The nation’s foster care population has swelled to 428,000 children — its largest size since 2008, according to the KIDS COUNT Data Center.
The total number of kids in care nationwide fell from 2005 to 2012 before reversing course and inching higher for each of the last three years on record.
In these last three years, 37 states have seen a rise in their foster care numbers. Five states that reported the greatest percent change increase were: Indiana (50%), Montana (45%), Georgia (43%), Alaska (40%) and Minnesota (40%).
One statistical bright spot worth noting: Despite the three-year uptick, the number of kids in care in 2015 — the latest full year that data is available — is still 16% smaller than a decade prior.
Visit the KIDS COUNT Data Center for more child welfare data at the national and state level: