Advancing its mission to find loving and permanent homes for foster children, the Christie Administration recently received a half million dollar federal grant to further help children find welcoming and supportive adoptive families.
The New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF) finalized adoptions for about 1,000 children each of the last three years, with more than 90 percent being adopted by either their foster family or a relative. Children are often in their adoptive home early during the adoption process, enabling DCF to ensure that 80 percent of adoptions are finalized within nine months of adoptive placement. Recently that rate increased to 100 percent.
“We’re fortifying our efforts to find forever families for these children and youth,” said DCF Commissioner Allison Blake. “This grant will help us identify and address issues regarding youth who wait the longest for placement. It advances our adoption efforts to even greater success, providing forever families, stability, and successful futures for all children.”
For a number of reasons, some children are not in an adoptive home when parental rights are terminated.
DCF plans to follow a child-specific, team process to recruiting adoptive families for children waiting the longest for adoption. The plan stresses specialized pre-adoption training and post-adoption support.
“The Institute for Families worked in true partnership with DCF to create this successful grant proposal, which focuses on finding permanent placements for NJ’s longest waiting children. In this 17-month federal award, IFF serves as the evaluator on the project, as well as helps to design the intensive training curricula,” says Sara Munson, director of IFF.
To learn about adopting a child, please visit http://www.nj.gov/njfosteradopt/ or call 1-877-NJFOSTER.