Wednesday, May 14, 2008

More Children and Youth Waiting for a Family

The release of the latest AFCARS data shows that even more foster children and youth—129,000 in FY 2006 up from 114,000 in 2005—are waiting for a permanent, loving family. Sadly, the data also shows that more than 26,000 youth aged out of care in FY 2006 without finding a family—higher numbers than we've seen before. Adoptions from foster care remained steady at 51,000, and the overall number of children in care dropped slightly.

Clearly, there is a need for increased federal and state attention to finding and supporting families for foster children who cannot return home. It's time for legislative action that provides federal support of subsidized guardianship, increases access to adoption assistance, and enhances post-adoption support. Changes such as these would all help ensure that every child finds the permanent, loving family he needs and deserves, and that eventually no child leaves care without a legal connection to a family.

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