HHS Awards $11.6 Million to States for Increasing Adoptions
Friday, Sept. 8, 2006 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today awarded a total of $11.6 million to 21 states for increasing the number of children adopted from foster care. States use the adoption incentive awards to enhance their child welfare programs.
“Children in our nation’s foster care system need stable, loving families,” HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said. “Families that open their hearts and homes through adoption do a world of good. We are pleased to recognize states for strengthening their child welfare systems and increasing the number of children adopted.”
States receiving incentive payments completed more adoptions in 2005 than in the baseline year, which is the year with the highest number of adoptions for the period between 2002 through 2004. States get $4,000 for every child adopted beyond their best year’s total, plus a payment of $4,000 for every child aged nine and older and $2,000 for every special needs child adopted above the baseline year.
“States have shown their commitment to finding permanent, safe homes for children in foster care,” said HHS Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, Wade F. Horn, Ph.D. “Adoption incentive funds help states strengthen their child welfare systems, and over the past year we have seen the positive result -- more children placed into adoptive homes.”
In FY 2005, the total number of adoptions with public agency involvement is estimated at just below 51,500, up from about 50,700 in FY 2004. Approximately 300,000 children enter foster care every year. There are currently 518,000 children in the foster care system, and of these about 118,000 are waiting to be adopted. The average age of a child waiting to be adopted is 10 years. Each year about 19,000 young people “age out” of the system without ever having a permanent home.
The Bush Administration’s efforts to promote adoption also include the Collaboration to AdoptUsKids, a project to recruit and connect foster and adoptive families with waiting children throughout the United States. For more information about this collaboration, go to www.adoptuskids.org. Important steps have also been taken to expand the Promoting Safe and Stable Families program to encourage adoption at the local level and support adoptive families with services that ease a child’s transition into a new family. Further, the financial burden of adoption has been eased by increasing the maximum adoption tax credit to $10,960 beginning in 2006.
To view the complete list of adoption incentive awards, go to: www.acf.hhs.gov/news/press/2006/adoption_incentive_prog.htm
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