What is APPLA?
It’s a term that’s used to describe a plan for the future of a child in foster care.
If you know what you’re looking for, you can use a search engine to find out this acronym means: Alternative Planned Permanency Living Arrangement.
Last week in Washington DC Nicole Dobbins spoke to a room full of child welfare managers from around the country. And the letters (pronounced as a word) had a mournful sound when she spoke.
Beginning with her first removal from her birth family at the age of two, Nicole remembers growing up in foster care. She told the group how she felt when she learned about her state’s hierarchy of plans for the children, starting at reunification with birth parents. The list included placement with relatives, adoption by foster parents and adoption by a family formerly unknown to the child. At the bottom of the hierarchy was … APPLA.
Nicole said no one ever talked to her about adoption. The plan had always been an “alternative living arrangement”.
Caught up in the impersonal nature of it all, she exclaimed to her caseworker, “You mean I was sent straight to Appla? Straight to the bottom?”
Despite the disadvantages and the loneliness of working her way through college without parents, Nicole has created a plan for herself. She has created a group of friends and a surrogate family of people who care about her.
Today Nicole is Executive Director of Voice For Adoption, speaking out on behalf of our country’s most vulnerable children. www.voice-for-adoption.org
We should listen to what she has to say because she knows all about APPLA.
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Tags: adopt, Adopt waiting children, Adopting, Adoption, Adoption Exchange, Adoption Lives Transformed, Adoption Process, Adoption Resouces, Adoption Stories, adoptive families, adoptive parents, Child Welfare, Children who wait, Dixie van de Flier, The Adoption Exchange