Assessing the Field of Post-Adoption Services: Family Needs, Program Models, and Evaluation Issues. Summary Report. 2.4.2 Impact of Federal Legislative Changes


PAS programs have gained increased support in recent years by three federal legislative measures. The Promoting Safe and Stable Families (PSSF) program addresses a broad array of goals, including preventing unnecessary separations of children from their families, improving the quality of services, and increasing reunification and successful adoptions for children in out-of-home care (DHHS, 2001a). Under the terms of the PSSF, states are allowed to use Title IV-B, Subpart 2 funds for adoption support and preservation. A recent review shows that 15 percent of these funds have been used for this purpose nationally, with state allocations ranging from 0 to 25 percent of the funds received. This categorization does not allow identification of the extent to which funds were used specifically for post-adoption support (James Bell Associates, 2001).

The Promoting Safe and Stable Families program and other recent federal initiatives have expanded funding for PAS.

The Adoption 2002 Initiative set a national goal of doubling the number of children adopted or placed in permanent homes each year. Among the measures taken in response to this challenge was a system of cash bonuses for states increasing the number of children adopted from the public child welfare system. States may use their bonus funds to increase services, including post-adoption services (DHHS, 1996).

Finally, the Adoption Opportunities program, which amends Section 205 of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment and Adoption Reform Act of 1978, awards grants and contracts to public and private nonprofit agencies that improve permanency for children who would benefit from adoption (particularly children with special needs). The seven major program areas include post-legal adoption services for families who have adopted children with special needs (DHHS, 2001b).

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