Adopting Children in Foster Care – Debunking the Myths

National Adoption Day pic

National Adoption Day
Image: nationaladoptionday.org

Judge John Bowman has more than a decade of experience in the Juvenile Dependency Division of the Florida Circuit Court. Outside of the courtroom, he advocates for youth in foster care through National Adoption Day.

National Adoption Day serves to increase awareness of the more than 100,000 children waiting for permanent homes. Among the barriers to adoption are numerous myths, such as the myth that financial and other forms of support to the child end immediately after an adoption. The truth is that most children placed in permanent homes qualify for federal and state assistance and receive benefits such as monthly financial support, medical care, and social services.

Another myth that hinders adoption is that individuals who are gay or lesbian cannot adopt children. In most states they do have the right to adopt, and some states allow them to adopt jointly.

Finally, some people believe that children in foster care come with a lot of emotional “baggage.” Most children in foster care are just like other children and simply need a loving, permanent family so that they can thrive and fulfill their potential.

National Adoption Day in Florida

Adoption pic

Adoption
Image: childnet.us

Circuit Judge John Bowman serves the people of Broward County, Florida. A good deal of Judge John Bowman’s work deals with children and young people in the state. November 22, 2016, will mark his 14th year as chairman of the local National Adoption Day event, which he helped to create.

Each November, Broward County celebrates adoption and the wonderful parents who make it possible. On one special Saturday, dozens of families gather to make their adoptions official at the same time.

ChildNet, Florida’s dedicated service for children and families, has been holding the event for well over a decade. Although adoptions occur year-round, but the festive event draws a lot of attention and helps raise awareness for the kids who are still awaiting homes.

Today, there are 200 children awaiting loving homes in Broward and Palm Beach counties. If your family is considering adopting a new member, learn more about the process online at www.childnet.us/portal/adoption.

How Elected Officials Can Support National Adoption Day

National Adoption Day pic

National Adoption Day
Image: nationaladoptionday.org

For nearly 15 years, Judge John Bowman has served as a circuit judge in the 17th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, working with the Juvenile Dependency Division in Fort Lauderdale. Dedicated to helping children in foster care find permanent homes, Judge John Bowman supports programs like National Adoption Day, an awareness campaign focused on the more than 100,000 children looking for permanent homes outside of the foster care system.

As a collective effort, National Adoption Day receives support from nonprofit organizations, individuals, and businesses. The campaign literature also notes that there are a number of ways for elected officials to contribute to adoption awareness. For example, the campaign encourages elected officials to cosponsor a resolution or issue a public proclamation recognizing National Adoption Day.

Elected officials can easily reach the public with messages about adoption through Facebook and other social media outlets. To reach an even wider audience, elected officials can conduct interviews or submit op-ed pieces to local news outlets highlighting the need for adoption.

For National Adoption Day in November, elected officials can also organize or support local adoption events in recognition of a day when the courts finalize adoptions around the country. Almost 50,000 adoptions have been completed on National Adoption Day since the campaign was launched in 2000.

The Founding of the One Community Partnership

Broward County One Community Partnership pic

Broward County One Community Partnership
Image: broward.org

Since his election to the circuit court bench of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Judge John Bowman has spearheaded numerous community-wide efforts to transform the area’s Juvenile Dependency division. In this capacity, Judge John Bowman served as the judicial representative on the board of the Broward County One Community Partnership.

A number of local leaders from Broward County spearheaded efforts to create the One Community Partnership in response to a growing need for reformed children’s mental health care services. At the time that the partnership began, over 400,000 children lived in the county, with a tenth of them experiencing some form of serious emotional disturbance (SED). Broward County had previously implemented a centralized system of SED cases but the local Board of County Commissioners initiated a more comprehensive reevaluation plan in 2002. After receiving an $8 million System of Care grant from the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services Program for Children and their Families, the plan soon took form as the One Community Partnership.

Over the next six years, the partnership focused its work on creating a new system of care that would best serve children with SED who are between the ages of 10 and 18. Among its many goals, One Community Partnership aimed to enhance the emotional health services for children and families, bring more cultural diversity to the system, and increase the number of services available to children with different needs.