States at Work: Implementing the Adoption and Safe Families Act, Part I
According to the authors, in 1997, President Clinton signed into law the Adoption and Safe Families Act. This legislation represents an important landmark in Federal child welfare law. Since the passage of this law, States have made strides in removing the barriers between children waiting in foster care and permanent families. The authors write that the time it takes to achieve permanency for children in the child welfare system is decreasing, adoptions and other placements are increasing, and efforts to protect children are being enhanced. According to the authors, States now receive incentive payments for increasing adoptions, and the payments are based on the average number of adoptions completed by each State between fiscal years. States are using a variety of methods to increase adoption of children in foster care, including using the Internet to publicize children who are available for adoption, moving more quickly to terminate parental rights when appropriate, and forming partnershipswith private agencies to find adoptive parents. This report is the first in a new series that highlights the practices and policies in place nationwide to implement the Act. This first report features successful adoption practices; succeeding reports will focus on innovative practices in child protection, foster care, and other permanency options. The series is based on a survey the American Public Human Services Association conducted to determine how States are implementing the Act. Forty-six States and the District of Columbia responded to the survey. A total of 39 States and the District of Columbia shared their best practices that are producing the best results in achieving permanency for the children in their care.