Adoption Network Cleveland provides consulting services in order to help other agencies and organizations to replicate the successes of the Kids Initiative in other areas of the country. We have successfully done so as above in the Washington DC area, and are currently working with the State of Michigan. For more information, contact Betsie Norris
at (216) 482-2314.
Adoption Network Cleveland has transformed adoption in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, by redesigning the system for adoption of waiting youth through the Adopt Cuyahoga’s Kids Initiative, an innovative public-private partnership. These systemic innovations were instrumental in reducing the number of youth available for adoption in Cuyahoga County from 1,700 in 2002 to under 700 in 2011.
The majority of the youth referred to the Initiative have been teenagers, male, African American and/or sibling groups. Many were thought to be “unadoptable.” The methodology developed for the Kids Initiative has been successful in addressing the disproportional representation of older children, males and African Americans within the public child welfare system.
Placing an initial group of 332 youth in adoptive homes between 2004-2006 (double the goal of 165) saved taxpayers an estimated $29.5 million in case management and $22.2 million in increased social services for youth who aged out for a total savings of $51.7 million. Besides these financial costs, the human costs of aging out of the foster care system are incalculable. Since 2007 an additional 90 youth have been placed with adoptive families through Child Centered Recruitment.
Adoption Network Cleveland has developed a comprehensive methodology to address multiple barriers to adoption and has been successful on a far greater scale, providing a replicable model for other areas experiencing crises in the public child welfare system.
In recognition of the success of this Kids Initiative, Adoption Network Cleveland received a 2009 Adoption Excellence Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the area of Adoption of Minority Children and Youth. In 2011 Betsie Norris received this award in the area of Increasing Adoptions of Older Children.