Newly Launched Site a National Model for Online Adoption Services
AUSTIN, TEXAS - Jan. 23, 2002 – The outlook has improved for hundreds of Texas children from difficult backgrounds and now awaiting adoption, with the recent launch of a new online child search Web site developed by Accenture and the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services.
The new site was designed to address a constant struggle of the agency’s Texas Adoption Resource and Exchange program – reaching and securing the interest of families willing to provide a loving home to older children, many of whom are from childhoods where trust, caring and love often were in short supply.
Featuring a database of 850 children waiting for adoption and registered in the Texas Adoption Resource Exchange, the new Web site provides prospective parents a way to easily locate children they may be able to adopt. The comprehensive information provided on the site includes photos, videos and sibling information, as well as details about the child’s physical, emotional, medical or other special needs. The online search is not only more convenient, but also minimizes the trial-and-error risk of inflicting emotional trauma upon both the child and prospective parents when a new adoption fails to work out as expected. The site is located at www.adoptchildren.org.
“These children have special needs, so helping a prospective adoptive family gain additional information is critical to them being placed in a loving family,” said Sean Toole, an Accenture associate partner. “When PRS came to us with an important need to upgrade their existing Web site – a need that was greater than their ability to fund it – we were pleased to be able to donate much of the time required to complete the project as a public service. This was a great opportunity to give something back to the community and hopefully improve the lives of some of these children. You can’t visit the site and not be moved by these children.”
Prospective parents can search by basic criteria, including the child’s gender, race and number of siblings, then use expanded search options to further narrow the field of candidates by medical, physical, emotional and special developmental needs. Once a prospective parent makes a selection, the site displays the child’s profile, photo and video as well as details about any special needs. The site is the first in the country to feature videos of children available for adoption.
“This new online service and the enhancements to our adoption exchange will expand the exposure of our children to prospective adoptive parents while enhancing our matchmaking abilities – increasing the probability of a successful transition into adoption for more children,” said Texas Director of Child Protective Services Sarah Webster. “And that’s good for the children, it’s good for the parents, and it’s certainly good for Texas.”
Caseworkers also can include in a child’s profile an online link to any adoptable brothers or sisters he or she may have - increasing the chance that they could be placed together in a new home. For the children’s protection, the Web site provides only the youth’s first name and identification number and does not reveal the child’s location. Prospective parents can submit an interest form that allows PRS to begin working with the prospective parents toward an adoption.
About the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services
PRS is responsible for Child and Adult Protective Services. The agency responds to allegations of abuse and neglect, provides preventive and protective services to families in need, licenses foster and adoptive parents and regulates child-care facilities. PRS contracts with 200 adoption agencies and more than 10,000 foster and adoptive homes. Its home page is www.tdprs.state.tx.us.
Accenture is the world’s leading management and technology services organization. Through its network of businesses approach — in which the company enhances its consulting and outsourcing expertise through alliances, affiliated companies and other capabilities — Accenture delivers innovations that help clients across all industries quickly realize their visions. With more than 75,000 people in 47 countries, the company generated net revenues of $11.44 billion for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2001. Its home page is www.accenture.com.