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Policy and Practice Perspective

July 2011

Funded by:Dave Thomas Foundation forAdoption,

Rosie’s ForAllKids Foundation and

The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute

The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, starting with the publication of “Never Too Old” and with next steps with partner organizations, seeks to help reshape that reality. This report is the result of over a year of research and analysis, and it constitutes the most up-to-date compilation of knowledge on the numerous facets of this important issue. It builds on the body of work of other researchers, policy-makers and organizations; it synthesizes the current state of knowledge on achieving permanency for older youth in care; it highlights best practices that exist around the country; and it identifies future directions for better serving these young people.

In keeping with the Institute’s focus on permanency for all children, this report looks not just at

adoption, but at all the effective approaches being considered today for achieving lasting

connections. Our near-term objective is to broaden understanding of this critical issue by the

public, professionals and policymakers and to provide an up-to-date, evidence-based

perspective on how we, as a society, can do a better job of serving older youth in foster care

who need enduring families to sustain and support them. Our ultimate goal, of course, is more

ambitious: It is to raise the profile of and knowledge about this issue to a new level and, in so

doing, improve the lives of tens of thousands of young people every year. Not acting on their

behalf will mean huge, ongoing, negative financial and social consequences for our country, and an incalculable toll on the youth themselves.

never too old permanence older children
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