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Reform Efforts and Groups

What Are The Reform Efforts and Groups

What Are The Reform Efforts and Groups

Foster care reform efforts and groups have
been active in the United States for many years. Foster reform groups became
most active in the 1970s, which lead to an on-going series of reforms in the foster
care
. National Coalition for Child Protection Reform addresses abandonmentneglect, or abuse by individuals who victimize children in foster
care. Their efforts were instrumental in reforming foster care in Texas and
Maine. Coalition members have more than one thousand years of collective
experience dealing with family courts in resolving issues related to the foster
care or adoption.


An organization that focuses on the parents is the National Voice for Foster
Parents. This non-profit seeks to inform foster parents about the resources,
knowledge, and resources that are available to them when providing care to the
children for whom they have assumed at least temporary responsibility of
providing care. Many of the members of the organization are themselves foster
parents, and as such
, are able to provide information that is grounded
in their own experience.

Adoption and Safe Families Act

Adoption and Safe Families ActThe Adoption and Safe Families Act was passed by United States Congress in order to improve the current state of the adoption of children with special needs. The Adoption and Safe Families Act was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1997. This Act addressed children not being able to receive the proper placement that they need. The Adoption and Safe Families Act provided some necessary funding for the process of adoption in order to ensure that a child would be adopted into the right family.

One of the major obstacles that was most commonly faced before this Adoption and Safe Families Act was the fact that the focus of a previous bill, the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act, gave heavy implications that a child should be placed with a biological family member if the option was available. The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 worked to expand these options so that children can be placed in a loving family, whether a biological relative or not.

One of the improvements that the Adoption and Safe Families Act made was to encourage states to authorize adoption in those cases where it was proven that an adoption placement was right for a child, without automatically giving priority to a relative of the child. The Act offered a financial incentive for states that were able to offer placement for children. If a state exceeded the average number of adoptions that were expected to be made, it would be entitled to financial compensation for the additional number of adoption placements made.

Another major improvement that the Adoption and Safe Families Act made was to enforce documentation of the adoption process. It was already a requirement that the process be accounted for in written copy, but the Adoption and Safe Families Act was able to reinforce and strengthen this requirement.

The Adoption and Safe Families Act also made some rather significant changes for the standard of care for children with special needs. One of the more specific efforts that was made was to require that every state supply health insurance for children with special needs in state custody.

In addition, the Adoption and Safe Families Act adjusted the time frame in which a child should be offered permanent placement. Instead of a child’s permanency hearing being scheduled within a period of 18 months of being in state custody, it was reduced to a year to best serve displaced children.