By Gabe McAteer
We are currently living in a difficult time for factual evidence. It seems that with the help of the internet, anybody can go anywhere and get their opinions validated by characterless sources, pushing mediocre statistics and irresponsible stories. The statement “You’re entitled to your own opinions, not your own facts,” is becoming more and more important to remember, yet it is constantly ignored.
Because of this strange phenomenon, it is important to be as transparent as possible. Although we write for a small industry, you’ll notice that my colleague and I always cite our sources so that you can see exactly where we are getting our information. We have discussed many times that it is in our best interest and our readers best interest to be as transparent as possible because we hope that it gives you a starting point to learn more.
I realized that because our industry is so specific, it might be a little bit harder for readers to have access to a plethora of information. So, below is a list of sources that I consistently use that have been an outstanding starting point for my colleague and me.
The AFCARS Report is essentially a breakdown of the number of children in foster care. It goes through several categories including, number of children in foster care for the Federal Fiscal Year, number of children entering, exiting, waiting to be adopted, and waiting to be adopted with public child welfare agency involvement. The report is quite reliable; it is a report that is published by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and is routinely updated for the fiscal year.
The Child Welfare Information Gateway is a database for nearly all things adoption and foster care related. They routinely publish work on breaking news and have worked hard to create a collection of resources that cover state requirements, a national directory for foster care and adoption agencies, and other valuable resources.
AdoptUSKids primarily acts as a foster care and adoption awareness tool to educate users on the need for adoptive families. So, AdoptUSKids is relatively similar to the Child Welfare Information Gateway. One unique attribute AdoptUSKids has is the ability for users to register users so they can search a national photo listing of foster youth that are available for adoption.