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Home > Advocacy > Advocacy Archives > The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-89)

 
 

CWLA Testimony Submitted to The House Subcommittee on Human Resources of the Committee on Ways and Means for the Hearing on the Implementation of the Adoption and Safe Families Act

April 8, 2003

© Child Welfare League of America. The content of these publications may not be reproduced in any way, including posting on the Internet, without the permission of CWLA. For permission to use material from CWLA's website or publications, contact us using our website assistance form.

The Child Welfare League of America welcomes this opportunity to submit testimony on behalf of more than 1,100 public and private nonprofit child-serving agencies nationwide on the implementation of the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) (PL 105-89) and the use of adoption incentive payments. This hearing represents an important opportunity to review the impact of the law and to take a look at what still needs to be done to ensure that all children in this country grow up in safe, nurturing families.

Positive Outcomes and Developments Since ASFA
The primary goal of ASFA was to ensure safety and expedite permanency for children in the child welfare system. This goal has been achieved in part. Although the entries in care appear to be static, the number of children in foster care has dropped slightly, as have the number of children waiting for adoption. 1 The most positive outcome appears to be the increase in the number of legalized adoptions. The annual number of adoptions increased by 57% since ASFA, from 37,000 in 1998 to 50,000 in 2001. 2 These numbers are much larger than projected, however, the role ASFA played in the increase is unclear because some states had already begun renewed adoption efforts prior to ASFA.

There are other important developments related to ASFA. States have taken the ASFA timeframes seriously. They have enacted new legislation and promulgated regulations to expedite permanency, consistent with ASFA. Jurisdictions are holding permanency hearings sooner, often practicing some type of concurrent planning, and establishing a more expedited track for filing petitions to terminate parental rights when reunification is not possible or appropriate. The length of time before deciding on a permanency plan has been reduced. States are looking for tools to assist in expediting permanency, including concurrent planning, guardianship, and kinship support. 3

In addition to the permanency option of adoption, there appears to be a broadening of the traditional notion of permanency in some states and localities. This includes states increasingly turning to relatives as a permanency option and making relatives a part of the permanency process. States report an increase in the use of temporary and permanent relative placements over the past few years. There are a number of new state initiatives in the areas of guardianship and kinship support. Some states are working to relieve relative burdens by using mediation and financial support to address relatives' needs, including guardianship programs and kinship assistance (subsidized and unsubsidized). 4

Additional practice improvements have been noted in some jurisdictions. There is an increased use of family-based approaches and interventions including family group conferencing, family mediation, and Family-to-Family and other neighborhood foster care approaches. These approaches stress non-adversarial, collaborative efforts to achieve permanency for children. Similarly, there is greater use of voluntary relinquishment and open adoption, especially in conjunction with concurrent planning and foster parent adoption.

Finally, to achieve timely permanency for children, in many jurisdictions, there has been an increased and continuing focus on collaboration between public and private agencies and across systems to improve permanency for children. 5
Areas Where Improvement is Needed
While ASFA has had some impact on increasing the number of adoptions from the foster care system, and possibly reducing the number of children in foster care, it is clear that more needs to be done. While there has been a decrease in number of children in foster care in the last year or two, there continue to be over 500,000 children in care. 6

Families continue to come to the attention of the child welfare system because targeted early intervention supports are not available. Without these services, many families will require intensive and extensive interventions. 7 Appropriate services for families whose children are already in care and who must meet the ASFA time frame are also lacking. In many communities, there continue to be insufficient substance abuse, mental health, and other treatment resources for families, as well as sufficient housing and economic supports. All families-whether formed through reunification, adoption, kinship guardianship, or another permanent plan-need follow-up support and assistance if they are to be successful. These services are rarely offered and are greatly needed to preserve permanency and prevent re-entry into the system.

