November is National Adoption Awareness Month, and to celebrate, Floridians all across the state will gather at special ceremonies and community events. And Florida residents have a lot to celebrate; Florida has been recognized nationally for its success in placing foster children in permanent homes.
The success of the program is attributed to a federal funding program that allowed Florida child welfare workers to focus services on at-risk children. Florida has used the funds to provide services such as parenting classes, counseling, mentoring and enhanced support for relative adoptions. The program has reduced the number of children living in foster care and group homes by a third and has cut the re-abuse of children in half. The resulting reduction in caseloads has allowed child welfare workers to focus on getting foster kids adopted, which they have done in record numbers as well.
The program does face some problems going forward. Across the board state budget cuts could mean that Florida will fail to meet minimum state funding requirements to qualify for the federal program. And whether or not Florida makes the funding cut, the program will expire in two years. Find out more about Florida’s foster kids at Celebrate adoption.