foster care statistics 2014

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  • Foster Care Statistics 2015This factsheet provides the most recent national statistical estimates for children and youth in foster care from fiscal year (FY) 2015 and also provides earlier data from FY 2006 to allow for some estimate of trends over time. Data were obtained from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), which collects information on (1) all children in foster care for whom State child welfare agencies have responsibility for placement, care, or supervision and (2) all children who are adopted with public child welfare agency involvement. The data presented for FY 2015 are from The AFCARS Report: Preliminary FY 2015 Estimates as of June 2016 (23) (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS], 2016), available at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/afcarsreport23.pdf. Data presented for FY 2006 are from The AFCARS Report: Preliminary FY 2006 Estimates as of January 2008 (14) (HHS, 2007), allowing for an examination of trends over a period of 10 years.1 The 2006 report is available at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/afcarsreport14.pdf.

    1 TheFY2006preliminaryreportincludesdatafromStatesregularandrevisedsubmissionsthatwerereceivedbytheChildrensBureaubyJanuary2008.

    ChildrensBureau/ACYF/ACF/HHS800.394.3366|Email:info@childwelfare.gov|https://www.childwelfare.gov

    NUMBERS AND TRENDS

    March 2017

    WHATS INSIDE

    Childrenin,entering,andexitingcare

    Placementsettings

    Caseplangoals

    Outcomes

    Lengthofstay

    Age

    Raceandethnicity

    Gender

    Additionalinformation

    References

    https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/afcarsreport23.pdfhttps://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/afcarsreport23.pdfhttp://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/afcarsreport14.pdfhttp://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/afcarsreport14.pdfmailto:info%40childwelfare.gov?subject=

  • AFCARSusesthedefinitionoffostercarefoundintheCodeofFederalRegulations(CFR),whereitisdefinedas24-hoursubstitutecareforchildrenoutsidetheirownhomes.2Fostercaresettingsinclude,butarenotlimitedto,nonrelativefosterfamilyhomes,relativefosterhomes(whetherpaymentsarebeingmadeornot),grouphomes,emergencyshelters,residentialfacilities,andpreadoptivehomes.

    Withineachsectionofthisreport,dataestimatesarepresentedforthethreetimeframesdetailedbelow:

    Point in Timereferstoinformationaboutthepopulationofchildreninfostercareonagivenday:September30,theendoftheFederalFY.

    Entries referstoinformationaboutchildrenenteringfostercareduringagiventimeframe:October1throughSeptember30(i.e.,theFederalFY).

    Exitsreferstoinformationaboutchildrenexitingfostercareduringagiventimeframe:October1throughSeptember30(i.e.,theFederalFY).

    Childrenwhoexitandreentermultipletimesinayeararecountedonlyonce.DuetoroundingoftheoriginalAFCARSsourcedataandtomissingdata,somepercentagesdonotaddupto100percent,ortheestimatednumbersdonotadduptothetotalnumberinthecategory.

    2 Title45,Volume4,Part1355,Section57.TheCFRcitationcanbeaccessedonlineathttp://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2012-title45-vol4/pdf/CFR-2012-title45-vol4-part1355.pdf.

    Key Findings OnSeptember30,2015,therewereanestimated427,910childreninfostercare(exhibit1).

    OnSeptember30,2015,morethanaquarter(30percent)wereinrelativehomes,andnearlyhalf(45percent)wereinnonrelativefosterfamilyhomes(exhibit2).

    OnSeptember30,2015,abouthalf(55percent)hadacasegoalofreunificationwiththeirparentsorprimarycaretakers(exhibit3).

    Abouthalf(51percent)ofthechildrenwholeftfostercareinFY2015weredischargedtobereunitedwiththeirparentsorprimarycaretakers(exhibit4).

    Closetohalfofthechildren(45percent)wholeftfostercareinFY2015wereincareforlessthan1year(exhibit5).

    https://www.childwelfare.govFoster Care Statistics 2015

    2Thismaterialmaybefreelyreproducedanddistributed.However,whendoingso,pleasecreditChildWelfareInformationGateway.Thispublicationisavailableonlineathttps://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/foster/.

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2012-title45-vol4/pdf/CFR-2012-title45-vol4-part1355.pdfhttp://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2012-title45-vol4/pdf/CFR-2012-title45-vol4-part1355.pdfhttps://www.childwelfare.govhttps://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/foster/

  • Children In, Entering, and Exiting CareThesenumbersgiveabroadpictureofthenumberofchildreninfostercareduringFY2015.

    Point in Time. OnSeptember30,2015,therewereanestimated427,910childreninfostercare.

    Entries. DuringFY2015,269,509childrenenteredfostercare.

    Exits.DuringFY2015,243,060childrenexitedfostercare.

    Trends. ThenumberofchildreninfostercareonSeptember30,2015,(427,910)remainslowerthanthoseincareonthesamedayin2006(510,000).However,FY2015sawanincreaseinthesenumbersascomparedtoFY2014(415,129).

