Foster Care Alumni of America
Connecting Today...Transforming Tomorrow

National Facts About Children in Foster Care

These facts were taken from the National Foster Care Month website.  FCAA is proud to be a partner in National Foster Care Month.

Total Population:
513,000 children were in the U.S. foster care system on September 30, 2005. Most children are placed temporarily in foster care due to parental abuse or neglect.

 Age:
Average Age: 10.0 years

6% < 1 year
26% 1-5 years
20% 6-10 years
28% 11-15 years
18% 16-18 years
2% >19 years

Gender:

Male 52%
Female 48%

Race and Ethnicity:
As a percentage, there are more children of color in the foster care system than in the general U.S. population. However, child abuse and neglect occur at about the same rate in all racial/ethnic groups.

Race/Ethnicity Out-of-home care population General population
Black (non-Hispanic) 32% 15%
White (non-Hispanic) 41% 61%
Hispanic 18% 17%
American Indian/Alaska Native (non-Hispanic) 2% 1%
Asian/Pacific Islander (non-Hispanic) 1% 3%
Unknown 2% n/a
2 or more Races (non-Hispanic) 3% 4%

Length of Stay:
For the children in foster care on September 30, 2005, the average amount of time they had been in the system was 28.6 months. Half of those leaving care that year had been away from home for a year or longer. 54% of the young people leaving the system were reunified with their birth parents or primary caregivers.

Foster Homes:
In 2004, there was a total of 153,000 licensed/certified/approved kinship and non-relative foster homes nationwide. In 2005, 24% of youth living foster care were residing with their relatives.

Adoptions:
In 2005, 60% of adopted children were adopted by their foster parent(s). The "foster parent" category excludes anyone identified as a relative of the child. 25% of children adopted in FY 2005 were adopted by a relative. A "relative" includes a step-parent or other relative of the child.

Siblings and Extended Families:
Over 2 million American children live with grandparents or other relatives because their parents cannot care for them. When relatives provide foster care (known as kinship care), siblings can often stay together. Kinship care also improves stability by keeping displaced children closer to their extended families, their neighborhoods, and their schools.

Youth in Transition:
Each year, an estimated 20,000 young people "age out" of the U.S. foster care system. Many are only 18 years old and still need support and services. Several foster care alumni studies show that without a lifelong connection to a caring adult, these older youth are often left vulnerable to a host of adverse situations: 

Outcomes during transition from care to adulthood National data

Regional or Local data

Earned a high school diploma 54% 50% - 63%
Obtained a Bachelor's degree or higher 2% 2%
Became a parent 84% 42%
Were unemployed 51% 30%
Had no health insurance 30% 29%
Had been homeless 25% 36%
Were receiving public assistance 30% 26%

Please download this National Foster Care Month Fact Sheet for important notes and citations.
 

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2009 Kids Count Data Center is now available!  For more information, click here.

*********************************************************************************************************

The annual Data Book is a national and state-by-state profile of the well-being of America’s children that seeks to enrich discussions concerning ways to secure better futures for all kids.  The Data Book ranks states on 10 key measures and provides data on the economic, health, education, and social conditions of America’s children and families. This year, the Kids Count Data Book essay, “A Road Map for Juvenile Justice Reform,” looks at the nearly 100,000 children confined to juvenile facilities on any given night in the United States, and what can be done to reduce unnecessary and inappropriate detention and incarceration and increase opportunities for positive youth development and community safety. The 2008 Kids Count Data Book materials can be accessed and downloaded by visiting www.aecf.org/kidscount/sld/databook.jsp

Give us your feedback

This website is powered by the Belmonster Website Publishing System through a subscription donated by Dennis and Nancy Belmont and Belmont, Inc.