Children of color continue to be over represented in the child welfare system. For all states, the rate of entry of African American children was higher than the rate for Caucasian children, and in 30 states it was more than 3 times higher. 8 Forty percent of the children in foster care are black, non-Hispanic, 38% are white non-Hispanic, 15% are Hispanic, and 2% are Native American. 9

The lack of preventive and treatment services appears to be also be particularly relevant for families of color, whose children are disproportionately represented in the child welfare system. 10 Preventive and treatment services need to be culturally competent and available in the family and child's language. In five states (NM, CA, AZ, CO and TX), over 30% of the children in the child welfare system are Hispanic. In both North and South Dakota, Native American children make up more than 25% of the children in foster care. 11 Further, AFCARS tells us that minority children are primarily adopted by single parents. 12 These parents, often relatives, need ongoing support by the agency, if they request it, so that they can best care for their children.

The age of children in foster care waiting to be adopted has increased dramatically and there has been limited success in moving older children and youth to permanency. The average age for a child to become legally free for adoption has increased, the median age of waiting children has increased, and over half of the waiting children are over 8 years old. 13 Concerted efforts are still needed to assist youth not only with independent living skills, but also with permanent, supportive relationships. For youth who enter the system at an older age, the use of voluntary relinquishment, open adoption, guardianship and other participatory approaches, are needed to assist youth and their families to achieve permanency.

Additionally, although the time from removal to termination of parental rights (TPR) has decreased, the time from TPR to adoption has increased, with the total time in care for waiting children remaining constant at 44 months. 14 Adoption work is intense and time consuming if done right. Yet, child welfare caseloads for adoption workers are increasing. Just this week, the Wisconsin Department of Family Services proposed eliminating 12.5 special needs adoption workers and five offices due to a 3.2 billion state budget shortfall.

Workforce issues pose a challenge to ensuring children's safety and care. A major challenge in reducing the number of children entering or remaining in out-of-home care or waiting for an adoptive family lies in the ability of a well-staffed and well-trained child welfare workforce. Caseworkers must assist families that are experiencing difficult and chronic family problems. They must also achieve the goals of safety and permanency and make lifetime decisions for the child within the ASFA timelines. Yet, the safety and permanency of children is hampered due to large caseloads, caseworker turnover and minimal training.

The need for foster and adoptive families continues to grow. In fiscal year 2001, the federal government reported that foster parents adopted 59% of the children from the foster care system. 15 Many states are instituting expedited permanency planning systems that seek to place foster children with "resource families" who will eventually become the adoptive parents. Despite this trend, the need for unrelated adoptive families has not diminished because there continue to be waiting children.

Geographic barriers continue to delay adoptive placement for some children. ASFA mandated that barriers to inter-jurisdictional adoptive placement be eliminated. Adoption 2002, a report issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), noted the following geographic barriers to adoptive placements: lack of dissemination of information about waiting families and children; reluctance on the part of agencies to conduct home studies to place children who are outside their jurisdictions; reluctance of agencies to accept some studies conducted by agencies in other jurisdictions, difficulties in transferring Medicaid benefits; and issues with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC). 16 Although there is a national Internet Photolisting service, AdoptUsKids, and many states have Internet registries that feature waiting children and families, workers do not often search these registries for families. Many remain reluctant to list available families, or to utilize families from other jurisdictions. Yet, adoption recruitment has become increasingly national, even global, in scope, and in order to ensure that children are placed in a timely way with waiting families, these barriers need to be addressed.

ASFA also underscored the continued importance of the courts in ensuring timely permanency for children. Greater judicial involvement and oversight is required to provide added protections for foster children. To be effective, everyone must work together to streamline court processes, ensure timely and complete documentation, ensure the participation of all relevant parties, and maintain a sense of urgency for every child. Courts have been challenged to fully respond to the ASFA requirements, with limited new resources. Judicial caseloads, inadequate representation, unnecessary delays, and unprepared workers and legal counsel are but a few of the possible difficulties encountered.

