Brief

The goal of U.S. child welfare is to find safe, permanent homes for children, but many children in foster care never attain a permanent family. Children spend years in foster programs and are at greater risk for developing emotional, behavioral and academic challenges. The number of children in foster care decreased over the past few years, but the decline is not steady and carries mixed results.

March 21, 2011

In This Report, You’ll Learn

  1. 1

    Year-to-year changes in the number of children in foster care.

  2. 2

    National and state-level changes in the number of children entering foster care between 2000 and 2009.

  3. 3

    Number of children entering foster care by state in 2009.

  4. 4

    Why monitoring the current state of the foster care system is important.

Key Takeaway

State-by-state data vary significantly due to funding structures, policies and practices.

The number of children entering foster care decreased overall from 2000 to 2009, although with fluctuations that include a spike in 2005.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations