November is National Adoption Month!
The goals of National Adoption Month include:
- increasing national awareness of adoption issues.
- shining a light on the need for adoptive families for older children and teenagers in the foster care system.
- emphasizing the value of youth engagement.
President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Adoption Week in 1984. President Bill Clinton proclaimed the first National Adoption Month in 1995. Over the years the initiative has switched its focus from the adoption of infants and younger children to the adoption of teens. Teens in foster care wait longer for permanency than younger children.
Teens who are not adopted out of the foster care system face staggering realities.
- One in four are incarcerated within two years.
- One in five are homeless within two years.
- 70% of young women who age out of foster care are pregnant within two years.
Foster youth who age out of the system without a sense of permanency struggle to become independent adults.
- Only 58% graduate high school by the age of 19 compared to 87% of the general population.
- Less than three percent of foster youth earn a college degree by the age of 25 compared to 28% of the general population.
- At the age of 26, only 46% of youth with foster care experience are employed compared to 80% of the general population.
- The average income for youth with foster care experience at age 26 is just under $14,000 compared to $33,000 for the general population.
According to the fiscal year 2021 report for the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, there were more than 114,000 children and youth waiting to be adopted who were at risk of aging out of the foster care system without permanent family connections.
Of the 114,000 children waiting to be adopted, 22% were aged 13-17.
Teenagers need love, support, and a sense of belonging that families can provide. Permanency is a crucial component in determining their future achievement, health, and well-being.
Why Permanency in Child Welfare Matters
Permanency is maximizing a child’s stability and identity through relationships and connectedness.
Permanency increases the positive outcomes for youth. Youth who experience connectedness, stability, and permanency are more likely to have a strong sense of identity and many lifelong relationships.
Youth who receive consistent, loving, responsive, and nurturing caregiving are more likely to develop secure attachments. Youth with secure attachment have more positive educational and social outcomes, are more independent, have a stronger sense of self, and have better mental health.
Youth in the foster care system have usually experienced neglect and abuse, making them more at risk of developing attachment issues. Youth in foster care have also usually experienced constant change from being placed in and out of homes. This can lead to compromised well-being, attachment, self-esteem, and identity. Youths need relational and placement stability to thrive, which is why finding permanent, loving homes for the youth in foster care is so important.
The Need for Adoptive Families is Urgent
The demand for children and teens needing safe, permanent, loving homes is rising. Yet, adoption inquiries are declining.
If you are or have ever considered adoption, we encourage you to reach out. When you partner with us to adopt, we promise to be with you every step of the way. We understand adoption is a life-long process. That is why we offer post adoption service and support as well as pre-service training, even years after the adoption is finalized.
Typical post adoption services include support groups, therapy, counseling, and respite. The CHSVA Post Adoption Program provides post adoption services at no cost to adoptive families.
Rest assured that CHSVA will equip you with all the proper training and tools when adopting.
The need for diverse families is especially urgent.
- 33% of Virginia’s waiting children are African-American
- 8% of Virginia’s waiting children are Hispanic
- 11% of Virginia’s waiting children are multi-racial
If you have ever thought about adopting, now is the time!
One of the biggest myths associated with adoption is that it is expensive.
The cost to adopt from foster care is minimal. In addition, there can also be financial assistance available for families who qualify. Adoptive families receive a monthly maintenance payment from social services to offset the care of the child. Children adopted from foster care are eligible for an adoption subsidy that the adoptive parents receive. The child’s emotional, physical, and behavioral needs determine the subsidy.
Here is a list of all the program fees associated with adopting a child from foster care.
If you want more information on how to give a child in need a forever home, please get in touch with us today: 804-353-0191. We will gladly discuss the entire adoption process with you and answer any questions you may have.
Hear from Justina Snead, CHSVA Foster Care & Adoption Program Manager, and Amber Bumbry, CHSVA Post Adoption Program Manager, below about the importance of National Adoption Month.
GivingTuesday is right around the corner! Celebrated the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of radical generosity. GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: A day that encourages people to do good.
This GivingTuesday, we are seeking donations to buy a vehicle that would be used for our Foster Care Adoption Program. In the past, we have transported youth in the program with our own vehicles, but our insurance no longer allows us to do so.
This vehicle would be able:
- to provide support and transportation during pre-placement visits with potential adoptive parents.
- to provide access and transportation for our waiting youth to take part in photo opportunities or matching events across the state of Virginia.
- to increase collaboration efforts among social workers and a youth’s treatment team by being able to transport a youth and attend scheduled meetings (DSS, therapy, school-related meetings, and court proceedings).
- to assist adoptive parents with meeting the needs of newly-placed youth during the transition (medical/therapy appointments, court, school).
- to enable CHSVA social workers to do critical adoption readiness work with youth including rapport building, private assessment, and individualized psychoeducation.
We estimate that the cost of such a vehicle would be in the $25,000 range. We would greatly appreciate it if you considered donating to us this GivingTuesday. Every dollar makes a difference in the life of a child! Help us continue serving Virginia’s at-risk youth!
Please share this blog to spread the word about the need for adoptive families! Together, we can change lives! Every child deserves a loving, permanent home.