November 2016Vol. 17, No. 8November Is National Adoption Month
Every year, there are more than 100,000 children and youth in the U.S. foster care system waiting for permanent families. This year's National Adoption Month theme, "We Never Outgrow the Need for Family—Just Ask Us" focuses on supporting professionals in beginning and reengaging older youth in conversations about adoption. Permanent family connections are critical for older youth to have legal and emotional support as they transition into adulthood and strive for achievement, growth, and well-being. However, older youth in foster care are less likely to find permanent homes and may age out of care to face independence without any secure, lifelong connections.
The 2016 National Adoption Month website features tools and resources aimed at increasing adoption of older youth currently in foster care. The website includes an entire section dedicated to providing adoption and permanency-related resources and tips for families, including families considering adoption and families that have adopted. The website also supports child welfare professionals in preparing families for adoption and talking with older youth who may feel they are too old to be adopted. Youth, families, and professionals can also visit the website to do the following:
- Watch and listen to personal stories, and share the examples of older youth in foster care finding permanent families through adoption
- Learn ways to help involve, support, and empower older youth in foster care to prepare and plan for their future
- Read the tip sheet, Talking With Older Youth About Adoption (PDF - 1 MB), for help in talking with older youth about adoption and the importance of family
National Adoption Month, funded each November by the Children's Bureau, is a partnership between AdoptUSKids and Child Welfare Information Gateway. Visit the National Adoption Month website throughout November at https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/nam/.
The Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardianship Support and Preservation (QIC-AG) created a framework to help guide its work with eight sites across the United States in developing evidence-based models to address the prepermanency and postpermanency support and service needs of children and youth in foster care. Read more in August's CBX.