$14.5 Million Awarded To States For Increasing Adoptions
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has announced $14.5 million in payments to 24 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico for increasing the number of children adopted from state-supervised foster care in fiscal year 2004.
ACF is providing an incentive payment to states that completed more adoptions in 2004 than in the baseline year, which is the higher year of 2002 or 2003. Payments are also given for increases in the adoption of older children, as well as for children with special needs.
States receive $4,000 for every child adopted beyond its best year’s total, plus a payment of $4,000 for every child aged nine and older, and $2,000 for every special needs child adopted above the baseline year.
“These awards recognize the substantial progress states are making in finding permanent adoptive families for children in foster care,” said Wade F. Horn, Ph.D., HHS’ assistant secretary for children and families. “The incentives awarded for older children are particularly important, because about half the children in foster are at least nine years old and are at risk of aging out of foster care with no ties to a permanent, loving family.”
The adoption incentive awards were originally enacted as part of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, and more recently were extended and expanded to focus on older youth by the Adoption Promotion Act of 2003. Each year about 51,000 children nationwide are adopted from foster care.
The effort to promote adoption also include a Web site, www.adoptuskids.org., which links children in foster care with potential adoptive families across the country.
Launched in July 2002, the web site features approximately 3,700 children in foster care and directs interested families to appropriate state agencies for more information. As of today, over 5,000 children from this site have been placed into permanent homes.