Column: Indiana is top state for adoptionSeptember 29, 2020
By STATE SEN. MARK MESSMER
Gov. Holcomb, along with U.S. Administration for Children and Families Assistant Secretary Lynn Johnson, recently announced that Indiana is the top state in the nation for increasing the number of children adopted from foster care.
Along with recognizing our state for this commendable achievement, Assistant Secretary Johnson also presented Indiana with an adoption and legal guardianship incentive award of more than $4.7 million, which will be used to enhance our state's child welfare system.
In the year leading up to the announcement, the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) took an important step to ensure that Hoosier children went to their forever home by increasing the number of adoption consultants from seven to 19 and providing them with specialized training. The agency also launched an enhanced database for better tracking of adoption inquiries and a digital picture book of Indiana’s Waiting Children.
In fiscal year 2019, 2,489 children were adopted through DCS. This was nearly 1,000 more adoptions than 10 years ago, when only 1,577 children were adopted through DCS.
DCS is currently in the process of finalizing the statewide Adoption Rapid Permanency Review. This is designed to bring permanency to children and promote systemic change within the child welfare system by identifying barriers and implementing strategies to remove those barriers.
While it's important we celebrate these accomplishments, we must continue to help the most vulnerable children in our state. I remain committed to working with DCS to pass legislation that supports young Hoosiers and helps them find safe, loving homes.
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about becoming a foster or adoptive parent, you can visit IndianaFosterCare.org or IndianaAdoptionProgram.org.
As always, feel free to contact my office directly with your questions and concerns by email at Senator.Messmer@iga.in.gov or by phone at 800-382-9467.
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