Supporting foster care adoptions from beyond the beltway
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Supporting Foster Care Adoptions from Beyond the Beltway. Marci McCoy-Roth. Presented  to  Eighth Annual Adoption Policy Conference  New  York,  NY March 4, 2011.  Twitter/ childtrends  :. Overview. Pew - Kids Are Waiting Campaign

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Supporting Foster Care Adoptions from Beyond the Beltway

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Supporting Foster Care Adoptions from Beyond the Beltway

Marci McCoy-Roth

Presented  to  Eighth Annual

Adoption Policy Conference 

New  York,  NY

March 4, 2011 Twitter/childtrends


  • Pew - Kids Are Waiting Campaign

  • Child Trends -

  • Trends in foster care adoptions

  • What the laws say about adoptions as a permanency option

  • Observations about political support for adoption

Child Trends’ Mission

Child Trends seeks to improve outcomes for children by providing research and analysis to the people and institutions whose decisions and actions affect children:

  • Programs that serve children and families

  • Policy makers

  • Foundations and philanthropists

  • The media

2007 & the Kids Are Waiting Campaign

…Please don’t turn your back on me.

Pew’s goals

  • To address the federal financing incentives that contribute to children languishing in foster care, and

  • To increase court accountability for moving children more quickly to safe, permanent families

Pew and the Kids Are Waiting campaign provides timely and reliable tools and information on all aspects of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act to ensure that state, tribal and local decision makers are well-informed and receive maximum support as they plan for and carry out its implementation.

Adoption and Safe Families Act (1997)

  • Response to growing concerns children were waiting too long in foster care for permanent families.

  • Promoted adoption and other permanent living arrangements for children in foster care.

  • Created Adoption Incentive Program to reward states for increasing adoptions

  • New judicial time limits to govern decision making on foster care cases and move children toward permanency

  • Authorized funding stream Promoting Safe and Stable Families to support reunification services AND adoption promotion and support services.

More Progress for Children and Families in 2008

The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (P.L. 110-351):

  • Includes most significant federal reforms for abused and neglected children in more than a decade

Children Adopted with Public Involvement (1998-2009)

Children Waiting to be Adopted from foster care (1998-2009)

But children still waiting a long time for adoption

Average Length of Stay in Foster Care, for Children Adopted in 1998-2009 (months)

Relationship of adoptive parents to children before adoption (1998-2009)

Adoption as a unifying issue

  • Bipartisan support

  • For example, FCA passed through unanimous consent

  • Adoption will always be part of a package of different permanency options for kids, it is the best route for most children to have a safe, permanent family for the long run.


Fostering Connections through Adoptions, Trends in adoptions from foster care in the wake of child welfare reforms, by Kerry DeVooght, Karin Malm, Sharon Vandivere, and Marci McCoy-Roth


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