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Currently, there are 102,000 children and youth in the U.S. foster care system in need of adoptive families.
AdoptUSKids is a project of the U.S. Children's Bureau operated through a cooperative agreement with the Adoption Exchange Association. The project launched in 2002 with a two-fold purpose: To raise public awareness about the need for foster and adoptive families; and to support States, Territories, and Tribes in their efforts to find families for children in foster care, particularly the most challenging to place including older youth, those who are part of a sibling groups that need to be placed together, and children and youth of color, and to assist with placements across county and state boundaries.
AdoptUSKids offers a variety of resources, services, and tools to both families and child welfare professionals.
A core service of AdoptUSKids is providing technical assistance and resources to States, Territories, and Tribes through the National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment at AdoptUSKids (NRCDR) to help child welfare systems develop and implement comprehensive Diligent Recruitment (DR) plans in order to achieve improved outcomes, including permanency and placement stability for children in foster care. AdoptUSKids also supports activities that focus on increasing the capacity of States, Territories, and Tribes to provide child and youth-focused foster and adoptive family engagement, development, and support services.
Through a national multimedia public awareness outreach campaign, AdoptUSKids helps raise public awareness about the need for foster and adoptive families. The campaign, developed through a partnership of the U.S. Children’s Bureau, AdoptUSKids, and the Ad Council, features the theme, “You Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Be a Perfect Parent,” illustrating to prospective parents that children and youth don’t need perfection; they need the commitment and love an adoptive family can provide.
A professional team of Adoption and Foster Care Resource Specialists manages a toll-free nationwide information and call center (in both English and Spanish) for families and child welfare professionals, providing information and referral services to families who are just beginning to explore fostering or adoption and families who already have approved homestudies, and connecting families with an appropriate agency in their local area that can respond to their specific needs.
AdoptUSKids also maintains a national photolisting that provides States with more opportunities to connect waiting children and youth with adoptive families.
Working with the media and other resources, AdoptUSKids raises awareness and promotes positive adoption and foster care stories through a large and diverse group of media spokesfamilies. AdoptUSKids also actively participates in state, regional, and national child welfare and adoption conferences with informational workshops and exhibits.
Evidence of Success
- More than 24,000 children and youth from U.S. foster care previously photolisted on our site now have adoptive families.
- More than 4,000 families are registered on our site and use it to actively search for children and youth who are waiting for an adoptive family.
- 1,100 public and private agencies have registered and use our site to photolist children and youth or to match them with approved families.
- All fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands are actively engaged with us and have used one or more services within the last year.
- The national adoption recruitment campaign has received more than $397 million in donated and earned media support since its launch in July 2004.
Did You Know?
- All of AdoptUSKids’ services and products are free of charge for both families and professionals.
- AdoptUSKids’ central office is in Maryland, but serves families and child welfare professionals in all 50 States as well as Territories and Tribes by connecting them with local services where they live.
- There were more than 520,000 children and youth in foster care when the AdoptUSKids project launched in 2002. This number has been reduced to 400,000 thanks to the efforts of the federal government in partnership with States, Territories, and Tribes working together to improve the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and families.
Meet Our Team
AdoptUSKids is made up of an expert team of people located across the country, all working together to provide free services to foster and adoptive families and the U.S. States, Territories, Tribes, and Courts that serve them.
National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment
The National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment at AdoptUSKids assists States, Tribes, and Territories in recruiting and retaining foster, adoptive, and kinship families through on-site and off-site technical assistance.
Diligent Recruitment Grantees
AdoptUSKids provides support and technical assistance to 21 diligent recruitment projects awarded to public agencies as part of the U.S. Children’s Bureau’s Adoption Opportunities program.