Health and Family Services Cabinet
Kentucky Receives $2 Million Federal Grant for Foster Care, Adoption; Funding Requires State to More Quickly Secure Permanency for Foster Children
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 23, 2008) – The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services has received a $2 million federal grant to help find foster and adoptive families for the state’s foster children.
The five-year grant from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services (HHS) will go toward the Department for Community Based Services’ (DCBS) diligent recruitment efforts.
This grant will also boost efforts to more quickly return children to their birth families when appropriate. It requires DCBS to work in partnership with resource parents and community partners to achieve these goals.
“This funding will allow our staff to talk to more families in the areas of the commonwealth where we especially need more foster and adoptive parents and relative caregivers,” said DCBS Commissioner Patricia R. Wilson. “And we can target the families who have indicated they might be interested in foster care and adoption but need more information. I am extremely proud that our staff has secured this grant.”
Kentucky is one of nine nationwide recipients of the grant.
Gov. Steve Beshear has proclaimed November Adoption Awareness Month.
Wilson said rejoining families is always the first goal for children in out-of-home care. “This grant requires us to work toward reunifying children with their birth parents, something we aim for from the start of a foster placement,” she said.
Of the more than 7,100 children in state out-of-home care, almost 2,000 children have the goal of adoption. Almost 1,000 have had their parental rights terminated, which means they are available and awaiting adoption with no identified family, and 450 of those children do not have identified adoptive families. These children are part of the state’s Special Needs Adoption Program (SNAP).
Children may be considered special needs if they are part of a sibling group, age 2 or older and part of an ethnic or minority group, or children age 7 or older who have formed a significant emotional attachment with their foster parents. Some may also have certain behavioral or medical needs.
“The special need that all of these children share is the need for a loving home,” said DCBS Adoption Services Branch Manager Mike Grimes. “We’re working to find those families who are ready to open their hearts and homes for these kids.”
Parents who are considering fostering and/or adopting can take the first step by calling a toll-free number – (800) 232-KIDS – and requesting an information packet. Next, there is an orientation meeting where parents can ask questions and talk to veteran adoptive parents.
“Fostering and adopting are big decisions, and we want potential parents to have all the information they need before they commit to a child,” Grimes said. “With this grant, we will be able to reach out to more parents for the waiting children across the state.”
To learn more about foster care and adoption, log on to www.chfs.ky.gov/snap or call (800) 232-KIDS.
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