For counting purposes, anchoring this measure by children substantiated makes sense, but we would also like to know about cases that were reported, not substantiated, and resulted in child deaths.
Realizing the Goals of ASFA
While some progress has been reached since the passage of ASFA, much more needs to be done to ensure that all children in this country grow up in safe, nurturing families. Several pieces of legislation have already been introduced this year, which would help advance that goal.

Change the Eligibility for Title IV-E Foster Care and Adoption Assistance
To ensure child safety, permanency and well-being, federal funding should be provided for all children in out of home care. Congress has mandated legal and permanency protections for all foster and adopted children, however, federal funding is only available to pay for the costs of children who are eligible for Title IV-E of the Social security Act. The current law links Title IV-E eligibility to archaic standards that each state had in place under their 1996 AFDC cash welfare system. This provision requires states to maintain the same eligibility standards that existed in July 1996. Since AFDC no longer exists, this continues to be an administrative burden on the states. Even more critical, however, is the fact that as time goes by, fewer and fewer numbers of children are eligible for support under these two funding streams. Data gathered by the Urban Institute indicates that as of 2000, approximately 57% of all children in out-of-home placement were eligible for IV-E funding. 17 Other data from HHS indicate this percentage is even lower. Some states may be able to serve less than one-third of their children in out-of-home placement through the use of IV-E foster care fund. If the current system remains in place, fewer and fewer children will be eligible for federal foster care and adoption assistance.

CWLA recommends that the eligibility link should be eliminated so all children in foster care receive federal assistance. The Child Protective Services Improvement Act (H.R. 1534) changes Title IV-E eligibility to link it with a state's TANF cash assistance program standards. Similar legislative language was included in a TANF reauthorization bill (S 2052) introduced by Senator Rockefeller in 2002.

Prevention and Early Intervention Services
Resources are needed for primary prevention services that can prevent many families from ever reaching the point where a child is removed from the home. Prevention and early intervention services play a vital role for children and families in communities. Family support, home visiting, and in-home services enable many parents to gain competence and confidence in their parenting while addressing other family concerns. Child care, housing, and job training/employment are services that enable families to stay together to the fullest extent possible. These and other preventive services need to be much more available to families early on as well as when a crisis occurs.

Community-based child protection programs have demonstrated that many families can be helped before there is a need for protective intervention with the family. Often, the family can identify what is needed, can be connected to resources, and contact with the formal child welfare system can be averted. Often, after a formal report has been made, a child can be maintained safely at home with sufficient supports, clear expectations, and monitoring. At all points in the continuum, however, ongoing, targeted assessment must be taking place. Both the initial child protective services investigation and placement prevention services require appropriate immediate assessments of the family, the child and the community.

The Act To Leave No Child Behind (H.R. 936) would allow states to claim reimbursement under the Title IV-E foster care program to address these needs. CWLA strongly supports efforts led by this Subcommittee and the Administration to secure increased resources for the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program. Currently funded at $405 million, Congress may approve up to $505 million annually for this program.

Family Reunification Services
Reunification is the first permanency option states consider for children entering care. Yet, in many ways, it is the most challenging option to achieve in a plan-based, permanent way. Forty-three percent (239,552) of children in care on September 30, 2000 had a case plan goal of reunification with their parents or other principal caretaker while 57% (157,712) of the children who exited care during FY 2000 returned to their parent's or caretaker's home. 18 Successful permanency through reunification requires many things, including skilled workers, readily available supportive and treatment resources, clear expectations and service plans, and excellent collaboration across involved agencies, at a minimum. Worker skills are addressed below, as are the need for accessible and culturally appropriate support and treatment services for families with children. Also addressed is the critical need for after care or post-permanency services to ensure that safety and permanency are maintained following reunification.

The Act To Leave No Child Behind (H.R. 936) would allow states to claim reimbursement under the Title IV-E foster care program to address these needs.

