Foster Care By The Numbers

FC2S Staff | August 6th, 2012

The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) has just released The State of America’s Children® 2012 Handbook. In case you’re not familiar with their work, CDF is an excellent national nonprofit that pays particular attention to the needs of poor and minority children and those with disabilities. And their new handbook has a lot to say about foster youth. Here are some of the most interesting facts we gleaned from a quick read-thru:

– Every two minutes a child enters foster care and remains there on average more than two years. Of the children who exited foster care in 2010:
• 51 percent were reunified with their parents.
• 21 percent were adopted.
• 8 percent went to live with relatives.
• 11 percent (nearly 28,000 youth) were emancipated out of foster care without connecting to a permanent family. Youth who age out of foster care have greater chances of dropping out of school, not attending college, being unemployed, and experiencing financial instability and homelessness.
The CDF report has a helpful chart that breaks up state-by-state foster care numbers. You can see the increase or decrease in foster youth from 2005 to 2010, AND the report lists their racial and ethnic distribution (nationally and by state). According to the federal government (as reported by the Associated Press), the number of U.S. children in foster care dropped for the sixth straight year, falling to about 400,000 compared to more than 520,000 a decade ago.

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