Pointing to his own experience as an adoptive parent, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown vows if elected governor this fall to work to reduce the number of Maryland children in foster care.

The plan, to be released Thursday by Brown and his running mate, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, aims to trim 1,000 youths from nearly 6,000 in foster care now, continuing what they say has been a 43 percent decrease in the population in recent years.

The proposal calls for a publicity campaign to recruit more adoptive families. It also aims to use some of the state's $90 million in federal child-welfare funds to boost services that would help keep families together and prevent more children from being placed in foster care.

Finally, Brown and Ulman propose spending $3.5 million a year to build or renovate "transitional" housing for low-income young adults who've "aged out" of the foster care system, which is meant to reduce their risk of homelessness and other problems.