December 9, 2003
In December of 2003, Modern Courts’ sponsored a forum entitled “Almost Home, New Developments and Next Steps in Adoption.” The forum examined adoption reform in New York State, including the “Adoption Now” initiative spearheaded by Court of Appeals Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye to promote faster and more efficient placements. Panelists outlined how the courts, the State Office of Children and Family Services, the New York City Administration for Children’s Services and local social services districts statewide have been working together to streamline the adoption process and eliminate obstacles to expedited permanency plans for children in foster care. Panelists also discussed remaining hurdles in permanency planning and identified measures to further improve the process.
Participating panelists were: Administrative Judge Sharon Townsend of the Eighth Judicial District; Janet R. Fink, counsel in the Office of Court Administration; Judith Ashton, executive director of the Citizens’ Coalition for Children; Raymond Schimmer, executive director of the Parsons Child and Family Center; and Aaron Britvan, co-chair of the State Bar’s Committee on Adoption. The forum, co-sponsored by the New York State Bar Association, was moderated by Darlene Ward, executive director of CASA: Advocates for Children of New York State and was held at the State Bar Center in Albany.