This message is from New York State Citizens’ Coalition for Children who started the petition “Governor Andrew Cuomo: NYS Should Fund Statewide Post Adoption Services”.
We met with a staff person in Governor Cuomo’s office on December 19 to discuss the need for post adoption services (PAS) in all areas of the state for all families and future funding options for PAS. We shared that the Office of Children & Family Services estimates that 609 of the children in foster care were previously adopted (this is a low estimate as NYC doesn’t not currently collect this data despite the fact that it is a federal requirement to do so).
The good news is that NYSCCC believes that the Governor’s office understands the unique mental health of the children. Unfortunately, with NYS facing a $1billion dollar short fall in next year’s budget it appears doubtful that PAS will be in the Governor’s proposed budget. We emphasized that there will be savings for NYS if PAS is enacted statewide with a decrease in children in foster care and residential treatment. With an average cost of foster care of $56,000/child, we believe that an $8 million statewide post adoption services would pay for itself if 2.5 children per county moved from foster care to a permanent family. This does not take into account the savings from less residential treatment placements. We encouraged the Governor’s office to look at using Title IV-B Subpart 2 funding and the millions of dollars saved by the federal government picking up a larger share of adoption subsidies (money which is supposed to be reinvested in child welfare!) as well as review how other states are funding PAS.
With the Governor’s budget not being submitted until mid-January there is still time to make our voices heard. Please call Governor Cuomo at 518-474-8390 (press option 3 to speak to a person, not a recording) and tell him how important post adoption services are to children and their families! Feel free to call as many times as you want and to have your friends call too. There is money available for post adoption services; NYS just needs to make it a priority.
View the petition.