This is a shame because it should be about getting children homes and not about control.
I emailed back asking if she would like me to explain the whole thing, to which I received the response that she had already adopted many times and didn't need anyone to explain how the whole thing worked.
I wrote back and apologized if she felt I was insulting her and asked her forgiveness. But I wanted to explain it all to her so that she would know that it is not all about control for me. But since she apparently isn't interested, I think I'll explain it to you to get it off my chest. Grant it, you might not be interested either, but you can easily stop reading.
During the month of February I have posted 60 situations about children to our network that I have received from social workers. It takes me about 15 minutes to post a situation, and if it received a lot of response, about an hour to do all the follow up on each one. While I currently do get paid, I spent years doing the same thing as a volunteer. If you know me very well at all you know that I am passionate about finding homes for kids.
So, why won't I pass on contact info of social workers to families? Let me explain.
Back in 2003 I started speaking to social workers and I met some very great people who are incredibly overworked. With caseloads of anywhere from 25-50 kids each, they are swamped. Not only do they have to find families for these kids, but they also serve as their social worker -- making monthly visits, coordinating staffings at RTCs, at times attending IEP meetings, doctors appointments, etc. I think you're getting the picture.
At that point I understood why workers weren't able to answer everyone's phone call. Most of the workers have several very difficult cases of teenagers, but once and a while they will get an "easy" kid -- a child under 5. If that is the case, all of the sudden they have hundreds of families interested. People are calling and competing and studies are coming in in droves. They are overwhlemed.
So yes, it is about control. It is about controlling the time of social workers for their "easy" cases, so that they have time to focus on the harder cases -- the ones closer to 18 who may age out.
I could go on about this forever, but at the risk of making more people angry, let me simply say this.
I understand if you would like to have a child under 5. Most people who are looking to adopt would. But there just aren't that many out there. So the huge competition for these kids is huge and sometimes can be quite unfriendly.
The kids under five will get homes. They will most likely find homes for them in their own state or possibly even in their own county. And while I'm not going to refuse to help a worker asking for help for a child that young, they aren't going to be my focus.
SO I guess the bottom line is that maybe it is a bit about control -- but the control is not about this being a lucrative business (another accusation in the 2nd email) because AAN is a non profit and charges no fees. It's about controlling the privacy and time of overworked social workers so that they have time for the older children who have been waiting for years.
I wrote a free ebook about the whole matching process that you can download here if you are interested....
So my response to the troubling email regarding philosophy is above. It helps my emotional response which I always have when I get criticized when I'm working so hard. But I'm not asking for sympathy or anything -- just understanding. And I usually get that from y'all :-)