Major purpose of the legislationThe Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 resulted in the introduction of federal subsidies or payments for foster care and adoption assistance. The implementation of this legislation by the federal government was an encouragement to individuals adopting special needs children. Besides, it was pivotal in the removal of financial disincentives that hampered families from adopting special needs children. It was the recognition that adoptive parents face financial difficulty in meeting the needs and demands of special needs children that prompted the formulation and implementation of the legislation. As such, the major purpose of the legislation was to benefit children under foster care, and this would be achieved through the provision of stability and security of permanent home, where children under foster care would receive either federally funded or state-funded subsidies. As per the guidelines of the legislation, it is imperative for adoptive families to submit completed Requests for Adoption Assistance, and these are forms that are provided solely by licensed adoption agencies (Hansen, 2006). The latter has the responsibility of determining whether an adopted special needs child is eligible for participation in the program or not. In the case of eligibility, the public agency holds negotiations to sign an adoption assistance agreement.
Administration of legislation’s authorized programs
The administration of programs authorized by the above legislation is done at the state level, with state agencies bearing the responsibility of ensuring that the programs are implemented effectively and as per the guidelines and stipulations of the act. The administration of the programs by state agencies entails the monitoring and conduction of periodic evaluations of the various activities carried out in the enforcement of the legislation (Hansen, 2006). As per the guidelines of the act, a single state agency that plays a pivotal role in the administration of authorized programs is the department of job and family services. Through its director, the department of job and family services is responsible for the adoption of rules that help in the implementation of the legislation.
Current critical issue and impact of legislation on the issue
The primary targets of the legislation are orphaned children in foster care waiting for adoption by well-wishing and economically stable families. It should be noted that these children face myriads of challenges, and one of the current critical issues faced by these children is the lack of necessities, which are food, shelter, and clothing. The lack of education has also been included among the necessities, which these children lack. Arguably, the legislation that has seen the introduction of federal payment or subsidies for foster care and adoption assistance has had a positive impact on the issue of lack of necessities for orphaned children. With this legislation, families have been encouraged and thus, they can adopt children with special needs without having the fear that financial hardship will be a hurdle or barrier to the provision of support to the special needs children (Howe et al., 2000). The positive impact of the legislation on the issue of lack of necessities is that it has seen the federal government allocate funds with the aim of supporting adoption. These funds have been channeled to the improvement of living, health, behavioral, and educational conditions of special needs children, and through this, the issue of lack of necessities by these children has been addressed. In fact, one of the objectives of the legislation is the improvement of child welfare, and this without a doubt is an illustration of how the legislation has helped solve the critical issue of lack of necessities among special needs children.
This legislation clearly stipulates children eligible for federal payments or subsidies for foster care and adoption assistance. As such, a policy that has been developed as a result of the Social Security legislation is the child abuse and neglect policy, which has helped in the determination of children who are genuinely orphaned or who have been neglected by parents. The child abuse and neglect policy has helped achieve the objectives of the legislation through its emphasis on the provision of education, medical services, safety and well-being of special needs and neglected children especially after termination of parental rights.
Position on issue
As mentioned above, one of the critical issues facing special needs children is the lack of necessities such as clothing, food, shelter, and education. The fact that the world is moving rapidly achieving objectives such as socioeconomic stability should see an end to issues such as the lack of necessities, which is faced by special needs children in foster care. Other than the legislation which champions for federal payments or subsidies for foster care and adoption assistance, there should be the formulation of other legislations that will see parents or guardians who fail to provide necessities to special needs children brought to book. This is a potential solution to the issue at hand, and its advantage is that it will ensure that parents meet every right of children. However, this potential solution could be expensive as the federal and state governments will have to set aside funds for its enforcement.
Selection and summary of article
The article “Title IV-E claims and adoption assistance payments” by Hansen (2006) highlights that the inception of the legislation mentioned above has seen families in the US adopt children without fear that they could create financial hardships for the families. The article goes ahead to mention that the federal and state governments have increased investments towards the implementation of the legislation, and these has played a pivotal role in the adoption of special needs children. The article attributes the improvement of health, educational, behavioral, and employment outcomes for special needs children to the legislation.
- Hansen, M. E. (2006). Title IV-E claims and adoption assistance payments. AFCARS Adoption Data Research Brief, 5.
- Howe, D., Feast, J., & Coster, D. (2000). Adoption. Search and Reunion: The Long-Term Experience of Adopted Adults, London, Children’s Society.