Last spring, the Children’s Bureau issued a national Adoption Call to Action, a challenge to child welfare systems to reduce the number of children and youth waiting to be adopted in the United States.
Child welfare leaders, state adoption managers, and others have been poring over their state’s data, participating in national meetings, and implementing action plans with strategies to achieve permanence for many more children and youth who are waiting for adoption.
As part of this work, each state identified areas to focus on for their Adoption Call to Action efforts. Below are some focus areas that your state may have chosen and resources that support work in these areas.
Focus: Achieving permanency for older youth
Resource and suggested use: Talking with Older Youth About Adoption tip sheet, developed in collaboration with Child Welfare Information Gateway
- Provide all staff with a copy of the publication and schedule a discussion.
- Incorporate into new worker training packet.
- Post in the office.
Resource and suggested use: National Adoption Month website
- Includes a webinar featuring youth insights and extensive ideas from the field
- Share the link with staff. Ask them to watch the webinar, remind them of the importance of youth voices in permanency, and schedule discussions to keep the conversation active
Resource and suggested use: AdoptUSKids photolisting family finding tools
- Search for family matches for specific youth, whether or not they are photolisted with AdoptUSKids.
Focus: Using interjurisdictional placements effectively to achieve adoptions
Resources and suggested use: Key Elements and Strategies for Effective Interjurisdictional Work; Receiving State Checklist; Sending State Checklist
- Share with all staff involved in placement decisions.
- Incorporate into staff training packets.
- Share checklists and ask staff to print desk copy.
- Incorporate into staff training packet.
Focus: Achieving adoption for specific populations of youth
Can include sibling groups and those with complex needs or who have been waiting the longest to be adopted.
Resource and suggested use: AdoptUSKids photolisting family-finding tools
- Ask staff to schedule regular dates/times dedicated to searching for families for the specific populations.
- Use interns to conduct searches.
- Incorporate into new worker training.
Focus: Insufficient post-adoption support services
Resource and suggested use: Support Services Assessment Tool and companion guide
- Helps your child welfare system assess the quality and accessibility of support services and develop plans for strengthening the services where needed.
- Share with post-adoption staff and schedule discussion/planning sessions to strengthen your program. Assign a leader to drive the project.
Resource and suggested use: Peer-to-peer family support group for state, tribal, territorial leaders—and their private partners
- Assign a representative working on foster, adoption, and kinship support to participate regularly and report gained knowledge back to staff.
- Email us to learn more: firstname.lastname@example.org
Resource and suggested use: Tools, program models, and implementation insights on family support strategies
- Use when developing or improving post-adoption services
We’re here to help you!
AdoptUSKids provides free services to states, tribes, and territories, including tailored assistance based on your goals. We also facilitate peer connections among child welfare leaders and share promising practices and ideas from the field in our publications.
Learn more about our capacity-building services and how we can support your work. Contact us with questions: email@example.com.