Kinship Permanency and Guardianship
CWLA believes that one area that can serve as an important tool in providing children with a safe and permanent setting is the use of guardian kinship care arrangements. Some states have used various resources to fund this permanency option. A few states have utilized federal Title IV-E funds to support guardianship through the use of Title IV-E waivers. A federally funded guardianship permanency option should be available to allow states to provide assistance payments on behalf of children to grandparents and other relatives who have assumed legal guardianship of the children for whom they have committed to care for on a permanent basis. Kinship guardianship assistance agreements and payments would be similar to the adoption assistance agreements in that they would take into consideration the circumstances and the needs of the child.

Kinship care, when properly assessed and supported, has been shown to provide safe and stable care for children who remain with or return to their families. 19 Twenty-five percent of children in care are living with relatives, some of who will not be able to return to their parents. 20 States vary in their use of relative homes for foster care even though federal regulations state that there is a preference for relative placements. States are challenged to provide the financial, social, and legal supports that are needed to ensure safety and permanency in kinship placements. Generally there is a lack of case management and support services made available to relative and legal guardian providers.

The Act To Leave No Child Behind (H.R. 936) and the Child Protection Services Improvement Act (H.R. 1534) would allow states to claim reimbursement under the Title IV-E foster care program to address these needs.

Post Permanency/Post Adoption Services
Post permanency services are needed to support permanency when children have been reunified with their families, adopted, or when relatives have assumed legal guardianship and permanent care. Services need to be available, affordable, accessible and appropriate to the family's needs. To accomplish this for all children and families requires a system of service delivery which will ensure that post-permanency services are available and accessible in all parts of the country, both rural and urban; that sufficient funding is available to ensure services will continue to be available as the needs of the families and children change; and that an appropriate range of services are developed to meet the varying needs of adoptive families, birth families, and adopted children. The provision of these services would support reunification, prevent recidivism of children reentering foster care, and maintain permanency for adopted children and those in guardianship arrangements.

Due to the increased number of termination of parental rights, more special needs children are now waiting for an adoptive family or have been adopted. They need treatment services to a greater or lesser degree until they reach adulthood (or perhaps the rest of their lives). The services should be tailored to the specific needs of each child and family. They may range from occasional respite, to time limited therapy for the child and/or the parents, to day treatment, to residential care. Adoptive parents need a variety of supports to prevent disruption or dissolution. These needs are predictable, but states have no way of knowing the extent of the need or the cost. Potential adoptive families need to be able to adopt without fear that they cannot afford to adopt a "special needs" child because of potential extensive costs. It is imperative that appropriate services be ready for these families and their new children. Currently, in many jurisdictions, if an adopted child needs residential treatment, the adoptive family must give up custody of the child, and the child re-enters the foster care system for services.

The Act To Leave No Child Behind (H.R. 936) would allow states to claim reimbursement under the Title IV-E foster care program to address these needs.

Access to Mental Health Services
It is estimated that 20%, or 13.7 million American children have a diagnosable mental or emotional disorder. Nearly half of these children have severe disorders, but only one-fifth receive appropriate services. For children living in foster care today, the problem is even more serious. Eighty-five percent of the 547,000 children living in foster care have a developmental, emotional, or behavioral problem. Most of these children have experienced abuse and/or neglect and are at high risk of emotional, behavioral, and psychiatric problems. Upon entering foster care some children already have a diagnosed serious emotional disturbance and require significant services. In addition, all children who are separated from their families experience some trauma and may require mental health services.

To improve the integration and coordination of services between the child welfare and mental health systems, CWLA supports the funding of $10 million for the Improving Mental Health and Child Welfare Services Integration Program. This program, which is yet to be funded, was authorized to provide coordinated child welfare and mental health services for children in the child welfare system. It will provide a single point of access in order to better provide children with appropriate services, including comprehensive assessments, coordinated service and treatment plans, integrated mental health and substance abuse treatment when both types of treatment are needed. With improved coordination and access to services and treatment, mental health services provided to children and youth that come to the attention of the child welfare system can be achieved in a more appropriate, efficient, and cost-effective manner.

