September 24, 1999 President and First Lady announced bonus awards of $20 million to 35 states that have increased the number of children adopted from the public foster care system.
These bonuses, awarded for the first time today, were first proposed by President Clinton's Adoption 2002 initiative and included in the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997.
The President today also announced $5.5 million in grants to innovative programs that remove barriers to adoption, and he unveiled a national progress report on adoption that documents the success of the Administration' s strategy.
From 1996 to 1998, the number of adoptions nationwide rose 29 percent - from 28,000 to 36,000 - and is on a pace to meet the President's goal of 56,000 adoptions in 2002.
This is the first significant increase in adoptions since the national foster care program was established nearly 20 years ago.
INCENTIVE AWARDS SUCCEED IN INCREASING ADOPTIONS.
In the Administration' s Adoption 2002 proposal and the adoption law of 1997, the President created the first-ever financial incentive for states to increase adoptions of children from the foster care system.
Today, the President released $20 million in bonus awards to 35 states that in 1998 had exceeded their average adoption rate from 1995-1997. The $20 million in bonuses provide for up to $4,000 per adopted child, and $6,000 for each child with special needs. In fact, the states' performance in 1998 entitled them to an additional $22.5 million.
INNOVATIVE GRANTS REDUCE BARRIERS TO ADOPTION.
The President today also announced $5.5 million in new awards under the Adoption Opportunities program. This program provides grants to public and private organizations to eliminate barriers to adoption, particularly for children with special needs. This year's grants reward a variety of initiatives , including efforts to increaseadoptions of minority children, targeted field research, and awards for collaborative planning to increase adoptions across jurisdictional lines.
REPORT SHOWS CLINTON ADMINISTRATION STRATEGY IS WORKING.
Since taking office, the President has championed efforts to make foster care work better, to find and assist adoptive families, and to break down barriers to adoption.
Today the President received a progress report from the Department of Health and Human Services that documents the effectiveness of the Administration' s strategy.
Reforming the Child Welfare System. In 1997, the President signed the Adoption and Safe Families Act.
This landmark law was based largely on recommendations from the Administration' s Adoption 2002 report, which the President requested by executive memorandum in order to meet his goal of doubling adoptions by 2002.
The law expedited permanent placement decisions for children, ensured h ealth insurance coverage for all special-needs children insubsidized adoptions, and created the bonus awards released today.
http://www.hhs. gov/news/ press/1999pres/ 990924b.html
S.A.F.E. Saving Americas Families Everwhere @ www.safe.zoomshare.com
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