Paths for Families Paths for Families


  • Navigating Adoption
    I’m Pregnant

    I’m Pregnant

    If you're facing an unintended pregnancy or have recently given birth, we're here for you with free and confidential all-options counseling, resources, and support. Call our pregnancy counselors 24/7 at 800-439-0233.

    I Want to Adopt

    I Want to Adopt

    Browse our network of adoption services including infant and foster care adoption, home studies, and post-adoption support.

    I Need Post-Adoption Support

    I Need Post-Adoption Support

    Explore our network of services including specialized counseling and support groups that help to stabilize and improve behavioral health symptoms.

  • Counseling & Support
  • Training & Education


Looking for Adoptions Together or FamilyWorks Together? New name, same us. Here’s why!

Our History

In 1990, an action-oriented social worker named Janice Goldwater decides to start an agency that will welcome every child in need of a family. Through over 3 decades since these beginnings, Paths for Families has grown to be an adoption and family well-being organization that partners with communities dedicated to the life-long work of building and sustaining families.


Janice Goldwater

Janice Goldwater

With a clear vision to build a more equitable child and family welfare system, Janice Goldwater founded Paths for Families in 1990. As a social worker, community advocate, and passionate lifelong learner, Janice has always been driven to enhance human connection through understanding. While there have been many remarkable milestones leading the organization for 34 years, she has significantly led Paths for Families to serve more than 15,000 families, expanded its counseling and placement services, and steered a strategic rebrand in 2023. Throughout her career journey, she proudly raised four children, who joined her family through birth and adoption.

Connect with Janice on LinkedIn


Identified gap in services

Our region was failing its children and families as poverty and the crack cocaine had become endemic and the child welfare system was overwhelmed with need. Exposed infants were spending months and years in the hospital. Children removed from birth family due to abuse or neglect were growing up in public foster care and aging out to homelessness at 18. Healthy majority race infants were welcomed with resources to begin life with the stability their birth parents seek. Closed adoption was the prevailing community practice, yet research and practice told us that openness is better for children. Opportunities to adopt children were limited based on religion, race, sexual orientation, age and marital status of prospective parents. Adoptees and their families sought mental health services and needs were not understood or being met.


September 18th, 1990

Adoptions Together becomes a licensed child placement agency in Maryland. Hospitals and parents in crisis learn that they can reach us, and we will come to them 24/7 to prevent any child from being abandoned. Two weeks later our first child is welcomed, the birth and adoptive parents meet, and the child is adopted. Before the end of 1990, nine more children would have the same outcome.

First Fall Family Day (Celebration of Family)

The annual event, which has taken place every year of our existence, kicked off in the autumn of 1991

International Adoption begins

In 1992, Janice Pearce leads an effort to start an inter-country adoption program in Eastern Europe.

First Federal Grant

Adoptions Together applied for and was granted its first federal grant from Health and Human Services for Project Succeed, a project that would enhance parent and school relationships to give parents the tools and support to navigate their children's learning differences.

Center for Adoptive Families

Counseling and training programs are formalized, and more post adoption programing offered to the community.

International Adoption expands

Xiumin Overall contacts Adoptions Together to explore working together to find families for babies and young children in China.

First annual Kids Conference and First Annual Parents and Professionals conferences

Building Black Adoptive Families (BBAF)

With an increase of African American infants in need of adoption, the agency reaches out and invites the black community to help shine a light on the need for adoptive parents and adapt practice to be more culturally competent.

1995 - 1999


Adoptions Together facilitated the agency's first placement through the public foster care system. This was a sibling group of 3 and spurred the foundation of our AdoptionWorks program.


Partnered with Local Departments of Social Services around the state of Maryland to provide post adoption support groups to families. These jurisdictions included Montgomery, Prince George’s, Howard, and Baltimore County


The agency recieves state funding to kick off AdoptionWorks to place Maryland children in foster care with adoptive parents

2000 - 2004

AdoptionWorks (now known as Foster Care Adoption) placed its first sibling group from foster care

Janice Goldwater named Angel of Adoption by The Congressional Coalition

2002: Project if Not Us starts

The agency receives a 3 year federal contract beginning in 2004 for this project, which was focused on recruitment of parents for African American males living in foster care.

2004: Expansion into Virginia


2007: Post Permanency Family Center established

Permanency Opportunity Project launched

The project focused on intensive family finding for youth in care.

2009: Received International Hague Accreditation from the Council on Accreditation


Parent Advocate Project began

PAP offered mentoring from parents with lived experience to parents working on reunification.

FFSD family finding partnership with BCDSS launched

Since 2012, our family finding program has located permanent family connections for hundreds of local youth in temporary placements.


Provided trauma-informed care for children in the Ukraine.

Featured youth from the Heart Gallery on digital displays throughout Baltimore.


Pivoted services in pandemic by providing all of our services virtually and in person when needed.

Expanded community organizations training in trauma informed care

In 2022, the agency launches transformative process to imbue IDEAS Principles into all organizational practices.

IDEAS principles are Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access, and Social Justice.

Awarded federal funding for Transforming Prince Georges County through Trauma Informed Care.