Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Webinar: ASFA 12 Years Later


Monday, December 14, 2009; 9:00-10:45 a.m. ET

Panelists: Olivia Golden, Institute fellow, Urban Institute, and author, Reforming Child Welfare
John Mattingly, commissioner, New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services Carmen Nazario, assistant secretary for children and families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Susan Notkin, New York director, Center for the Study of Social Policy (moderator), Jeanette Vega, parent, writer for Rise magazine, and a community representative who guides parents in child safety conferences, Nancy Young, executive director, Children and Family Futures, and director, National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare

The ground-shifting Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) of 1997 was passed in response to growing concerns that the nation’s child welfare systems were not providing for the safety, permanency, and well-being of abused and neglected children. The ambitious new law aimed to reaffirm the focus on child safety in case decisionmaking and to ensure that children, rather than languish in foster care, were promptly connected with permanent families. It declared that, in making decisions about foster care and adoption placements, “the child’s health and safety shall be the paramount concern.”

A dozen years after passage of this landmark legislation, the Center for the Study of Social Policy and the Urban Institute are publishing a comprehensive retrospective titled Intentions and Results: A Look Back at the Adoption and Safe Families Act. Its 14 papers, by a broad sweep of scholars and practitioners, probe the realities of ASFA’s implementation compared to the hopes and fears that attended its enactment; its effects on families facing such issues as substance abuse, mental health problems, or parental incarceration; the perspectives of youth and families involved with the child welfare system; the future agenda for adoption, guardianship, and reunification; and more.

To mark the collection’s release, five panelists -- each with a unique perspective on the child welfare system -- will look back at the lessons of ASFA and assess what they mean for tomorrow’s vulnerable children and families, including opportunities presented by the new Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act.

To attend this event in Washington, D.C., RSVP at
e-mail, or call (202) 261-5709.

To listen to the live audio webcast, register at

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