Statistics on Foster Care
Over 400,000 American children are in foster care, taken away when their families are in crisis and can't take care of them. Who are these children? Where do they live? These statistics will help you better understand their world.
The Current State of Foster Care
The latest statistics from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) data for FY 2014 (link is external).
415,129 children were in foster care on September 30th, 2014, a 4% increase from 2012
264,746 children entered care - that translates to a child entering care every two minutes in the United States
238,230 children exited foster care
107,918 children waiting to be adopted on September 30th, 2014
60,898 children waiting to be adopted whose parental rights (for all living parents) were terminated
50,644 children adopted with public child welfare agency involvement
Who are the 415,129 foster children?
39% 5 years old or under
23% 6 to 10 years old
22% 11 to 15 years old
16% 16 to 20 years old
2% American Indian/Alaskan Native
24% Black or African American
0% (525) Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
22% Hispanic (of any race)
3% Unknown/Unable to Determine
7% Two or more Races
Where are foster children living?
- 4% Pre-Adoptive Home
- 29% Foster Family Home (Relative)
- 46% Foster Family Home (Non-Relative)
- 6% Group Home
- 8% Institution
- 1% Supervised Independent Living
- 1% Runaway
- 5% Trail Home Visit
Why did the 238,230 children leave care in 2014?
- 51% Reunification with Parent(s) or Primary Caretaker(s)
- 7% Living with other Relative(s)
- 21% Adoption
- 9% Emancipation
- 9% Guardianship
- 2% Transfer to Another Agency
- 0% (1,138) Runaway
- 0% (326) Death