Foster care is a state-run child welfare system that provides alternative living situations to children whose parent or parents are unable to provide adequate care.
The idea behind foster care is that a child is better off in a household than an orphanage, even if the child is only living there temporarily.
Goals for children in foster care include reunification, adoption, and guardianship.
This graphic helps to visualize the realities of the system and the outcomes for foster youth around the country.
This means about 1 in 184 children in the U.S. are in the foster care system.
53%: Case Goal to reunify with parent(s) or principal caretaker(s)
Mean age 8.9 years
Median Age 8.2 years
American Indian/Alaskan Native: 2%
Black or African American: 24%
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander: >1%
Hispanic (of any race): 22%
Unable to determine: 3%
Two or more races: 6%
If one child were to represent all others in the foster care system, he would be 9 years old, white, more likely to be disabled than a child outside of the system, and trying to reunify with his family.
Households interested in becoming foster families must apply through the state and go through a process to ensure that the family is qualified and ready to support a foster child. The process is thorough and includes a social services investigation.
While the foster family does receive money from the state to support their foster children, foster families are generally motivated by the opportunity to change a child’s life. The following section illustrates what these families look like, by the numbers.
The following is for households with one or more unrelated foster children younger than 18.
|15%||Less then $20,000|
|37%||$20,000 to $49,999|
|36%||$50,000 to $99,999|
15% of households are below 100% of the poverty line
38% of households are below 200% of the poverty line
15% Households receiving food stamps
10% Households with public assistance income
47% Households paying more than 30% of income housing
Unfortunately, former foster youth are much more likely than the general population to fall intoadverse circumstances.
Former foster youth are much more likely than the general population to:
They are less likely than the general population to graduate high school or college.
They rely on government services to meet basic needs
Foster Care Statistics 2013, Child Welfare Information Gateway, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau, April 2015
The AFCARS Report, Child Welfare Information Gateway, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau, July 2014
William P.O’Hare, Data on Children in Foster Care from the Census Bureau, Kids Count, June 2008
Parenting Children in Foster Care, Child Welfare Information Gateways, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau, July 2014 https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/resources-foster-families/parenting/
Facts About Foster Care: NYC, The U.S., and Outcomes, The Center for Family Representation https://www.cfrny.org/news-blog/foster-care-facts/
Phone Number: 1-855-523-7779
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
© SocialWork@Simmons. All rights reserved.