Child Welfare Law Change Leaves Some Behind in District of Columbia

Change in the District’s child welfare laws has resulted in uneven financial support for adopted children and those with legal guardians.
by | June 19, 2012

Change in the District’s child welfare laws has resulted in uneven financial support for adopted children and those in guardianships, reports The Washington Post.

In 2012, emergency legislation eliminated a discrepancy in the cutoff age for subsidies but only for those that entered the system after May 7, 2010. Those who entered the child and family services system after that date will stop receiving monthly support checks when they turn 18 -- rather than 21. The change has ended subsidies for guardians of 142 children so far, according to the paper.

Before the legislation, the District’s Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) awarded subsidies differently to foster parents as to guardians and adoptive parents. Foster parents received monthly subsidies of about $1,000 a month until their foster children turned 21. Guardians and adoptive parents were cutoff once their wards turned 18, creating a “disincentive” for adoption, according to Mindy Good, a CFSA spokeswoman.

The new law treats guardians and adoptive parents the same as foster parents, however, adopted children and those in guardianships who entered the system prior to May 7, 2010 still lose support after turning 18.

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