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Increasing numbers of social workers are using computers to match prospective adoptive parents with children who have SPECIAL NEEDS. All state adoption offices in the United States have computers that link them to the NATIONAL ADOPTION CENTER and CAP and their telecommunications system, allowing social workers to communicate with each other about the availability of families for their WAITING CHILDREN and giving them access to adoption information quickly and efficiently.

Initial reservations about the use of computers focused primarily on the lack of understanding about how they could be used in adoption, as well as some apprehension about technology. Today, however, an increased number of social workers are using computers, relying on their speed and efficiency to aid in the placement of children with special needs. Those who use computers testify that they have eased their caseloads and have increased their ability to find families for their waiting children. The use of computers has also proven to be cost-effective. The Internet has also played an important role in both recruitment and dissemination of information, especially for U.S. children with special needs. (See also NATIONAL ADOPTION NETWORK; SUPPORT GROUPS.)

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