43 Gut Wrenching Foster Care Statistics

232

When a child cannot live with their family for some reason, then they will be transitioned into the foster care system. These children are coming from families who are in crisis and are unable to care for the child. Foster care is a 24-hour substitute care that can be a relative foster home, group home, a residential facility, or an emergency shelter.

Some pre-adoptive homes are also considered to be foster care until the legal proceedings for the adoption are completed.

These foster care statistics show that this type of home life is more common than many may realize.

Statistics About Foster Care

1. In 2014, there were over 415,000 children who were in foster care. That is a 4% increase from the number of children in foster care in 2012. (AFCARS)

2. More than 264,000 children entered into foster care in the US in 2014. That means there is a child entering care, on average, every 120 seconds. (AFCARS)

3. About 1 in 4 children who are currently in the foster care system are waiting to be adopted. (AFCARS)

4. 60% of the children who are awaiting adoption have had parental rights for all of their living parents terminated. (AFCARS)

5. More than 50,000 children are adopted with public child welfare agency involved annually. (AFCARS)

6. 29% of the children who are in the foster care system are currently living in a relative home. (Child Welfare Information Gateway)

7. 55% of children who are in the foster care system have a case goal of reunification with their families. (Child Welfare Information Gateway)

8. 51% of the children who life foster care in FY2014 were discharged to be reunited with their primary caretaker or their parents. (Child Welfare Information Gateway)

9. 46% of the children who left foster care in FY 2014 were in care for less than 12 months. (Child Welfare Information Gateway)

10. The median age for a child entering foster care is 7.8 years. (AFCARS)

11. Boys are more likely to enter foster care than girls, at 52% vs. 48% respectively. (AFCARS)

12. The most common foster care placement option is a non-relative foster family home, accounting for 45% of all placements. (AFCARS)

13. 6% of the children who are in foster care have a case plan goal that has not yet been established. (AFCARS)

14. 4% of the children who are in foster care have a case goal plan that includes emancipation. (AFCARS)

15. About 3% of the kids who are in foster care right now have a case plan goal that is for long-term foster care. (AFCARS)

16. About 25% of the children who are placed in foster care in the United States every year are between the ages of 0-2. (AFCARS)

17. African-American/Black children are over-represented in the foster care system, accounting for 24% of total placements. (AFCARS)

18. 73% of children in the foster care system right now have been in care for 2 years or less. (AFCARS)

19. 6% of the kids in the foster care system have been in a care placement for 5 years or more. (AFCARS)

20. 61% of the children who are removed from their family household are done so because of neglect. A legal petition for removal may include multiple reasons. (AFCARS)

21. 1 in 3 children are removed from their parents or caretakers because there is drug abuse in the home. (AFCARS)

22. 9% of discharges from the foster care system include emancipation, which is more than double the children who have this has part of their overall case plan. In FY 2015, the foster care system emancipated more than 20,000 children. (AFCARS)

23. 336 children died while in foster care in FY 2015. (AFCARS)

24. From FY 2005 to FY 2014, the percentages of children with case plans that involved reunification or adoption experienced the largest increases. The largest decrease was in the percentage of children who had not yet had a case plan goal established. (Child Welfare Information Gateway)

25. 25% of the children who enter into foster care and are waiting to be adopted enter into the system at less than 1 year of age. (AFCARS)

26. 63% of the children in the foster care system who are awaiting adoption are 5 years old or younger. (AFCARS)

27. Children who are awaiting adoption are more likely to be placed in a non-relative foster family than children who have a different case plan outcome – 52% vs 45% respectively (AFCARS)

28. Only 12% of children who are awaiting adoption as a case plan outcome are actually living in a pre-adoptive home. (AFCARS)

29. Children who are awaiting adoption are twice as likely to spend 5+ years in the foster care system compared to children who do not have this as their case plan outcome. (AFCARS)

30. 68% of households that adopt a child who is in foster care are married couples. (AFCARS)

31. Single mothers are 8.5 times more likely to adopt a child from the foster care system compared to single fathers – 26% of placements vs 3% of placements respectively. (AFCARS)

32. 52% of the adoptions that occur in the foster care system are initiated by the child’s foster parents. Another 34% were adopted by another relative of the child. (AFCARS)

33. In FY 2015, only 46 children who were in the foster care system in the US were adopted by a step-parent. (AFCARS)

34. 92% of the households who complete the adoption process with a child who is in foster care will receive an adoption subsidy. (AFCARS)

35. African-American/Black children are less likely to be adopted (18% of total adoptions), even though they make up 24% of the children who enter into foster care on the average fiscal year. (AFCARS)

36. Just 14% of adoptions which occur come from a non-relative and a non-adoptive parent that has a relationship with the child who is in foster care. (AFCARS)

37. 4% of the children who are awaiting an adoption have their placement in an institution. (AFCARS)

38. In FY 2015, more than 50,000 children were adopted out of the foster care system in the United States. 56% of them waited for 12 months or less for the adoption to be completed after the termination of parental rights occurred. (AFCARS)

39. The median age for adoption for kids in the foster care system is current 5.2. (AFCARS)

40. Only 50% of children who are in foster care will be employed by the age of 24. 20% of them will become homeless after the age of 18. (Foster Club)

41. Fewer than 3% of children in foster care will go on to earn a college degree. (Foster Club)

42. 71% of young women who age out of the foster care system will become pregnant by the age of 21. (Foster Club)

43. 25% of the kids in foster care will experience PTSD. (Foster Club)

These foster care statistics show that although progress has been being made, there is still a long way to go in supporting families who are considered to be at a high risk. There are 3.3 million reports of violence against children that result in foster care placements every year. By acting now, we can work together to help make this stop.