Question #31: Any suggestions to help fix our foster care system?
Our foster care system is inadequate. The children in foster care deserve better. We need to work with families to help them get their children back at home. We need to work with local adoption agencies to get these children out of foster care quicker. We need to lower the cost of adoption. We also need to not incentivise people to be only foster parents by paying them...we need to encourage getting them back home or adopted.
At any given time, there are approximately 438,000 foster care children in the U.S. While some of them will eventually be returned to their families. Some may be permanently placed in foster care. Those children then have an opportunity to be adopted by their foster parents.
Families who adopt from foster care usually adopt from a county, state, territory, or tribal public child welfare agency. Adopting a child from foster care is often funded by the state, and in most cases there are few or no fees. Parents may choose to hire a private agency to help them through this process. These families could incur out-of-pocket expenses, which they can typically recoup from federal or state programs after the adoption is finalized. The largest cost associated with foster care adoption is typically the home study fee, which is a fee that covers the cost of having a court-appointed caseworker observe you and your foster child in your home to ensure that you're a suitable candidate for adoption.
In 2017, the average cost of adoption for foster parents was $2,398, according to Adoptive Families. Among the parents surveyed, 88 percent received a monthly subsidy from a government agency to provide care for their foster child. The average subsidy amount was $827.
When in office, I will work with local adoption agencies and foster care centers to learn more about the problem. I will discuss options and solutions with everyone involved. I will reach out to foster children, adopted children, foster parents, and adoptive parents to learn about their experiences. Our children are important and they deserve a home. They are more than dollar signs.
Adela Wisdom for US Congress - Running for US Representative in the 3rd District of Missouri. District 3 covers northern Jefferson County and extends north and west past the St. Louis area, covering much of east-central Missouri. Missouri's 3rd Congressional District consists of all or part of the following counties: Callaway, Camden, Cole, Franklin, Gasconade, Jefferson, Lincoln, Maries, Miller, Montgomery, Osage, St. Charles and Warren. I am eager to serve you and all the families in our district.
Contact me at:
9942 Shrand Lane
Williamsburg, MO 63388
Watch my Video discussion about Foster Care click below: