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May 2023Vol. 24, No. 4AdoptUSKids Report Details Postadoption and Guardianship Services Available Nationwide

Continued access to support and services after a child is adopted or finds permanency through guardianship is crucial for the well-being of children and families. These supports may also prevent children from entering or reentering care. Supports and services may include therapy or counseling, support groups, social events, respite care, information resources, financial aid, and more. AdoptUSKids, a national project that serves both families and child welfare professionals, conducted a survey to analyze the state of these postadoption and guardianship services in 46 states and 3 territories.

The survey was conducted between 2019 and 2021, with the aim of gathering information from public agencies so that adoptive families could learn about the support available in their communities. At the survey’s conclusion, AdoptUSKids released a report detailing the findings from the project as well as a blog post  summarizing the high-level takeaways, including themes and opportunities. The following are some of those takeaways:

  • Almost two-thirds of the states and territories that responded do not offer respite care services in postadoption and guardianship programs, despite a reported need for these services by families.
  • Community-based therapeutic services are often available; however, only 29 percent of jurisdictions offer intensive services, including in-home or residential therapeutic services, in their postadoption and guardship programs.
  • A majority of jurisdictions offer publicly funded support to guardians, but this support is not always equal to the support available to adoptive families.
  • In many states and territories, support services are tied to subsidy agreements, which may exclude certain families.
  • About 46 percent of states and territories offer postadoption support to families who adopt privately or internationally.
  • Ten States and territories have increased their budgets for postadoption and guardianship support in the last 5 years.

More information about supports and services available in specific states and territories is available on the AdoptUSKids website.