New state figures show more children are leaving foster care for safe, permanent homes than are entering the child welfare system.
Child Protective Services (CPS) fiscal year 2019 data shows that more than 20,000 children left Texas foster care, including more than 6,000 who were adopted. Additionally, more than half of the adoptions, 3,095, were by relatives, a new record for CPS.
“Additional resources combined with a tenacious work ethic have led to unprecedented success for the DFPS this year,” Governor Greg Abbott said. “Texas is better because a record number of children have been adopted in 2019 and are experiencing the joy of a loving home this Christmas season. Equally impressive is the increase in the number of children who are reunited with family. The marked improvements demonstrated by DFPS are the result of the passion and commitment by DFPS staff.”
The number of children entering foster care has dropped in recent years. In FY 2019, 18,615 children entered the system. The number of children leaving foster care outnumbered the number entering care by more than 1,700 children this year, a trend the state hopes will continue.
“This is certainly great news, and affirmation that our year-round adoption efforts are paying off,” Kristene Blackstone, CPS associate commissioner, said. “In many cases we are reunifying these children with their families.”
Adoptions have also steadily increased 25 percent in the last decade. Part of this is due to how Texas has expanded support for kinship caregivers who commit to caring for young family members. As a result, more children are being adopted by relatives than ever.
As National Adoption Month wrapped up Thanksgiving weekend, more than 400 children and youth in Texas found permanent homes during Texas’ busiest month for adoptions.
But as Blackstone said, the need for permanent homes is year-round, and with Christmas only a few weeks away she hopes more foster children will benefit from the season’s good will.
“November is our busiest adoption month, by far, but there is nothing more joyful than an adoption at Christmas time,” Blackstone said.
SOURCE Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
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