Weekly News Digest: November 23rd through November 29th, 2017

In Our City

  • The Chronicle of Social Change reports on legislation being considered by the NY Senate that would stop subsidy payments to adoptive parents who are no longer caring for their child and potentially reroute that money to the adoptee themselves. According to one children’s legal advocacy organization in NY at least 20% of their clientele have experienced a disrupted adoption at least once. Some service organizations and advocacy groups in NY though warn the bill may unfairly penalize parents who are experiencing normal family tensions during adolescence; for example, some posit that the bill could negatively impact parents who are trying to work with their child but the child has perhaps run away to stay with a friend or is otherwise struggling with difficulties that are common in adolescence, perhaps more so for those who have experienced trauma.

DAI Reflection: Post adoption support services are urgently needed in order to preserve families and limit disruptions or dissolutions. Check out Building Strong Families for more information about supports and advocacy for post adoption support!

Foster Youth Deserve Supports

  • In a new report by Child Trends, researchers learn that many foster youths are leaving the system when they turn 18 although forty states offer some form of support until the youth turn 21. An article in Youth Today discusses the variety of concerns that happen when youth prematurely exit care without a permanent and supportive living arrangement.
  • The New York Times reports on non-profits that work to help youth who are disconnected, a term that encompasses youth who do not have a job and are not in high school and college. Often these young people have aged out or are close to aging out of the foster care system without a permanent and supportive living arrangement. The article highlights several successful national programs some of which began in the city of New York.

DAI Reflection: As a society it is critical that we comprehensively address the ongoing crises of youth exiting foster care without permanent supports and connections. This is all of our responsibility. Check out DAI’s Adoption in America Today report for more areas in need of our attention and reform.

Spotlight on Today’s Families

  • A piece in the Huffington Post celebrates LGBTQ families during National Adoption Awareness Month and calls attention to the fact that prospective parents who are LGBTQ are more open and ready than ever before to build or expand their families through adoption and foster care. Professionals have called special attention to the fact that members of the LGBTQ community are likely to adopt a second time having gone through the process once and are often choosing to adopt through the child welfare system.
  • The Human Rights Campaign has released a guide on engaging prospective Transgender and Non-Binary foster and adoptive parents. The guide, titled “Promising Practices for Serving Transgender and Non-Binary Foster and Adoptive Parents” is a tool to assist professionals who work in child welfare and adoption to recruit, certify and support qualified prospective parents who are Transgender and Non-Binary.

DAI Reflection: DAI applauds efforts to ensure service providers are trained and supported in being able to serve all different types of families and expand opportunities for children in need of a permanent home to join potentially qualified families. DAI is proud to be an ally and advocate for LGBTQ equality. Check out our policy advocacy in this area.