Magazine article Policy & Practice

Adoption Change Helps Foster Parents

Magazine article Policy & Practice

Adoption Change Helps Foster Parents

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The D.C. Council passed emergency legislation in late April to make it easier for foster families to provide permanent homes for children, especially older ones, who often languish in the child welfare system.

For years, some foster parents who wanted to adopt or to become legal guardians have opted not to because it would mean an earlier end to the subsidy that many rely on to help care for the children they take into their homes.

Under the new law, passed on April 20, instead of losing the subsidy when the child is 18, a legal guardian or adoptive parent will keep the subsidy until the child turns 21--the same age at which it ends for a foster child.

Advocates and experts say that few children, let alone those from troubled homes, are ready to support themselves at 18, and they have been pushing the District to recognize that reality.

After a bill to extend the subsidy was introduced last year, the legislation was rolled into a larger child welfare bill. …

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