Weekend Miracles: How an International Adoption Recruitment Strategy Helps Parents for Children in Foster Care

Weekend Miracles Los Angeles, now entering its second decade, offers a unique and proven approach to creating forever families and lasting connections for adolescents who are languishing in foster care in Los Angeles.  Since the program’s official launch in 2006, Weekend Miracles has been a resounding success, having recruited adopt families, legal guardians, and lasting connections for 75 percent of participating children.

Download the complete article written by Deborah Dentler here.

Scholarships available for the NACAC Conference

NACAC LogoLos Angeles County DCFS has a limited number of scholarships available for select parents and workers to attend the NACAC conference — Thursday, July 30 to Saturday, August 1, with an all-day pre-conference session by Dr. Dan Siegel on Wednesday, July 29.

Scholarships are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Click here for information on all the sessions, the conference schedule.

Scholarships are open to parents who meet at least one of the following criteria:

Parent Scholarships:

  • Are adoptive parents who adopted through Los Angeles County DCFS or a Foster Family Agency serving the county
  • Are state-licensed (not certified) foster parents serving Los Angeles County
  • Are relative or non-relative extended family member (NREFM) caregivers serving children through Los Angeles County DCFS

NACAC Resource Parent Scholarship Registration Form

DCFS Staff Scholarships:

The DCFS staff scholarships are open to all staff of Los Angeles County DCFS. The scholarship covers registration fees for the pre-conference session by Dr. Dan Siegel on Wednesday, July 29, and registration for the conference on Thursday and Friday. It does not cover Saturday’s workshops or luncheon, although attendees can pay their own way to attend on Saturday if they’d like.

NACAC DCFS Staff Scholarship Registration Form

 

Plaintiff in landmark lawsuit against DCFS adopts her foster child on National Adoption Day

National Adoption Day 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DD Post Adoption Day

AdoptUSKids Celebrates 20,000 Children Placed With Adoptive Families

20000kidsFor children in foster care available for adoption, and for whom no adoptive family has been identified, the AdoptUSKids national photolisting website serves as a tool for connecting their caseworkers with prospective adoptive families. Over the last decade, 20,000 children previously photolisted on AdoptUSKids have been placed with adoptive families. AdoptUSKids is a service of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Administration for Children and Families. See the full-size Infographic for AdoptUSKids Celebrating 20,000 Children Placed With Adoptive Families.

Adoption Tax Credit Is Made Permanent

The legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff (the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, signed into law on January 2) included a provision that made the adoption tax credit permanent. Unfortunately it did not make the adoption credit refundable, so it will only benefit those adoptive families who have federal income tax liability.

For 2013, we believe the maximum adoption credit and exclusion will be slightly higher than the 2012 maximum of $12,650. The credit will begin to phase out for families with modified adjusted gross incomes above a certain level (around $190,000) and the credit will go away completely for those with incomes around $230,000. (Exact numbers for the maximum credit and income guidelines have yet to be released.)

For 2013 and beyond, the credit will remain flat for special needs adoptions, meaning that those who adopt children from the U.S. who receive adoption assistance/adoption subsidy benefits can claim the maximum credit regardless of their expenses. For other adoptions (except for step-parent adoptions), parents can claim the credit based on their qualified adoption expenses.

NACAC is deeply disappointed Congress did not make the adoption tax credit refundable for 2012 or future years, and will continue to advocate for refundability in the future.  We will keep you posted on these advocacy efforts.

Even though the credit isn’t refundable for 2012, we encourage those who adopted in 2012 to submit a Form 8839 with their 2012 taxes even if they do not have tax liability. Although they will not receive an adoption credit refund with their 2012 taxes, the credit can be carried forward up to five additional years. Families might benefit later if either their tax situation changes or the credit is made refundable in the future, and then wouldn’t have to amend their 2012 taxes.

Source: NACAC January 3rd, 2012 newsletter. For more information regarding the adoption credit and more, visit the NACAC website here.

November is National Adoption Month

Observing National Adoption Month

Each year, November is recognized as National Adoption Awareness Month. While all adoption-related issues are important, the particular focus of this month is the adoption of children currently in foster care.

Activities and celebrations are kicked off with a Presidential Proclamation, and while efforts made at the national level certainly help build awareness of adoption, participation in local programs, events, and activities by those of us with a direct connection to adoption can often be the most effective way to promote positive perceptions, debunk the myths, and draw attention to the tens of thousands of children in foster care who wait and hope for permanent families.

