‘Keeping the Promise’— a New Initiative to Reshape Adoption in the U.S.—Set to Launch May 10

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Major child welfare groups unite in call for services to help families succeed

The report, Congressional briefing and strategic initiative will help shape this critical conversation in the months to come

A broad coalition of adoption and child welfare organizations – including the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, the Congressional Coalition for Adoption Institute, Voice for Adoption, the Child Welfare League of America, the North American Council on Adoptable Children, and the Center for Adoption Support and Education – will co-sponsor a briefing on Capitol Hill for lawmakers and the media next week as part of a landmark national initiative designed to reshape adoption in the U.S. – particularly for children adopted from foster care.

Families who have struggled because they lacked sufficient services – as well as families who have overcome their challenges because they received needed support – will tell their stories and answer questions at the event, which will take place 2-3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 10, in room SVC 210-212, Capitol Visitor Center. A list of additional families from around the country will be distributed to journalists who wish to localize their stories. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, a member of the Congressional Coalition for Adoption will be one of the guest speakers.

The co-sponsoring agencies will present information on the critical need for post-adoption services, the consequences of not addressing this need, and their recommendations for the future. In addition, the Donaldson Institute will use the event to launch its national, multi-year Keeping the Promise initiative.

The Keeping the Promise initiative is named after a groundbreaking, research-based report recently published by the Donaldson Institute (http://tinyurl.com/EBDpromise). The Adoption Institute’s 98-page report, “Keeping the Promise: The Critical Need for Post-Adoption Services to Enable Children and Families to Succeed,” is the most comprehensive compilation to date of knowledge about post-adoption needs and services. It concludes that too many families are not receiving the essential assistance they need, calls for a reshaping of national priorities and resources to develop and provide such services, and provides a series of recommendations for improving policy and practice.

As the report stresses, the vast majority of adopted children function normally, and their parents are highly satisfied with their families. But over the past 15 years, nearly a million children were adopted by Americans from foster care in the U.S. and from orphanages abroad, and the majority of U.S. adoptions continue to be of those types (by far, mostly from state child welfare systems).

“As we work diligently to find adoptive homes for America’s waiting children, we also need to assure that the families formed have quality services and adoption-competent professionals available to them, said Rita Soronen, president and CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. “The report, Congressional briefing and strategic initiative will help shape this critical conversation in the months to come.”

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The endorsing group of adoption and child welfare organizations are recommending that “the paradigm has to shift” from simply forming families through adoption to providing the supports needed to raise children to healthy adulthood. Among its recommendations, which form the basis for the Keeping the Promise initiative, are to:

  •     Convene a national leadership task force to shape/promote changes in policy and practice.
  •     Develop public-private partnerships and dedicated federal funding for post-adoption services.
  •     Make such services a routine part of federal, state and local child welfare planning/financing.
  •     Fund and conduct critically needed research to develop and assess the most effective services.

For more information about the May 10 briefing, contact Rita Soronen at rita_soronen(at)davethomasfoundation(dot)org or 614-764-8482.

About the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a national nonprofit public charity dedicated exclusively to finding permanent homes for the more than 145,000 children waiting in North America’s foster care systems. Created by Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas who was adopted, the Foundation implements results-driven national programs, foster care adoption awareness and advocacy initiatives. To learn more, visit davethomasfoundation.org or call 1-800-ASK-DTFA.

Contact Rita Soronen, President & CEO
Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
rita_soronen(at)davethomasfoundation(dot)org
614-764-8482

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