Substance Abuse Treatment Services For Families
Families in the child welfare system need access to appropriate substance abuse treatment. A common thread in child protection and foster care cases is the high percentage of children, their parents, or both who have a substance abuse problem. Up to 80% of the children in the child welfare system have families with substance abuse problems.

ASFA was designed to promote the safety and permanence of children by expediting the timelines for decision-making. That law requires that a court review plan for a child's permanent living arrangement be made within 12 months of the date a child enters foster care. It also requires that if a child is in foster care for 15 or the most recent 22 months that a petition to end a parent's rights to the child must be filed, unless certain exceptions apply. To ensure that permanency decisions can be made for children whose families have alcohol and drug problems, special steps must be taken to begin services and treatment for the family immediately upon a child's entry into foster care or regain custody of their children. These resources for substance abuse treatment for families are chronically in short supply. There is a national shortage in all types of publicly funded substance abuse treatment for those in need, especially for women with children. All states report long waiting lists. Alarmingly, over two-thirds of parents involved in the child welfare system need substance abuse treatment, but less than one-third get the treatment they need.

This need is addressed in the Child Protective Services Improvement Act (H.R. 1534). Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) has also reintroduced the Child Protection/Alcohol and Drug Partnership Act, S. 614, and Representative Rangel is expected to reintroduce the companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives in the near future. This bill will provide new resources ($1.9 billion over five years) for a range of state activities to improve substance abuse treatment. State child welfare and substance abuse agencies, working together, will have flexibility to decide how best to use these new funds to enhance treatment and services. For example, states may develop or expand comprehensive family-serving substance abuse prevention and treatment services that include early intervention services for children that address their mental, emotional, and developmental needs as well as comprehensive home-based, out-patient, and residential treatment for parents with an alcohol and drug abuse problem.

Adoption Incentives to Increase Adoptions
The adoption incentive program that rewards states for increasing the number of "special needs" children adopted from foster care needs to be reauthorized and modified. Last year, only twenty-eight of the states and territories received an incentive award since they were not able to continue to increase their adoptions over their established baseline. Yet, the national total number of adoptions was very close to the previous year (50,600 in 2000 and 49,617 in 2001). 21 States were not able to receive these payments because the backlog of foster parent adoptions in almost all states has been cleared, the number of children entering the foster care system has decreased slightly, and fewer children are considered "special needs" due to the AFDC 1996 income eligibility requirement, which has not been increased to keep up with inflation. Meanwhile, states are continuing to complete a record number of terminations of parental rights proceedings (75,000 in 2000), 22 and the number of children waiting for an adoptive family is decreasing. We also know that of the children still waiting for adoption, those who will not be adopted by their foster parent or relative are older and have more challenging needs.

CWLA supports a change in the adoption incentive program. We agree with the Administration's proposal to create a new, additional, second baseline predicated on the number of children nine years of age or older that had finalized adoptions last year. This will focus on those children who have been identified as more than likely not to achieve an adoptive home due to their age. AFCARS has indicated that age is the most important factor for a child waiting for permanency. 23

CWLA recommends that the original baseline also be modified. Although all states, during at least one of the program years, received an incentive bonus, many were not able to fully participate. States that had already begun to focus on increasing the number of adoptions prior to the implementation of ASFA were not able to continue to show an increase as their adoptions had already been processed in a timely manner. Additionally some states were able to finalize many adoptions in one year, which resulted in an artificially high baseline for the remaining years. We recommend that the original baseline be reset to allow states a more level playing field. An incentive to place a set percentage of the children waiting adoption would allow those states whose foster care populations are declining to continue to be rewarded for good work. It would also allow other states that have been excluded from the incentive program to again participate. These are states that have maximized finalizations in one year and/or have already reached a static waiting child population.

