TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Children and Families has been awarded an adoption incentive from the federal government for the third year in a row.
The $3.8 million award was based on the total number of children adopted in federal fiscal year 2010 and also the number of children older than 9 or with special needs who were adopted during that time period.
Florida was awarded the third-highest amount, behind only two states, Texas and Arizona. In previous years, the money has been allocated toward the maintenance adoption subsidy, and the Legislature is expected to allocate this award for the same purpose. Any person who adopts a child from foster care in Florida receives $417 a month until the child turns 18.
“This award shows the strong commitment our state has to finding adoptive families for each child in foster care,” said DCF Secretary David Wilkins. “Every child deserves a permanent family.”
In recent years, Florida has significantly increased the number of children adopted from foster care, focusing on teens, sibling groups and children with special needs. During the past four years, the state has found homes for nearly 14,000 foster care children; more than 3,000 of those were adopted last year alone.
There are still about 800 children in Florida waiting for a family.
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Photo: COURTESTY OF CGCC Community Arts Program