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Demystifying the Foster Care System

The Facts of Foster Care WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE FOSTER CARE SYSTEM Foster care is a state-run child welfare system that provides alternative living situations to children whose parent or parents are unable to provide adequate care. This graphic helps to visualize the realities of the The idea behind foster care is that a child is better off in a household than an orphanage, even if the child is only living there temporarily. system and the outcomes for foster youth around the country. Goals for children in foster care include reunification, adoption, and guardianship.' FOSTER CARE: THE NUMBERS 74.2 million children live in the U.S., according to the 2010 census. 402,378 101,840 Number of foster Number of children living in the foster care system children up for adoption This means about 1 in 184 children in the U.S. are in the foster care system. months רטרםםרטדר months 34 1. 1. 1. 1. 1, 1, 1, The average wait 2. 2. 2. 2 2 2. 2. 22| 222) The average length of stay in foster care time for adoption 333|3333J|333 A PROFILE OF FOSTER YOUTH' 53% SEX AGE Male Female Mean age 52% 48% 8.9 years Case Goal to reunify with parent(s) or principal caretaker(s) Median age 8.2 years RACE 2% If one child were to represent all others in the foster American Indian/ Alaskan Native 1% care system, he would be 9 years old, white, more likely to be disabled than a child outside of the Asian 24% Black or African American >1% system, and trying to reunify with his family. Native Hawaiian/ Other Pacific Islander 22% Hispanic (of any race) 42% White 3% Unable to determine 6% Two or more races PROFILE OF FOSTER FAMILIES“ Households interested in becoming foster families must apply through the state and go through a process to ensure that the family is qualified and ready to support a foster child. The process is thorough and includes a social services investigation. While the foster family does receive money from the state to support foster children, foster families are generally motivated by the opportunity to change a child's life. The following section illustrates what these families look like, by the numbers.5 命 命 曲 明 由 NUMBER OF CHILDREN YOUNGER THAN 18 IN HOUSEHOLD 38 million households in the U.S. have at least 1 child younger than 18. Households with Children Foster Households 184,000 22% 21% households have at 42% 50% least 1 foster child 37% 28% younger than 18. FOSTER FAMILY INCOME $56,364 Mean household income for households with foster children $74,301 Mean household income for all households with children The following is for households with 1 or more unrelated foster children younger than 18. 15%- 47% 37% 36% Households Households receiving food stamps paying more than 30% of income for housing 15% 10% 11% $20,000 to Households $50,000 to 1% Less than $20,000 with public $49,999 $99,999 $100,000+ assistance None income Household Income -15% 38% Below 100% Below 200% of poverty of poverty POOR OUTCOMES FOR FOSTER YOUTH Unfortunately, former foster youth are much more likely than the general population to fall into adverse circumstances. COMMIT A CRIME EXPERIENCE HOMELESSNESS Male Female former foster former foster youth youth 4x 10x About 25 percent of former foster youth experience 25% as likely as likely homelessness within 4 years within 4 years of leaving the system. PLEASE HELP FORMER FOSTER YOUTH ARE MUCH MORE LIKELY THAN DEVELOP PTSD BE UNEMPLOYED THE GENERAL POPULATION TO: In 2012, only 48 percent of male former foster youth were employed. Former foster youth 5x 48% DEVELOP DRUG OR as likely ALCOHOL DEPENDENCE Former foster youth experience more than 7x. 2х the rate the rate of of drug dependence alcohol dependence THEY ARE LESS LIKELY THAN THE GENERAL POPULATION TO: GRADUATE HIGH SCHOOL RELY ON GOVERNMENT OR COLLEGE SERVICES TO MEET BASIC NEEDS 25% 25 percent of foster youth are in college by age 19, compared with 41 percent of the general population. 33% 75% male former female former foster youth foster youth 41% Receive government services to meet basic needs. ||| Sources of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, 1 "Foster Care Statistics 2013," Child Welfare Information Gateway, U.S. Departn Youth and Families, Children's Bureau, April 2015, www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/foster.pdf, Accessed May 21, 2015. 2 "The AFCARS Report," Child Welfare Information Gateway, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children's Bureau, July 2014, www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/afcarsreport21.pdf, Accessed May 21, 2015. 3 "The AFCARS Report," Child Welfare Information Gateway, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children's Bureau, July 2014, www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/afcarsreport21.pdf, Accessed May 21, 2015. * William P. O'Hare, "Data on Children in Foster Care from the Census Bureau," Kids Count, June 2008. www.aecf.org/m/pdf/FosterChildren-July-2008.pdf, Accessed May 21, 2015. 5 "Parenting Children in Foster Care," Child Welfare Information Gateway, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children's Bureau, www.childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/resources-foster-families/parenting, Accessed May 21, 2015. 6 "Facts About Foster Care: NYC, The U.S., and Outcomes," The Center for Family Representation, www.cfrny.org/news-blog/foster-care-facts, Accessed May 21, 2015. [email protected] 出 田

Demystifying the Foster Care System

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Many dedicated social service professionals work very closely with foster care agencies or with children within the foster care system. We have created this graphic in an effort to continue to educate...

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