Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Renew the Adoption Incentive Program

By Scott McCown

When a child isn’t safe living with a parent because of abuse or neglect, Child Protective Services tries to find a loving relative to take the child. When there is no appropriate relative, CPS asks foster parents to care for the child, but foster care is always supposed to be temporary.

Even the best foster homes are seldom the ideal place to grow up. Even more seldom do they serve as a lifelong family. After all, over the course of their work, one set of foster parents may provide temporary refuge to hundreds of children, and they can’t all come back for Christmas!

For a growing number of children, however, foster care becomes permanent by default, with children drifting in foster care until they “age out.” Once they turn 18, the state sends them into life on their own, too often with no place to live and no one to care. As a judge hearing foster-care cases, I saw this all too often.

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