Types of Workers

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Foster Care Case Managers (aka Foster Care Workers)
Foster Care Case Managers look after the child in the foster home and make sure the family is providing the child with everything they need to live – food, shelter, clothing, nurturing, help with homework, etc. Your foster care worker wants to make sure that you are safe, happy, and doing well. If you ever have problems in your foster home or questions about foster care, this is the worker you would call.

Adoption Specialists
Adoption Specialists focus on finding a family to adopt the child his or her parents rights have been terminated. Sometimes, the foster family or relatives are able to adopt a child placed in their home and the adoption worker will help the family fill out the forms and assess them for adoption. Other times, the foster family cannot adopt a child in their home and the adoption worker needs to find other families who want to adopt the child. The adoption specialist will start recruitment activities, such as photolisting the child on MARE and AdoptUSKids, they will go with the child to Meet and Greets  and other recruitment events, and anything else they can do to find a family for the child. Youth should contact their adoption specialist if they have questions or to discuss their feelings about adoption.

Guardian ad Litem (GAL)
GALs are court-appointed lawyers who look after the well-being of the child and report back to the court their recommendations. GALs often work closely with agencies and workers to determine the best options for the child. You should call your GAL if you have legal questions. If you are nervous calling them, you can also talk to your foster care and/or adoption specialist and they can relay the messages to your GAL.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to monitor a child’s case and advocate for the child’s needs. They stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. You can learn more about CASA volunteers by visiting their webpage.


Adoption Resource Consultants (ARCs) and Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK) recruiters are like adoption specialists who help connect waiting youth with family members from their past or even some family members they may have not known or met. Recruiters also help assess and engage new recruited families who may not have been studied for adoption yet and who are interested in specific youth in need of an adoptive family. Photolisted youth on MARE who have been available for adoption for more than a year get to work with an Adoption Resource Consultant (ARC). Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK) recruiters are part of the Dave Thomas Foundation. Did you know that Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s Restaurants was adopted? The Dave Thomas Foundation works to help recruit families to adopt youth and educate families about how to start the adoption process. Not every youth in care will have a WWK recruiter or an ARC worker, but if you want to know more about recruiters, ask your adoption specialist.