by Alexander M. Bachik
National Center for Policy Analysis
February 06, 2014
In 2012, 254,162 children entered the foster care system, and as of September 2012, approximately 399,546 children nationwide were living in foster care. Most children spend relatively little time in foster care, but the longer a child stays in foster care, the less likely he or she is to ever leave the system other than by aging out. Barriers to adoption should be removed, and the subsidy system reformed to provide better incentives to individual caseworkers or outside agencies to find permanent homes for children in foster care. Public foster care and adoption services should hire or reassign a small number of caseworkers to act as dedicated adoption agents for the kids most likely to age out of the system. Refundable or permanent adoption tax credits should be targeted toward at-risk and special needs children to incentivize their adoption.