Biggest Needs, Biggest Gaps In Services For Kids Adoped From Foster System

Feb 11, 2014

Children with the biggest needs face the biggest gaps in services, according to a new report about children adopted from the state's foster care system.

The findings were released Monday by the Washington state auditor's office.

The Auditor's office heard from about 750 families who adopted kids who had been in foster care. Sixteen percent of those families are raising children with disabilities.

These children tend to be older and often have mental and emotional problems. Parents of these kids say they've tried to help their children deal with issues such as stealing and suicidal thoughts.

More than half of these families said they're having trouble getting services: things like specialized in-home or after-school programs and family counseling.

The report suggests that the state Department of Social and Health Services develop a plan to offer new services for families with disabled children.

Families who do not have children with disabilities responded more favorably. A majority of those families said most of their needs were being met by existing services.