• December 2015
  • Vol. 16, No. 9

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Disparities in Access to Postadoption Services

Research has shown that in families that receive postadoption services, children who were adopted from foster care are more likely to thrive and adoption disruption or dissolution is less likely to occur. A recent article in the Journal of Family Strengths explores specific barriers experienced by families, referred to as underserved adoptive families, in accessing postadoption services.

Data for the study came from an online survey of adoptive parents who have adopted at least one child from the U.S. foster care system. The data indicate that 60 percent of surveyed families are considered "underserved," and certain demographic groups are disproportionately represented among this population, specifically non-White families. Findings also showed that certain postadoption services are more likely than others to be classified as an unmet need, including respite care. The survey results also suggest that particular State practices and policies systematically lead to higher rates of underserved adoptive families.

The article highlights the historical purpose of postadoption services and resources within each State. Implications for practice, specialized services needed, and barriers to access are also discussed. Child welfare agencies are encouraged to reevaluate their postadoption services and establish a proactive service delivery model.

"Underserved Adoptive Families: Disparities in Postadoption Access to Information, Resources, and Services," Journal of Family Strengths, 15(1), 2015, is available at http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/jfs/vol15/iss1/6.

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