November 2008Vol. 9, No. 9From the Associate Commissioner's Office
Welcome to the November 2008 issue of Children's Bureau Express (CBX) as we celebrate National Adoption Month. National Adoption Month raises public awareness about the thousands of children and youth waiting in foster care for permanent, loving families. CB supports many activities that promote the adoption of children and youth from foster care, including a national photolisting website for waiting children called AdoptUsKids, which can be accessed at www.adoptuskids.org.
This year's theme of adopting teens from foster care builds on the Ad Council's new public service announcement (PSA) campaign of the Children's Bureau, the Adoption Exchange Association, and The Collaboration to AdoptUsKids. This highly successful public service advertising campaign was launched in July 2004, with the goal of raising awareness of the significant number of children in foster care in the United States waiting to be adopted. Targets of the campaign have included sibling groups, children of color, and a Spanish speaking series of ads, all of which have won numerous advertising awards. The newest focus of the ad campaign is on older youth and teens, for whom finding permanent families is often more challenging. These heartwarming PSAs illustrate that "You don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent." Information on the campaign and links to the PSAs can be found at www.adoptuskids.org/answeringTheCall.aspx. More information on National Adoption Month can be found at www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/nam/.
Additionally, CB has been very busy preparing information related to the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-351), which President Bush signed into law on October 7. CB has issued a Program Instruction (ACYF-CB-PI-08-05, available at www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/policy/pi/2008/pi0805.htm), which includes a summary of the law's provisions and a certification for States to request a delayed effective date. CB also has issued an Information Memorandum (ACYF-CB-IM-08-03, available at www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/laws_policies/policy/im/2008/im0803.htm), which outlines the Tribal option to submit a title IV-E plan for direct funding and other Tribal provisions in P.L. 110-351. These have been distributed electronically to the States and Tribes via our listservs, but if you have not received a copy, please contact your Regional Office. Additional communication from CB will be forthcoming. Thank you for your understanding that implementation of a law of this magnitude will take some time, but please know that CB is committed to working diligently to meet your needs for information.
Finally, I would like to thank the Foster Care Managers, Adoption Managers, and Family Preservation Managers who took time out of their schedules to join us in Washington, DC, the week of October 18 for the Policy to Practice Dialogue: Child Welfare Leadership in Action. The Dialogue provided a place for substantive discussion on how to work collaboratively to achieve systemic changes that would positively impact outcomes for children and families. If you would like further information on the presentations shared at the Dialogue, please contact Natalie Lyons at the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Adoption by email (NLyons@spaulding.org) or phone 248.443.7080.
Thank you for your interest in the Children's Bureau's activities and for your work on behalf of at-risk children and their families. I hope you find CBX to be a helpful resource.
Christine M. Calpin