Recruitment Resources: Finding Families for Waiting Children
Suzanne Dosh, MSW (pictured at left)
Summary: Utilizing resources such as the internet, print, radio and television media as well as AdoptUsKids helps find homes for waiting children.
One hundred twenty-three thousand children are waiting for the comfort that comes with knowing that they a permanent member of a family, they are part of the family photo, they will move with your family when they move, and no matter what choices they make in life, the love of their family is unconditional.
Preliminary AFCARS (Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System) data for 2008 indicates that approximately 55,000 children were connected with an adoptive family that year. However, another 29,000 were emancipated without being legally adopted. To help increase the number of children who find safe, permanent homes, public and private agencies utilize a number of recruitment resources. Some examples are:
Additional extensive recruitment resources are available through AdoptUsKids, a federally funded project of the Children's Bureau of the Administration of Children and Families, whose mission is to assist US states, territories and tribes (hereafter referred to as “jurisdictions”) to recruit, retain and connect prospective foster and adoptive parents with children in public foster care who need temporary or permanent families. All AdoptUsKids services are free of charge to families and agencies. These services include:
As different types of recruitment methods have evolved over the past several years, adoption professionals have discovered viable resources through initiatives with faith-based communities, military families (stateside and overseas), Americans living overseas, rural communities and gay/lesbian families. Just as foster parents were not considered to be appropriate resources for adoption until the 1990s, these “new” resources have been with us all along, but are no longer considered unacceptable or second best.
Although the number of children connected with adoptive homes in 2008 documents an upward trend from the past several years, the need for more families remains. We suggest that there is another resource currently available and underutilized: citizens of other countries. Worldwide use of the internet has resulted in frequent inquiries from foreign nationals interested in learning more about adopting our waiting children. We believe that many of these children would no longer need to wait for a permanent family if utilization of this resource became a reality.
For more information about AdoptUsKids and the services it provides, visit adoptuskids or contact us at (888) 200-4005 or firstname.lastname@example.org.