Adoption Resources Adoption Resources includes the Regional Adoption Exchange and general recruitment. The program provides public and private agencies with qualified adoptive and foster families for African-American children and children with special needs. The services include community-based recruitment; adoption/foster care information for prospective families through written materials and verbal communication; orientation meetings to educate interested families about the needs of waiting children; referrals for family profiles (home studies) to all licensed adoption/foster care agencies serving the prospective family’s community; family/child matching which provides information on over 560 studied families to caseworkers of waiting children. Through collaboration with other adoption agencies, adoption exchanges, parent support groups and adoptive parents, 435 children registered on the Regional Adoption Exchange found permanent, adoptive families during FY 02/03. Information and referral services are also provided for birthparents seeking information about placing their child with an adoptive family and to members of the adoption triad interested in searching for each other.
- In the United States, there are over 423,000 children in the foster care system, nearly 115,000 of these children awaiting adoption.
- Approximately 5,100 Pennsylvania children await permanency
- Over 1/3 of these children are between 5 and 8 years of age
- There are more boys than girls waiting
- About 70% of waiting children are members of a minority group