Essential Post-Adoption Services For The Local Church: A Multi Case Study
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ABSTRACT ESSENTIAL POST-ADOPTION SERVICES FOR THE LOCAL CHURCH: A MULTI-CASE STUDY Emmanuela Nsang Nyam, Ed.D. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2015 Chair: Dr. Anthony W. Foster The purpose of this study was to identify the key post-adoption support services (PAS) of selected exemplar churches in order to describe these practices and to suggest what an effective post-adoption ministry could look like in a local church. So, this thesis sought to answer the question: “What are the essential post-adoption services of the local church?” To answer the research question and provide generalizations of the results for post-adoption (PA) ministries in the local church, a descriptive mixed-methods study was used to show the different perspectives and approaches to this issue. This method utilized both qualitative and quantitative forms of data such as interviews, documents and surveys. Five post-adoption ministries of the local church were studied to determine this phenomenon and it was realized that the post-adoption services of these local churches have some essential practices and services necessary for addressing the post-adoption issues of adoptive families. Five main themes emerged that described the PA practices of these local churches. They included the fundamental basis of the gospel for post adoption practice, understanding the issues faced by adoptive families and customizing services to fit these needs, connecting families to community (both locally and nationally) for support, enabling ministry accessibility, and partnering with external adoption ministries or adoption experts. Several services emerged from the results and were grouped into four elements of essential services. These components were crisis management (spiritual, psychological and emotional) support services, educational/informational support services, celebratory support services, and practical/material support services. For that reason it was concluded that these five categories of practices of the post adoption ministries of these local churches and the four components of essential services could form a general taxonomy for local churches to use for establishing an effective post adoption support ministry within their church.