Foster Care Statistics

  • Over 437,000 children and youth are in foster care.
  • 45% of foster children live in non-relative foster family homes.
  • 32% of foster children live in relative foster family homes.
  • 23% of foster children live in institutions, group homes, trial and pre-adoptive homes.
  • 118,000 children and youth in America are waiting to be adopted.
  • Children in foster care wait 3-4 years or more to be adopted.
  • On average, a child can spend almost 12 to 20 months in foster care.
  • 10% of foster children spend more than 5 years in foster care.
  • The average age of a foster child entering foster care is 7 to 8 years old.
  • The average age of a foster child exiting foster care is 7 to 9 years old.
  • 51% of children in foster care reunify with their parents or primary caregivers.
  • 52% of foster children are adopted by a foster parent.
  • More boys are in the foster care system than girls (52% to 48%).
  • 44% of foster children are White, 23% African American, 21% Hispanic.
  • 26% of children entering foster care are under the age of one.
  • About 22% of youth in foster care are age 13 or older.
  • 61% of children removed from their home due to abusive neglect.
  • 34% of children removed from their homes due to parental drug abuse.
  • 14% of children removed due to the inability of the caregiver to cope.
  • 12% of children removed from their home due to physical abuse.
  • 250,000 youth are emancipated from foster care without reunifying with their families, or being adopted.
  • Of youth who age out of foster care, 1/4 are incarcerated within 2 years and only 1/2 graduate from high school.
** Sourced from americanspcc.org