Reducing Inter-Jurisdictional Barriers to Adoption
To secure additional adoptive homes, inter-jurisdictional barriers need to be eliminated. The interstate compacts (ICPC and ICAMA), designed to facilitate interstate placement, need to be modified. A subcompact to ICPC or a new compact could be created that is dedicated to only interstate child welfare adoptions. This would help facilitate adoptions across state lines. In order to expedite these inter-jurisdictional adoptions, a new compact should address the purchase of service process.

Building a Strong Child Welfare Workforce
Successful outcomes for children and families in child welfare depend heavily on the quality of services received, and in turn, on the ability of the workforce delivering them. Yet, child welfare agencies across the country are facing a workforce crisis on many fronts. Attracting, training, and retaining qualified staff at all levels has become increasingly challenging. Staff shortages and high turnover rates have grown with the increasingly rigorous demands of the work, low to modest compensation, and competition with other more attractive options in the current booming job market. Child welfare workers must be prepared to handle caseloads typically well beyond recommended national guidelines. Every day they work with children and families with complex problems and often in situations that may jeopardize their safety.

New evidence recently released a report from the U.S. General Accounting 24 Office found that states failed to meet some of the outcome measures in the Child and Family Services, due, at least in part, to workforce deficiencies. Areas where measures were not met due to workforce issues included: timely investigation of abuse complaints, efforts to reduce the risk of harm to the child, the ability to maintain stable foster care placements, establishing permanency goals for the child in a timely manner, involvement of children and families in case planning, and adequately monitoring child safety and well-being.

The Child Protective Services Improvement Act (H.R. 1534) begins to address these workforce issues by creating an incentive fund to help states build a strong workforce and also provides loan forgiveness for students who work in child welfare system.

Training
An important workforce issue is the need for training for both new staff and on-going training for current staff. States must be able to ensure worker competencies through the provision of comprehensive, rigorous, competency based training programs. We believe that an important part of this strategy is to allow states that contract their services to private agencies to be able to use federal IV-E training dollars to train this important part of the workforce. Legislation introduced by Representative Weller (H.R. 1378) and the Child Protective Services Improvement Act (H.R. 1534) accomplishes that goal.

National Standards and the Child and Family Service Reviews
ASFA required states to develop and implement state standards to ensure that children in foster care are provided quality services. There is considerable variability across states in meeting this requirement. In addition, HHS has established "national standards" for the Child and Family Service Reviews. These standards are specific statewide data indicators that are used to determine, in part, whether or not states are operating in substantial conformity with state plan requirements. While useful as an aggregate measure, they do not provide detailed guidance to states regarding the delivery of quality child and family services.

The absence of a core set of nationally agreed-upon standards by which agency services can be measured seriously compromises quality and consistency across child welfare services. The lack of clear agency policy and accountability with regard to best practice all too frequently permits "free-lance" and unstructured casework practice. It fosters decision-making that by default may be driven by individual workers who are often inexperienced and inadequately trained. The lack of national standards by which agencies are held accountable has played out nationally in recent reports of the disappearance, serious injury and death of children. In addition to these most tragic examples, without complying with such standards, many agencies are ill equipped to provide the basic care and protection of children and support to families that  we expect of an effective child welfare system.

Unlike other systems that provide critical services to children and families-such as schools and hospitals, there are no comprehensive nationally mandated standards for child welfare services. For many years, CWLA has been the principal national organization responsible for developing child welfare standards. CWLA's eleven volumes of standards provide best practice guidance on many aspects of child welfare including the quantification of caseload ratios. Unfortunately, there remains a wide gap between the best practices recommended in these standards and what actually occurs in practice in many jurisdictions.

