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Children are placed in foster homes because they have been removed from their own families due to abuse, neglect, or other family problems that endanger their safety.
The children may:
- range in age from infancy through 18 years of age;
- have special medical, physical, or emotional needs;
- belong to any ethnicity or race; and
- be a part of a sibling group who need to be placed together.
Adoptive Home PlacementsChildren are placed in adoptive homes if efforts to reunify them with their birth families are unsuccessful. Children whose parental rights have been legally terminated may be adopted by relatives, a foster family, or an adoptive family. If a child is adopted and meets the "Special Needs" requirements, the family may be eligible for paid Adoption Assistance. For more information about Adoption Assistance please see the DFPS Adoption Assistance page on the DFPS public website.
Who are children with "Special Needs"?
The term "Special Needs" is used to define children with several characteristics and does not necessarily mean the child has a mental, emotional or physical disability.
A child with special needs is one who meets all of the criteria in this section:
- The child is in the care of DFPS, has not turned 18 years old, and meets one of the following conditions:
- The child is at least 6 years old;
- The child is at least 2 years old and a member of a racial or ethnic group that exits foster care at a slower pace than other racial or ethnic groups;
- The child is part of a sibling group that is being adopted together or is being adopted to join siblings that have previously been adopted;
- The child has a verifiable physical, mental, or emotional disabling condition, as established by an appropriately qualified professional through a diagnosis that addresses what the condition is AND that the condition is disabling; or
- The child qualifies to receive SSI benefits for disability.
- DFPS has determined that the child can not or should not return home to their parents.
- A reasonable effort has been made to find an adoptive placement for the child without paid Adoption Assistance.
For additional information please click on the following link: Who is a child with special needs?