The need for "permanency" in a child's life is important, especially for children in foster homes, according to a federal Department of Health and Human Services official speaking in Orange County this week.
"Foster care is temporary," said Dorcas Hardy, assistant secretary for Human Development Services. "These kids need homes."
Hardy, who was in Orange County drumming up support for National Family Week and Adoption Week, said all children need a stable family environment. That means that "to the best of our ability, we should be building families," not breaking them up, she said.
Hardy said there are more than 37,000 children in foster care statewide. Of that number, 7,300 are legally free for adoption.
And because 90% or more are children who have special needs--many are older, minority members, victims of abuse or neglect or have physical handicaps--it is more difficult to find permanent homes for them, she said.