CWLA proposes the establishment of national standards for child welfare practice which would be linked to the federal Child and Family Service Reviews. Once established, nationally adopted child welfare standards would provide guidance to state efforts to achieve the Child Welfare Outcomes and meet the requirements of state Program Improvement Plans. Establishing national standards of practice for child welfare services, and creating and implementing a process for states to use to "gear up" to the standards would result in more consistent, quality practice across jurisdictions and nationally. It would provide clear guidance to the states in their efforts to achieve the Child Welfare Outcomes and make improvements as laid out in their Program Improvement Plans. It would provide a needed practice framework, enabling child welfare service systems to achieve good outcomes for children and families and to be accountable for the important work that they do.
Tribal Access to Title IV-E Funding
CWLA supports direct tribal access to Title IV-E funding. Legislation introduced by Representative Camp (H.R. 443) allows tribes an option to directly access Title IV-E funds from HHS rather then negotiating for these funds in partnership with states. Presently the state IV-E agency must be responsible for the placement and care of foster children if Title IV-E eligible expenses are claimed; tribal expenditures can only be reimbursed through the state.

Conclusion
CWLA aspires to an America where every child is healthy, safe, and thriving, and where all children develop to their full potential, are nurtured, and are able to grow into adults who are able to make positive contributions to family, community, and the nation. Though most Americans embrace this view and act each day to fulfill it with the children they love, more is needed to meet these needs for all children. Essential improvements are still needed for the protection and care of children who have been abused and neglected. CWLA calls on Congress to act this year to ensure that we, as a country, do a better job of protecting and caring for these children.

Source

  1. U.S. Children's Bureau. (2002). Trends in Foster Care and Adoption as of 11/01/02. Available online. Washington, DC: Department of Health and Human Services
  2. Ibid.
  3. Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. (2001). Assessing the context of permanency and reunification in the foster care system. Washington, DC: U.S.D.H.H.S.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.
  6. There were 556,000 children in foster care on 9/30/00. The AFCARS Report: Interim FY 2000 estimates as of August 2002. Available online. Washington, DC: Department of Health and Human Services.
  7. There were 2,796,000 children referred for possible child abuse and neglect in 2000. Administration on Children, Youth, and Families. (2002). Child maltreatment 2000. Available online. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).
  8. National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information. (n.d.) Safety, Permanency, Well-being. Child Welfare Outcomes, 1999: Annual Report. Washington, DC: Administration for Children and Families. Available online.
  9. Ibid.
  10. See Summary, Conclusion, and Final Notes, The Impact of ASFA on Children and Families of Color, Proceedings of a Forum. (2002). Washington, DC: Child Welfare League of America.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Maza, P. The Role of the Single Mother in the Adoption of Children from the Child Welfare System. Adoption News, 3 (4) 3. Washington, DC: Child Welfare League of America.
  13. Presentation by P. Maza, CWLA National Conference, March 2003.
  14. AFCARS REPORTS (FY 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001) Op. Cit.
  15. Maza, Penelope, L. Ph.D., Senior Policy Research Analyst, "Is the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) Doing What it is Supposed to do?" November 7, 2002 workshop, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  16. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (1997) Adoption 2002. Washington, DC: author.
  17. The cost of Protecting Vulnerable Children III, Occasional Paper Number 61, Roseana Bess, Cynthia Andrews, Amy Jantz, Victoria Russell, Rob Geen, The Urban Institute
  18. The AFCARS Report: Interim FY 2000 estimates as of August 2002, Op. Cit.
  19. Benedict, M.I., Zuravin, S., & Stallings, R.Y. (1996). Adult functioning of children who lived in kin versus non-relative family foster homes. Child Welfare, 75 (5), 529-549; Berrick, J.D., Barth, R.P., and Needell, B. (1994) A comparison of kinship foster homes and foster family homes: Implications for kinship foster care as family preservation. Children and Youth Services Review, 16 (1-2), 33-63.
  20. U.S. Children's Bureau. (2002)
  21. U.S. Children's Bureau. (2002), Op. Cit.
  22. The AFCARS Report: Interim FY 2000 estimates as of August 2002, Op. Cit
  23. Ibid.
  24. Child Welfare: HHS Could Play a greater Role in Helping Child Welfare Agencies Recruit and Retain Staff, General Accounting Office, GAO-03-357, March 2003.




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