President Bush last week signed an extension of a federal measure that supports adoption of foster kids into permanent homes. Charlcie Carey is Adoption Program Manager for Iowa’s Department of Human Services. The program began around 1998 and by 2002, Iowa had doubled the number of adoptions finalized in the state. About 5,000 children are in all levels of foster care in Iowa, about one-thousand of those who could be free for adoptions, and she says there are 120 kids each month who are ready and waiting to go to adoptive homes. The bill includes money to help recruit adoptive families, train them and improve programs to support families and Carey says it has a new focus. This time, in addition to the incentives and trying to increase adoptions, there’s a focus on trying to find homes for older kids — over age 9. She says the state does a “pretty good job” of placing young kids in adoptive homes, but it’s the older kids who face a longer wait for a permanent home.
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