- November 2015
- Vol. 16, No. 8
November Is National Adoption Month
This year, National Adoption Month focuses on the adoption of older youth currently in foster care—because "We Never Outgrow the Need for Family." This theme calls attention to our nation's population of older youth in foster care who need loving, permanent families. Youth ages 12 to 20 make up a large percentage of the foster care population—34 percent or 141,181 youth.1 Creating lifelong connections for these young people is critical in helping them prepare for successful adulthood.
Compared to their peers, many youth in foster care face higher rates of poor outcomes, such as dropping out of high school, unemployment, and homelessness. Despite these challenges, research on positive youth development confirms that children and youth have the ability to overcome traumatic experiences and thrive in adulthood when they are connected to a strong, permanent support system. It is important for youth to have a sense of belonging; through adoption, youth are connected to a family who not only provide a sense of stability, but also help them navigate the complicated landscape of their emerging independence. These lasting connections can help youth with important life tasks such as enrolling in higher education, finding stable housing, securing employment, and establishing healthy relationships.
During the 2015 National Adoption Month initiative, prospective adoptive families can learn more about the needs of older youth and opportunities to positively guide them toward successful outcomes. Visit the updated video gallery to view national public service announcements and hear the voices of older youth. Professionals will find dedicated resource sections addressing the following topics:
- Recruiting families for older youth
- Supporting the well-being of older youth
- Promoting permanency for older youth
- State and local resources for professionals
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 and follow us on Facebook and Twitter at https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/nam/.
1 Children's Bureau. (2015). The AFCARS Report: Preliminary FY 2014 estimates as of July 2015, No. 22. Retrieved from http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/resource/afcars-report-22.