Department of Social Services
AHA was engaged to evaluate the Intercountry Adoption Family Support Service (ICAFSS). ICAFSS provides practical and emotional support throughout the planning, adoption, and post-placement phases of intercountry adoption - it aims to assist with a range of issues and challenges faced by families formed as a result of intercountry adoption.
Intercountry adoption programs began in Australia in the 1960s and it is estimated that over 11,000 children have since been adopted into Australia from overseas.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports that over the ten years to June 2018, 1,417 children (all under 10) were adopted from overseas countries – from Taiwan (21%), Philippines (19%), South Korea (14%), China (14%), other Asian countries (15%), and other countries (17% – mainly South/Central American).
Since April 2016, ICAFSS has been funded by the Department of Social Services (DSS) to provide intercountry adoption services nationally. ICAFSS was delivered by LifeWorks Relationship Counselling and Education Services (LifeWorks), and International Social Service Australia (ISSA). ISSA operated in partnership with LifeWorks under a subcontracting arrangement.
Evaluation of the ICAFSS program
In April 2019, DSS engaged AHA to conduct an independent evaluation of the ICAFSS. AHA’s role included:
AHA used a mixed-methods approach to conduct the evaluation and produce comprehensive findings and report The evaluation included:
AHA presented and received feedback on the findings of the draft final report, to DSS representatives in Canberra, which facilitated rapid completion of the final report.
Over the ten years to June 2018, 1,417 children (all under 10) were adopted from overseas countries – from Taiwan (21%), Philippines (19%), South Korea (14%), China (14%), other Asian countries (15%), and other countries (17% - mainly South/Central American).