Region 8 Parents Review Adoption Process with DHS Officials - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Heather Flanigan Reports

Region 8 Parents Review Adoption Process with DHS Officials

August 24, 2007 - Posted at 9:02 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR -  K8 News first introduced Region 8 to the Vore family back in July.    Reporter Heather Flanigan sat down with the family who expressed their concern about the adoption system in Arkansas. 

They were working with a group called the Adoption Coalition to help change the Division of Family Services and make it easier to adopt. 

Friday, the Vore's, along with dozens of other families met with DFS officials in Jonesboro.

"Timeliness, lost paperwork, human error goes along with it and we are trying to get it down to where it's acceptable instances instead of making lost paperwork the exception as opposed to the rule," said Michael Vore.

Vore is just one of many who shares his frustration with the adoption process.

"Overall experience, painful," said Tracey Weisboeck.

Wiesboeck had hoped to expand her family and adopt five children.  She says DHS officials wouldn't return phone calls and forgot to add her name to the list.         

"Our case worker keeps calling and wants to place us with children and we've had to tell him no more children until these five are set. Which is very, very hard to do knowing that there are other children out there," said Weisboeck.

"We want to get good, appropriate, loving homes for each child who is waiting and needs a home," said DHS director Pat Page.

Page says she's already met with some families in Region 8, trying to sort through the issues.

"Sometimes it's training, sometimes it's a staffing issue, but that's what we are here for is to identify what those issues are and then address them and then work together to make sure it's a smooth process and one that's responsive to people and helps find homes for these children," said Page.

Weisboeck says she feels the system failed the children she hoped to adopt...as they are now all split up, including a set of twins.

"They chose three different counties hours away.  They don't see each other. These are children that have been through hell.  And they were rescued by a system that was supposed to keep them safe, that was supposed to keep them together," said Weisboeck.

Currently there are over 300 children waiting to be adopted in Arkansas foster care.

Friday, the Vore's, along with dozens of other families met with DFS officials in Jonesboro.

"Timeliness, lost paperwork, human error goes along with it and we are trying to get it down to where it's acceptable instances instead of making lost paperwork the exception as opposed to the rule," said Michael Vore.

Vore is just one of many who shares his frustration with the adoption process.

"Overall experience, painful," said Tracey Weisboeck.

Wiesboeck had hoped to expand her family and adopt five children.  She says DHS officials wouldn't return phone calls and forgot to add her name to the list.          

"Our case worker keeps calling and wants to place us with children and we've had to tell him no more children until these five are set. Which is very, very hard to do knowing that there are other children out there," said Weisboeck.

"We want to get good, appropriate, loving homes for each child who is waiting and needs a home," said DHS director Pat Page.

Page says she's already met with some families in Region 8, trying to sort through the issues.

 "Sometimes it's training, sometimes it's a staffing issue, but that's what we are here for is to identify what those issues are and then address them and then work together to make sure it's a smooth process and one that's responsive to people and helps find homes for these children," said Page.

Weisboeck says she feels the system failed the children she hoped to adopt...as they are now all split up, including a set of twins.

"They chose three different counties hours away.  They don't see each other. These are children that have been through hell.  And they were rescued by a system that was supposed to keep them safe, that was supposed to keep them together," said Weisboeck.

Currently there are over 300 children waiting to be adopted in Arkansas foster care.

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