National Adoption Month 2012

2012 is an exciting year for National Adoption Month. As it always has been and as it always will be, the focus for November is finding loving, permanent homes for the foster children who are waiting to be adopted. But this year marks a modern twist–social media and digital efforts. This year’s theme is: “National Adoption Month–Virtually: Adoption in the Digital Age.” The U.S. Department of Human Services knows that social media and social networking allow information to be shared easily, quickly, and effectively, and this month’s focus is on sharing, educating, and informing others about the 104,000 foster children in the United States who are currently waiting to find their forever families. To join the cause, log in to any or all of your social networking accounts and spread the word. Update your blog and share your own story to help inspire others. You can get involved without ever leaving your home. However, if you’re looking for a hands-on opportunity, communities across the country are coming together to help foster children in need. And you’re an essential part of this effort! Help make 2012’s  National Adoption Month the best one yet!

Click here for 30 Days of Ideas to celebrate National Adoption Awareness Month, Adoption Month History, and more.

Presidential Proclamation — National Adoption Month, 2012

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

As a Nation that believes all children deserve the chance to reach their full potential, we have a fundamental responsibility to ensure each of them grows up knowing the love and protection of a permanent family. During National Adoption Month, we give voice to children who are still waiting for that opportunity, celebrate the bond that unites adoptive parents with their sons and daughters, and recommit to providing every child with the care and security that will nurture their development and well-being.

Later this month, many Americans will also mark National Adoption Day by completing a foster care adoption and embracing a new member of their family. Driven by reasons unique to their households but united by the spirit of compassion that moves all who choose to adopt, these parents will take up our country’s most important task — the work of raising our sons and daughters. As we celebrate the contributions of adoptive parents across our Nation, let us also strive to eliminate discriminatory barriers that would separate foster children from a loving family. Adoptive families come in many forms, and it is essential that all qualified adults have the opportunity to care for a child in need.

My Administration remains committed to helping every child find a loving home. We have partnered with faith-based and community organizations across America to help connect children with adoptive parents, and we continue to work with State, local, and tribal governments to improve child outcomes; enhance safety, permanency, and well-being; and support adoptive families. I was proud to sign the Affordable Care Act and the International Adoption Simplification Act, which have made it easier for families to adopt, as well as the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act, which will help reduce the length of time young children are without families. We have built on those efforts as part of the National Adoption Campaign, which continues to bring adoption and foster care into our national conversation.

Thousands of children living in America hope for the comfort and safety of a loving family. This month, we pay tribute to the dedicated professionals who help make those children’s dreams a reality, sharpen our resolve to find a permanent home for every child, and celebrate the stories of all whose lives have been touched by adoption.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2012 as National Adoption Month. I encourage all Americans to observe this month by answering the call to find a permanent and caring family for every child in need, and by supporting the families who care for them.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

BARACK OBAMA

 

Deborah Presents at the North American Council on Adoptable Children – 38th Annual Conference

Deborah will be presenting a panel discussion at the this month’s annual conference of the North American Council on Adoptable Children, or “NACAC,” the nation’s largest and most influential adoption advocacy organization.  The conference brings together adoptive and foster parents, child welfare professionals, adoptees, foster care alumni, kinship caregivers, and other child advocates from across North America, and offers special activities for kids and teens.

This year’s annual NACAC conference will be held in Crystal City, Virginia (just outside Washington, D.C.) on July 25 to 28, 2012. 

 

Deborah’s presentation will feature Judge Amy Pellman of the Los Angeles Juvenile Court.

Friday, July 27th at 10:30 AM.

To Grandmother’s House We Go: How Will the Judge Decide in Kin v. Foster Parent Cases
It’s a familiar story. A relative comes forward asking to keep a child in the family. A foster child’s adoption is delayed or derailed while social workers and lawyers consider what is best for the child. In a session led by judges and lawyers who grapple with kin v. foster parent cases in court, learn about laws granting varying degrees of preference to relatives and current caregivers, and explore current trends in law and policy. Deborah Dentler, attorney-at-law, California • Amy Pellman, Los Angeles Superior Court, California

For more about the annual conference click here.

For more about NACAC, visit the website here.

To obtain a copy of the presentation materials, contact Deborah’s office.