Foster Care Awareness

Foster Care is a temporary arrangement in which adults provide for the care of a child or children whose birth parent is unable to care for them. The goal for a child in the foster care system is most commonly reunification with the birth parents, although adoption or kinship care (raising of children by extended family members or close friends) is sometimes considered when it is in the child's best interest. Foster care can be informal or arranged through the courts or a social service agency.

The latest Foster Care research tells us that: 

  • A child enters foster care every two minutes.
  • More than 430,000 children and youth are in foster care on any given day.
  • Most kids in care — 61% — enter the system due to neglect.
  • The average child in care is about 8 years old. 
  • Children spend, on average, 20 months in care.
  • Kids in care are predominantly white (44%) or African-American (23%).
  • One in every five kids in care is Hispanic or Latino (of any race). 
  • More than 117,000 children and youth are waiting to be adopted.
  • Nearly half — 45% — of kids in care joined a household of non-relatives for their most recent placement. 
  • More than half — 55% — of kids in care are seeking to reunite with their main parent or caretaker, according to their care plan goal.
  • Former foster children are almost twice as likely as combat veterans to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
  • May is National Foster Care Month, a time for promoting awareness and involvement in the foster care system.