HHS Awards Almost $15 Million in Adoption Bonuses

Last week HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced almost $15 million in adoption bonuses paid to 25 states and Puerto Rico for increasing the number of children adopted from state-supervised foster care in fiscal year 2002. In states that qualified for bonuses, 3,703 more children were adopted in fiscal year 2002 than in the previous year.

The highest award was Florida with an eye popping $3.5 million in bonuses. New Jersey got almost $2 million. Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin each got around $1.1 million. HHS reports that around 51,000 foster children are adopted each year. President Bush wants to extend the adoption bonus program in fiscal year 2004.

While adoption is a great idea for many foster children, a “permanency bonus” should be implemented to increase the total number of permanent placements through guardianship, kinship care and reunification. More on this, including a federally subsidized permanent placement for older foster children, in future blogs . . .

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