Yesterday the Senate Caucus on Foster Youth held a forum on Capitol Hill regarding adoption disruption. Co-chairs Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) opened the forum with thanks to the former foster youth on the panel and in the audience who came to share their stories about overcoming difficult challenges.
Grassley called on more scrutiny of adoption disruptions to determine what policy changes are needed. Landrieu spoke about the many difficulties facing youth as they age out of foster care and who are adopted.
There were a number of youth at the forum who are participating in the Foster Youth Internship program through the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. Many of these youth spoke of their experiences with adoption. In addition Dr. Richard Barth, Dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Maryland presented data and research from his work on this issue. He highlighted the lack of any recent research on adoption disruptions and made the point that none of the existing longitudinal studies including the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being, the National Survey of Family Growth, and the National Survey of Adoptive Parents, will tell us much about adoption disruption. A number of recommendations were made to reform and improve federal policy including providing more support for post adoption services and more funding for research into best practices.