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Program Assessment


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Adoption Assistance

The program provides funds to States for adoption assistance agreements with parents who adopt children with special needs. It also funds recruitment of adoptive parents to encourage adoption of low-income children with substantial physical, emotional, and mental health needs.


What This Rating Means

Moderately Effective

In general, a program rated Moderately Effective has set ambitious goals and is well-managed. Moderately Effective programs likely need to improve their efficiency or address other problems in the programs' design or management in order to achieve better results.
  • The program increases permanent placement of foster care children, leading to both improved child well-being and reduced federal and State spending. The program focuses on harder-to-adopt children who are more likely to spend longer periods in foster care. By supporting permanent placements, the program also reduces the higher administrative costs associated with foster care.
  • The program is a critical component of the continuum of care provided through the State-administered child welfare system. The program was found to be generally well administered at the State and Federal level and well coordinated with related programs. One exception was a lack of information on potential erroneous payments.
  • The program has the data needed to measure and achieve efficiencies and cost effectiveness and is on track to achieve its long term goals. The program has set a goal to reduce the average administrative claim per IV-E (special needs) child by 2% per year. The program's goals for increasing the proportion of foster children receiving adoption assistance could be more ambitious.

Improvement Plan

About Improvement Plans

We are taking the following actions to improve the performance of the program:

  • Completing another risk assessment using Office of Management and Budget approved criteria in order to identify if additional steps are needed to address the issue of erroneous payments.
  • Identifying barriers to increasing the proportion of foster care children receiving adoption assistance.

Learn More

The content on is developed by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and Federal agencies.