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Director of International Adoption

Location: New York
Last Date: January 5, 2011

Spence-Chapin (  ) is a not-for profit, non-sectarian adoption agency providing international and domestic adoption services, options counseling and support for women facing unplanned pregnancies, and a continuum of support for adoptees, birth families, and adoptive parents throughout their lifetimes. Started over 100 years ago and located on the upper east side of Manhattan, the agency has satellite offices in New Jersey and Long Island.

The international program is one of the agency's highest priorities. Spence-Chapin has been helping overseas children find families in the United States since the 1970’s, when the agency’s Korea program began. The program has grown dramatically over the last 15 years and diminished in recent years as more countries have opened up and then closed to international adoption of abandoned or institutionalized children. Yet tens of millions of children around the world are growing up without families, and we are committed to helping as many as possible find permanent families. Today, our international programs include Korea, China, Moldova, Bulgaria, Colombia and the Congo.


The Director of International Adoption reports to the Associate Executive Director for Program and is part of the leadership team at Spence-Chapin. He or she provides direction and management of a professional staff of about 20 social workers and related positions. The director oversees the entire process of international adoption, from the recruitment of adoptive families, their assessment, their preparation for adoptive parenting, the referral of a child to a family, post-adoption supervision and support, and the safe and ethical operation of our programs overseas. He or she has as a major goal managing the development of the agency's international programs in participating countries in Asia, Latin American, Eastern Europe, and Africa. The Director of International Adoption should be knowledgeable about child welfare and child development, especially the issues related to the adoption of older children or children with special needs. This is a highly visible position within the agency and the international adoption community.


Will be responsible for managing all international adoption programs and staff to ensure safe, ethical adoptions. Determines appropriate departmental structure; develops an effective and cohesive team. Develops, updates and implements departmental policies and procedures to insure a quality program and the best possible service for clients. Guides department’s approach for client recruitment, assessment, and preparation for adoptive parenting. Insures
sound clinical practices.

Oversees and facilitates growth in the international program. Initiates new programs and models of practice to maintain the agency's high standards of practice within the international adoption program.

Engages quality representatives in the foreign countries who represent the agency's highly professional practices and maintain its ethical standards. Supports ongoing programs in those countries and help program staff resolve problems.

Insures that staff keeps abreast of changes the foreign and domestic laws and regulations affecting international adoption , including INS rules, the implementation of the Hague Convention in the U.S and other legislation that may be pertinent.

Works closely with department responsible for developing humanitarian aid programs supporting orphanages and promoting the welfare of children overseas.

Identifies and implements regular program of professional training and development for staff.

Supports and participates in Spence-Chapin's fundraising, public relations and educational activities: community outreach, presentations, workshops, media interviews.
Additional Qualifications:
Seasoned professional with a sound background in management, problem-solving and program development. A strong, adaptable manager who is open to challenges and changes, a team player who also can function independently, assume responsibility and provide direction.

Innovative leader who will take initiative in building and supporting a growing program.

Ability to provide staff, clients and workers from various countries with leadership and guidance regarding the issues of international adoptions.

Sound judgment and the ability to evaluate programs and resources in other countries.

Ability to make decisions or intervene in difficult or complex cases and resolve problems as they arise.

Passionate commitment to the welfare of children and the mission of Spence-Chapin.

A commitment to the full breath of responsibilities of this position, including a flexible work schedule in order to attend evening and weekend events, international travel 3-4 times a year.

The following will be considered: Master's degree in Social Work, Psychology, or related field; a law degree with experience in social services; an MPA, MBA, or MPH with management, social service, not-for-profit, or overseas program development experience.

How to Apply:
Please send resumes and cover letter stating salary requirement to Spence-Chapin, Human Resources Department, 410 East 92nd Street, New York, NY 10128, or e-mail to  or fax to (212) 360-0269



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