For every child . . . a family . . . forever.
Luck guided these children to us from all settings. Many face and have overcome challenges we cannot imagine. It takes time, patience, and understanding to help these children get their bearings and begin life’s journey again.
We believe every child has a loving understanding and supportive family that hasn’t found them yet. They are waiting to return the love you give. We just make the introductions. You make the family . . . a little bit bigger.
Northeast Ohio Adoption Services provides adoption and foster care services to teens and school-age children in the child welfare system by recruiting, preparing, and supporting specialized families.
Northeast Ohio Adoption Services will be recognized as the pre-eminent adoption resource for children, families, and Ohio’s child welfare agencies. We envision the day when there is a life-long family for every child.
At Northeast Ohio Adoption Services, we thrive on challenge. We expect high performance. We operate with a sense of urgency because children cannot wait and families should not have to.
Northeast Ohio Adoption Services
(NOAS) is a private, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) agency incorporated in 1978 for the purpose of developing and supporting lifelong adoptive families for children with special needs. The children NOAS serves are school-age, brothers and sisters, and children with physical, developmental, and emotional challenges.
Removed from birth families by court action, many of the children have experienced severe abuse and neglect, endured multiple placements in foster homes, group home care, and residential facilities.
From the beginning . . .
NOAS has been involved with many projects and programs since its inception.
(1975-1978) Adoption Project for Handicapped Children
The product of a three-year, federally funded Project, NOAS emerged as an independent, specialized adoption agency in 1978 with a staff of four and a budget of $80,000. With offices in Warren and Chagrin Falls, NOAS was currently licensed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to participate in the placement of children for adoption or in foster care (at both the treatment and family level care). NOAS also provided parent education, advocacy, and professional training.
(1984) Hine Memorial Fund of the Youngstown Foundation
The Hine Memorial Fund funded a NOAS program to develop adoptive families for children with developmental disabilities who most often spend their childhoods in institutions because of their perceived “unadoptability”.
(1986) The Eileen Lewis Memorial Endowment Fund
This Foundation was established to ensure the ongoing financial stability of the agency, and to perpetuate the philosophy of NOAS—that every child should have the opportunity to grow up in a family of his/her own. With the passing of NOAS founder, Barbara Lewis Roberts, in 1994, the Foundation’s name was changed to The Eileen Price Lewis, Barbara Lewis Roberts Foundation.
Also in 1986, NOAS developed a community-based treatment level foster care program for children with emotional and behavioral challenges who might otherwise be placed in more restrictive and costly institutional placements.
(1989) Mahoning County Family Preservation Council
The Council joined NOAS in 1989 to promote community and agency collaboration, coordination, and communication in order to strengthen services for families, and to decrease the need for placements of children outside their homes.
(1989-1991) Northeast Ohio Mental Health/Adoption Training Project
NOAS operated this Project in fifteen northeast Ohio counties to provide a referral and consultation network of mental health professionals, able to provide services to children and families regarding adoption issues.
(1990-1992) The Partners: A Post-Legal Adoption Services Project
NOAS operated the Project, which developed using a mental health model and offered a continuum of services, such as case management, family preservation, family life education, support groups, respite, medical, and financial consultation.
(1991-1993) Northeast Ohio Minority Recruitment Project
This Project was designed to increase adoptive placements of minority children, to reduce barriers to adoption for minority families, to operate a regional minority adoption exchange, and to provide cultural sensitivity and competence training to child welfare staff.
(1992-1996) Permanency Planning Project
This Project was designed to build upon the collaborative relationship between and among the Summit County Children Services Board, the Northeast Ohio Adoption Services, and the providers of residential treatment in this region. The goalsof the program were reunification with families of origin, placement with adoptive families, and development of other long-range family-type connections.
(1992-1999) Ohio Families for Kids
In 1991, with state funding, NOAS developed a program to teach independent living skills to teens growing up in the child welfare system. Ohio Families for Kids, funded by the ©Kellogg Co., provide answering andreferral services to prospective adoptive parents for nine counties in northeast Ohio.
(1993-1995) Northeast Ohio Adoptive Parent Leadership Circle Project
This Project, in collaboration with Summit County Children Services, offered leadership development to adoptive parents, provided support to adoptive parent support groups, and built a network of adoptive family support groups.
(1995-1998) Respite and Recreation Project
This Project, in collaboration with Kent State University’s School of Exercise, Leisure, and Sport, and NOAS provided respite to meet the special needs of each child, and thereby increase the stability of adoptive families through therapeutic recreation programming.
(1995-1999) Families for Teens
Families for Teens, another collaborative project with Summit County Children Services and Portage County Department of Human Services, coordinated the efforts of counties in Northeast Ohio to advocate for the rights of older teens to be adopted.
(1997-2000) Sisters and Brothers Together
In collaboration with the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services, this Project developed and implemented an initiative to eliminate barriers and increase the number of siblings placed together in adoptive homes. An important outcome of this Project was the placement of siblings and development of the Sibling Decision-Making Matrix. The Matrix is a step-by-step process that can be used by professionals in making sibling placement decisions. It has been adopted by Minnesota as the state standard for making sibling placements.
(2002-2006) Targeted Community Outreach
NOAS used the Targeted Community Outreach to demonstrate a radically different approach for recruiting new families by applying social marketing and community organizing theory/practice to the problem of too many waiting children, and by building community capacity to conduct targeted outreach efforts. Long-term outcomes include a strengthened sense of community support for waiting children and adoptive families, an increase in the number of adoptive parents, an increase in the number of adoptions, and a decrease in the time that children wait.
(2003-2008) Rural Targeted Community Outreach (RTCO) – READ THIS ONE!!!!!
RTCO, a federal demonstration, funded an opportunity for NOAS to implement the innovative social marketing/community organizing concepts developed in TCO grant in rural Ohio. The approach to recruiting adoptive families is rather unique in the child welfare system. Portage, Columbiana, Licking, and Knox Counties were pilot sites for RTCO.
Today . . .
NOAS enjoys a leadership role in Ohio in the field of foster care adoption because of its constant commitment to services that are high in quality, innovative in design, and sensitive to the positive qualities of each child and every family. NOAS offers a full range of services to children and families, including child assessment, child-specific media recruitment campaigns, comprehensive education for the preparation of families, post-placement, and post-legalization services.
NOAS does NOT charge fees to adoptive families. Services to families are funded through contracts with public children services agencies, fees for services, grants, donations, and fund raising.
Various volunteer opportunities occur throughout the year. Special fund raising events include an annual golf outing, spring flower sale, progressive dinner, and the Dave Thomas Celebrity Cookoff. Every year NOAS volunteers operate the Christmas Angel Tree project that brings together the good will of many individual and corporate donors to provide Christmas gifts for more than 400 foster, adopted. and waiting children throughout northeast Ohio.
In 2007, Northeast Ohio Adoption Services became a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK) program. A signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, WWK funds a NOAS recruiter to develop/recruit adoptive families for specific waiting children. Being involved with WWK has allowed NOAS to network with adoption agencies from all parts of North America.
Northeast Ohio Adoption Services has long been an innovator in special needs adoption. From the agency’s inception to today, federal demonstration grants in the areas of permanency planning for children, post-adoption family support, and respite and recreation for adoptive families have been developed and implemented. These projects focus on much needed services for children and families.