Office of Children and Family Services

Compliance with the Adoption and Safe Families Act

New York State’s foster care programs are administered by local social services districts that are overseen by the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS). As a result of the 1997 Federal Adoption and Safe Families Act, certain actions must be taken to protect the safety of children in foster care and to make sure that the children are either reunited with their parents or made eligible for adoption as quickly as possible. We selected five local districts (Albany County, Cattaraugus County, Chautauqua County, Suffolk County and New York City) and tested their compliance with the Act. While four of the districts fully complied with the Act in the cases we tested, New York City often failed to comply with one or more requirements of the Act. For example, in many of the cases we tested, the caseworkers in that district did not plan the actions that would be needed to either reunite a child with its parents or make the child eligible for adoption. We also examined the accuracy of the foster care records maintained by OCFS, and found that the records were often inaccurate. We recommended a number of actions that could be taken by OCFS to strengthen its oversight of local district foster care services.

For a complete copy of Report 2000-S-2 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.
For a copy of the associated follow-up report click here.