(PLACERVILLE, CA) – November is National Adoption Month, a time to raise awareness about children in foster care awaiting adoption and to encourage individuals and families to learn more about adoption and consider adopting a child. "El Dorado County recognizes the importance of giving children permanent, safe and loving homes through adoption. Our goal is to ensure all children in our county find permanent homes where they can be nurtured, healthy and happy," said Leslie Griffith, Assistant Director of the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA).
From October 2018 through October 2019, HHSA coordinated adoptions of 39 children in El Dorado County. Nearly 300 children are currently in foster care in El Dorado County and 119 children are awaiting permanency. Nationally, an estimated 400,000 children are in the foster care system in the United States and more than 100,000 children are waiting for families to adopt them.
According to Griffith, the average length of time a child spends in foster care waiting to be adopted is three years; but for many children, particularly older youth and teens, an adoptive parent may never come forward. Many children age out of foster care, reaching adulthood without being placed into a permanent home. These children often face a difficult road ahead as young adults because they're on their own with no family support system.
"When reunification isn't possible, permanency through adoption with a loving, nurturing and consistent family provides the best outcomes for foster youth," said Griffith. "Adoptive families come in all ages, shapes, colors and sizes - - there's no typical family setting or structure. What's most important is that children are provided safety, security and long term stability."
Griffith noted that there is currently a profound need for adoptive parents and resource foster families in El Dorado County, especially for children ages six and older and for teenagers lingering in foster care.
For more information on how to become a foster or adoptive family, please contact El Dorado County Health and Human Services' Resource Family Unit at (530) 642-7100 or visit www.edcgov.us/hhsa. HHSA provides supportive services, training and guidance for potential adoptive parents and resource foster families.
# # #