children with HIV antibodies placed through them since 1985, 104 were still alive in 1990.
The foster care relationships established through Leake and Watts have also been remarkably enduring and stable. Despite the traditional goal of foster care as a short-term intervention while efforts are made to reunite a child with the biological parents, only 4 of the 110 children placed with them had returned to their biological families. In fact, only a small proportion of the children are visited by their mothers or other biological family members. The agency attributes the small rate of reunions and visits primarily to the family situations of the newborns who come to them: the majority enter foster care directly from the hospital shortly after birth, and virtually all test positive not only for HIV, but also for heroin or cocaine. Thus, nearly all have mothers who are both drug users and HIV-infected, and according to the agency, nearly all also have mothers who decided to leave their children at the hospital rather than take them home.
Because returning children with HIV antibodies to their biological parents is not often possible (or often is not in the infants' best interest), a further goal of New York City's program has been to arrange adoptions for as many of the foster children as possible. In the fall of 1990, roughly two-thirds of the children cared for through Leake and Watts were in some stage of the adoption process, nearly all of them proposed for adoption (or already adopted) by the foster parents with whom they had been living. In New York, for hard-to-place children like children with HIV antibodies, foster parents who adopt them continue to receive all the benefits and services they received as foster parents (except for the allowance for respite care).
Many of the same services provided for HIV-infected children in New York City have been developed in Miami.7 Services there are provided through the state's Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, the South Florida AIDS Network, Jackson Memorial Hospital, and private agencies. Jackson Memorial is a 1,250-bed public hospital; it provides care for more children with AIDS than any other hospital in the United States. As of the summer of 1990, it was providing inpatient and outpatient care to 198 HIV-infected children and to an additional large number of infants with HIV antibodies who were still too young to determine whether they actually carried the virus. Of the 198 children, 75 percent were living with one or both biological parents and another 14 percent were being cared for by grandparents or other family members.
Like Harlem Hospital in New York City, Jackson Memorial developed teams to provide coordinated services to women and children with HIV