Thursday, November 22, 2007

Research Shows Importance of Post-Adoption Services

Two new articles highlight the need for ongoing support for children adopted from the foster care system. The first, "Adopted foster youths’ psychosocial functioning: a longitudinal perspective," in the November 2007 issue of Child & Family Social Work compared youth adopted from foster care with adopted non-foster children. Researchers asked parents to complete an inventory of behavioral problems at about two, four, and eight years after the adoption. The authors founds that "a striking number" of the former foster children had behavior problems, far exceeding those found in the general population.

The second article, "Influences of Risk History and Adoption Preparation on Post-Adoption Services Use in U.S. Adoptions," in the October issue of Family Relations, found the usage of post-adoption services (including casework, support groups, and clinical services) during the six-year study period. Those families who adopted children with special needs were more likely to use clinical post-adoption services. As the abstract notes, the study "[f]indings support the need for long-term post-adoption services for adoptive families, especially for families who adopt a child with special needs."

The federal government must dedicate new resources to enable states to create and maintain effective post-adoption services.

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