November 2022Vol. 23, No. 9November Is National Adoption Month
Each November during National Adoption Month, the Children's Bureau, in partnership with Child Welfare Information Gateway and AdoptUSKids, brings to the forefront the need to find loving, stable, and permanent homes for children and youth waiting to be adopted. According to data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System for 2020, there were over 117,000 children and youth in the United States waiting to be adopted. The theme of this year's National Adoption Month initiative is "Small Steps Open Doors" to emphasize how even taking small steps to overcome the unique challenges youth waiting to be adopted face can help support their goals of permanency. By taking every opportunity to engage youth in meaningful ways, child welfare professionals can be instrumental in opening doors to permanency that once seemed impossible to open.
The newly redesigned National Adoption Month 2022 website features resources, tips, and tools from Children's Bureau adoption grant recipients to help child welfare professionals cultivate relationships and start conversations with youth about permanency. This year's website also contains the following:
- A Permanency Planning With Youth page that provides an outline for how to honor and incorporate youth voice into efforts to achieve adoption for teens in foster care
- A Relationship-Building Tools page that provides Children’s Bureau adoption grant recipients with resources related to building relationships with teens; understanding the impact of trauma, separation, and loss; and preparing teens and adoptive families for permanency
- A Youth Voices page that highlights the importance of listening to youth voices and the impact building a relationship based on mutual trust can have on a young person’s life
In addition, the website features the following tips from two teens who were adopted from foster care about how to build authentic, supportive relationships with teens:
- Think of all the experiences the youth has been through and what they had to do to survive. It’s not fair to the youth to only be seen for what happened to them. They need one person to believe in them.
- Guide, comfort, and support the youth. Kids need to know that they have a rest stop and that someone is there for them.
- Help youth see what is possible. Tell them, “What has happened to you in your past doesn’t define you anymore.”
- Believe in them. Kids look up to their caseworker. They look to them as the one person who will believe in them. Most youth don’t believe in themselves, so how will they be able to if their caseworker doesn’t believe?
The website also includes resources for youth to help them better understand what has happened and prepare them to make decisions for their future.
Visit the National Adoption Month website today to learn more.
Please take our survey! Your input will help strengthen the National Adoption Month website to better meet your needs. Your participation in this survey is voluntary, and your responses will be privately shared with Child Welfare Information Gateway staff and the Children’s Bureau to improve service delivery. You may exit the survey at any time and are free to decline to answer any question. There are no foreseeable risks and no direct benefits from participating in this survey. Proceeding with the survey is an indication of your consent. If you have any questions or require accessibility assistance with this survey, please contact Child Welfare Information Gateway staff by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 800.394.3366. Thank you for helping us help you.