Assessing the Field of Post-Adoption Services:
Family Needs, Program Models, and Evaluation Issues

Project Overview

The child welfare field has spent a great deal of time during the last several years focusing on increasing the number of children adopted from the public child welfare system. The Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) promoted adoption from the federal level, including providing monetary incentives for states to increase the number of children adopted. Numerous state initiatives, in some cases predating ASFA, have marshaled state and local resources to promote adoption. These efforts have led to a dramatic increase in adoptions nationally.

This emphasis on adoption has largely centered on finalizing adoptions of children who were already in the adoption pipeline, and to a lesser extent on identifying new potential adoptive families for children expected to need adoptive placements. In particular, efforts are being made to recruit families willing to adopt older children and those with special needs including emotional and/or behavioral disturbances. Considerably less attention has been spent considering the ongoing needs of children and families once adoptions are finalized.

Through several analytical methods, this project has explored the service needs of families following the adoption of a child from the public child welfare system and has assessed the “state of the art” in the current array of post adoption services. The purpose of the project was to bring together what we know about post adoption services from existing research, what we can know with the analysis of national and/or multi-state data and visits to existing programs, and to suggest an agenda for future federal research on these issues, particularly as they arise from the Adoption and Safe Families Act.

The following reports are available from this project:

Printed Copies of Reports

To obtain a printed copy of a report, send or fax the title and your mailing information to:

Human Services Policy, Room 404E
Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20201

Fax: (202) 690-6562

You may also print the “printer friendly”, PDF version from each report’s main page.

Where to?

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Home Pages:
Human Services Policy (HSP)
Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Last updated:  06/16/03