Adoption subsidy dynamics: Explorations in the analysis of state administrative data
Adoptions subsidies represent a growing portion of federal, state, and local expenditures for child welfare services. Almost no previous analysis has been done with state level adoption subsidy data. This paper reports on analyses of subsidy data from North Carolina and California. These analyses indicate the significantly different way that subsidies are used in each state. In California, subsidies change markedly because they are used to purchase post-adoption services. In North Carolina, most post-adoption services are paid for through vendor payments. In California, the likelihood of subsidy increases are associated with family income, in unexpected ways. Common findings across states are that few families that begin to receive a subsidy will generally continue to receiving them until the child ages out of the program. Implications for policy and research are forwarded.