How Many Children are in Foster Care? Understanding the Statistics.

There are currently nearly 400,000 children and youth in foster care in the United States.  Of those, more than 25% are “adoptable.” This means that over 100,000 children in America have no parents, no home, no permanency. These many children have done nothing to cause their situation. They are deserving of, and very hopeful that they may be blessed with, loving parents and a safe, permanent home. Of those children in foster care who are able to be adopted, over 30% will have to wait at least 3 years before being adopted. Many will never be adopted, but will age out of foster care. Then, they will have to learn how to figure out how to live on their own with out a family.

Of those children who age out of foster care, 25% do not graduate from high school, 40% become homeless, 60% of males are convicted of some sort of crime, 50% of all who age out are involved with substance abuse, and most end up needing and receiving some sort of government assistance to meet their basic needs.  These statistics are not great.  Clearly, finding homes for foster children and youth is an important component of addressing many of our country’s core social problems.

There are not enough foster homes in the United States to adequately provide for these children in need.  There are currently about 60,000 children who are in foster care but not living in traditional foster homes. Because of the lack of homes, these children and youth are in group homes or institutions.  That is not a good situation for the development, growth and security of our children.

In order to have more homes for the children who need them, more people have to provide foster care. Those who consider providing foster care, or who are interested in adopting  through foster care are encouraged to pursue that desire.  There are good children who would welcome loving parents.