Assessing the Field of Post-Adoption Services: Family Needs, Program Models, and Evaluation Issues. Analysis of Secondary Data. 3.3.1 AAP Data

11/01/2002

The data used in this report are a combined data set of the Adoption Assistance Program  Individual Case Reports (AD 42R) from FY 1988-89 and the matching case records from the state AAP database. The AD 42R data are available for 2,776 children of the 3,113 children (89 percent) placed for adoption in FY 1988- 89. The AD 42R report was completed at the time of the official adoptive placement.

Prior to linking the two data sets, the AAP data set included 1,172 cases. The AAP database is theoretically updated each time a child has a change in what they are receiving from AAP or every two years, whichever comes first. Children participating in AAP typically receive both adoption subsidy payments and Medi-Cal benefits to help their families to support them. Some families only receive either payments or Medi-Cal. As with most administrative databases, some AAP cases are missing from the database and other cases are missing some of their records. Furthermore, children with many changes in rate may be more likely to have information in the database because they have had more opportunities for a worker to enter their records. Therefore, adopted children who spend time in group care may be overrepresented in the database because they often have more rate changes than adopted children who remain in their homes.

When the AAP data set is matched to the AD 42R data, it contains matched records for 771 of the 1,172 cases with AAP records. (Cases were excluded when children were age 18 or more, when cases did not match exactly, and when cases had substantial missing data [a total of 401 cases were excluded].) The AD 42R data will be used to provide additional child and family characteristics in these analyses. This study includes data entered into the AAP database through December of 2000.

The AAP database is generated by "change submissions." Whenever a child who is receiving a subsidy has a change in status  from a change of address, to a change in the subsidy amount, to a termination of the subsidy  a change form is filed. (Address changes were omitted from these analyses.) California has state and county adoption agencies. State agencies operate in branch offices that cover, primarily, rural areas. Based on discussions with state Adoptions Branch staff, we believe that data from state agencies may be more complete than for county agencies.

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