Is the Adoption and Safe Families Act Influencing Child Welfare Outcomes for Families with Substance Abuse Issues?

Child Maltreatment, 12(1), 7-19.

Jan. 2007


Rockhill, A. M., Green, B. G., & Furrer, C. J.

The Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) was designed to promote more timely permanent placements for children in the child welfare system. To date, however, available data have said little about whether ASFA is meeting its intended goals. This study looks at the impact of ASFA on parents struggling with substance abuse issues. The authors compared child welfare outcomes, pre- and post-ASFA, for children of more than 1,900 substance-abusing women with some treatment involvement. After the implementation of ASFA, children in this study spent less time in foster care, were placed in permanent settings more quickly, and were more likely to be adopted than remain in long-term foster care. The proportion of children who were reunified with their parent or parents stayed the same. These outcomes were apparent even controlling for case and family characteristics. Results are discussed in terms of the influence of ASFA on service delivery systems.

Associated Staff

Beth L. Green