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Comments on the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System

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Publication Date: August 2003

Publisher(s): Center for Law and Social Policy

Author(s): Rutledge Q. Hutson

Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Topic: Social conditions (Public welfare and social services)

Type: Other

Coverage: United States


This letter, submitted by CLASP to the federal Childrens Bureau, comments on how to improve the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS). The data collected through AFCARS provide critical information to federal, state, and local governments, as well as to advocates and researchers, which can be used to improve program management and to enhance policy development and implementation.

These comments offer suggestions about improving AFCARS so that this data collection system can be a more effective tool in improving the welfare of children in foster care and of those who have been adopted through the child welfare system. The comments fall into four general categories: (1) developing the capacity to track children over time; (2) improving the comparability of data across states; (3) collecting critical additional data and (4) enhancing access to data on a timely basis.