Audit Says Adoption Process Needs Changes
In her audit, McCaskill found that foster kids are in the state's custody for more than three years before they find a permanent home. And she says that time frame is significantly longer than the national average.
McCaskill surveyed prospective adoptive parents in the state and determined there are four major problems slowing down the adoption process. She says the children's biological parents maintain too many parental rights.
McCaskill determined the Department of Social Services which runs the state adoption program is disorganized and difficult for prospective parents to deal with. She says most parents thought they had to be a foster parent before they were eligible to adopt, which is not the case. And the prospective parents also complained that adoption process took too long.
"A child is placed for adoption and it doesn't happen. The department is not figuring out why. They are not slowing down to interview, to document. Why are these adoptions not occurring?" McCaskill said.
McCaskill says the Department of Social Services is not keeping sufficient records on children in the state's custody that are waiting for adoption. And in response that, the department says they're working out problems in their data basis and they plan to find a solution.