Kids Raised by the Government

By Ira M. Schwartz; Gideon Fishman | Go to book overview

Increasing placements with relatives may promote permanency. There are serious questions, however, about whether relative placements lead to adoption. Relatives may adopt, and more of them appear to be adopting. Adoption by relatives is another issue that needs further exploration. For example, when faced with a choice, when is it better to place a child with a relative as compared to an adoptive home? What criteria should be used to make such decisions?

We found evidence suggesting that subsidies may be an important incentive for encouraging adoptions. It does not necessarily follow, however, that more subsidies lead to more adoptions. This issue needs to be examined swiftly and carefully in other states because of the significant amount of dollars going into it. Policymakers and child welfare professionals would also be well advised to consider how subsidies could be made more effective, particularly with underrepresented populations being placed for adoption. It would also be fruitful to explore other kinds of incentives that may be helpful in this area. For example, what might be the impact of providing fiscal incentives to child welfare workers to get more children adopted? Would this reduce the number of children relegated to permanent foster care and being raised by the government? Some carefully developed and researched experiments in this area might prove useful in answering these questions.

Finally, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and child advocates in the states need to develop policies and procedures that will expedite adoptions without trampling on the rights of natural birth parents.


REFERENCES

Barth R. P.; Berry M.; Yoshikami; R., Goodfield; R. K., and Carson M. L. ( 1988). Predicting adoption disruption. Social Work, 33, 227-33.

Child Welfare League of America ( CWLA). ( 1997). See Petit and Curtis.

Courtney M. ( 1993). Standardized outcome evaluation of child welfare services out-ofhome care: Problems and possibilities. Children and Youth Services Review, 15, 349-69.

Finch S. J.; Fanschel D.; and Grundy J. F. ( 1991). Data collection in adoption and foster care. Washington, DC: Child Welfare League of America.

Flango. ( 1990). Agency and private adoptions, by state. Child Welfare, 49(3), 263-75.

Hairston C. F.; and Williams V. G. ( 1989). Black adoptive parents: How they view agency adoption practices. Social Casework, 70(9), 534-38.

Hearing before the Subcommittee on Human Resources. ( 1991). Testimony given by Marcia Robinson Lowry, Children's Rights Project of the ACLU Foundation (Serial 102-5). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Hewlett S. A. and West C. ( 1998). The war against parents: What we can do for America's beleaguered moms and dads. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Maluccio A. N.; Fein E.; and Davies I. P. ( 1994). Family reunification: Research findings, issues, and directions. Child Welfare, 73(5), 489-504.

Maluccio A. N.; Warsh R.; and Pine B. A. ( 1993). Rethinking family reunification after foster care. Community Alternatives, 5(2), 1-17.

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Kids Raised by the Government
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • List of Tables and Figures 7
  • Preface 9
  • Acknowledgments 13
  • Chapter 1 - A Wake-Up Call for the Child Welfare System 15
  • References 34
  • Chapter 2 - Child Welfare Reform: An Elusive Goal 37
  • References 49
  • Chapter 3 - The Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act: Good Intentions Gone Awry 53
  • References 68
  • Chapter 4 - Adopted: Who is and Who Isn't? 71
  • References 85
  • Chapter 5 - Child Welfare and Delinquency: Between Compassion and Control 87
  • References 101
  • Chapter 6 - The Role of Residential Care 103
  • References 115
  • Chapter 7 - Public Policy and Child Welfare: Agenda for the 21st Century 117
  • References 142
  • Index 145
  • About the Authors *
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