America’s Foster Care Population Is Growing — Again

Posted August 12, 2016, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Blog americasfostercarepopulation 2016

America’s fos­ter care pop­u­la­tion grew by 13,000 chil­dren and youth — to more than 415,000 kids total — from 2013 to 2014, accord­ing to the KIDS COUNT Data Center.

This increase, the sec­ond in as many years, revers­es a decade-long decline in fos­ter care pop­u­la­tions nationwide.

Gen­er­al­ly speak­ing, the sta­tis­ti­cal upswing sug­gests that agen­cies are elect­ing to place more kids out­side of their homes to keep them safe.

In 2014, 37 states saw their fos­ter care num­bers rise, with Geor­gia, Indi­ana, Mass­a­chu­setts, Mis­sis­sip­pi and Ver­mont expe­ri­enc­ing the largest gains.

The major­i­ty of chil­dren in fos­ter care were young kids (40% under age 6) and kids of col­or (24% black and 22% Latino).

One sta­tis­ti­cal bright spot worth not­ing: Despite the two-year uptick, the num­ber of kids in care in 2014 — the last full year in which data is avail­able — is still 18% small­er than a decade prior.

Vis­it the KIDS COUNT Data Cen­ter for more child wel­fare data at the nation­al and state level:

Chil­dren 0 to 17 in fos­ter care
Chil­dren in fos­ter care
Chil­dren in fos­ter care by age group
Chil­dren in fos­ter care by gender
Chil­dren in fos­ter care by race and His­pan­ic origin
Chil­dren in fos­ter care by place­ment type
Chil­dren in fos­ter care with more than two placements
Chil­dren in fos­ter care with two or more place­ments by race and His­pan­ic origin

Chil­dren 0 to 17 enter­ing fos­ter care
Chil­dren enter­ing fos­ter care
Chil­dren enter­ing fos­ter care by age group
Chil­dren enter­ing fos­ter care by gender
Chil­dren enter­ing fos­ter care by race and His­pan­ic origin

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