    243,060

    269,509

    427,910

    289,000

    303,000

    510,000

    0 100,000 200,000 300,000 400,000 500,000 600,000

    Exits

    Entries

    Point in Time

    Exhibit 1: Numbers of Children In, Entering, and Exiting Foster Care FY 2006 and FY 2015

    2006

    2015

    https://www.childwelfare.govFoster Care Statistics 2015

    3Thismaterialmaybefreelyreproducedanddistributed.However,whendoingso,pleasecreditChildWelfareInformationGateway.Thispublicationisavailableonlineathttps://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/foster/.

  • Placement SettingsChildreninfostercareliveinavarietyofplacementsettingsandmaymoveamongorbetweensettingswhileincare.Forexample,achildmaymovefromagrouphometoarelativefosterhome.

    Point in Time. Theestimated427,910childreninfostercareonSeptember30,2015,wereinthefollowingtypesofplacements:

    45percentinnonrelativefosterfamilyhomes

    30percentinrelativefosterfamilyhomes

    8percentininstitutions

    6percentingrouphomes

    5percentontrialhomevisits(situationsinwhichtheStateretainssupervisionofachild,thechildreturnshomeonatrialbasisforanunspecifiedperiodoftime,andafter6monthsthechildisconsidereddischargedfromfostercare)

    4percentinpreadoptivehomes

    1percenthadrunaway

    1percentinsupervisedindependentliving

    Trends.PercentagesforplacementsettingsonSeptember30changedslightlybetweenFY2006andFY2015,withanotableincreaseintheuseofplacementswithrelativesandadecreaseinplacementsingrouphomes(seeexhibit2).

    1%

    1%

    5%

    4%

    6%

    8%

    30%

    45%

    1%

    2%

    5%

    3%

    7%

    10%

    24%

    46%

    0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50%

    Supervised Independent Living

    Runaway

    Trial Home Visits

    Preadoptive Homes

    Group Homes

    Institutions

    Relative Foster Homes

    Nonrelative Foster Family Homes

    Exhibit 2: Placement Settings for Children in Foster Care on September 30 in 2006 and 2015

    20062015

    https://www.childwelfare.govFoster Care Statistics 2015

    4Thismaterialmaybefreelyreproducedanddistributed.However,whendoingso,pleasecreditChildWelfareInformationGateway.Thispublicationisavailableonlineathttps://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/foster/.

  • Case Plan GoalsThepreferredgoalforchildrenincareispermanencywithcaringparents.CaseplangoalsrefertothegoalsforpermanentplacementthatarereportedtoAFCARS.3

    Point in Time.Theestimated427,910childreninfostercareonSeptember30,2015,hadthefollowingcaseplangoals:

    55percenthadagoalofreunificationwithparent(s)orprincipalcaretaker(s).

    25percenthadagoalofadoption.

    6percenthadnotyethadacaseplangoalestablished.

    4percenthadagoalofemancipation.4

    3percenthadagoaloflong-termfostercare.

    3percenthadagoalofguardianship.

    3percenthadagoaloflivingwithotherrelative(s).

    Trends. FromFY2006toFY2015,thepercentageofchildrenwithcaseplansofreunificationexperiencedthelargestincrease,whilethelargestdecreasewasinthepercentageofchildrenwithcaseplansoflong-termfostercare(seeexhibit3).

    3 FormoreinformationaboutStaterequirementsforchildrenspermanencygoals,seeChildWelfareInformationGatewaysCase Planning for Families Involved With Child Welfare Agencies athttps://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/laws-policies/statutes/caseplanning.4 Emancipationreferstoboththeemancipationofminors(i.e.,youthbelowtheageofmajority)andyouthwhoageoutoffostercarebetween18and21,dependingonStatepolicy.

    3%

    3%

    6%

    4%

    3%

    25%

    55%

    4%

    4%

    6%

    6%

    9%

    23%

    49%

    0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60%

    Living With Other Relative(s)

    Guardianship

    Goal Not Yet Established

    Emancipation

    Long-Term Foster Care

    Adoption

    Reunification

    Exhibit 3: Permanency Goals for Children in Foster Care on September 30 in 2006 and 2015

    2006

    2015

    https://www.childwelfare.govFoster Care Statistics 2015

    5Thismaterialmaybefreelyreproducedanddistributed.However,whendoingso,pleasecreditChildWelfareInformationGateway.Thispublicationisavailableonlineathttps://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/foster/.

    https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/laws-policies/statutes/caseplanning

  • OutcomesTheoutcomestatisticsforchildrenleavingfostercarelargelyreflectthepercentagesforthepermanencygoals,especiallyforreunificationandadoption.

    Exits. Oftheestimated243,060childrenwhoexitedfostercareduringFY2015:

    51percentwerereunitedwithparent(s)orprimarycaretaker(s).

    22percentwereadopted.

    9percentwereemancipated.

    9percentwenttolivewithaguardian.

    6percentwenttolivewithanotherrelative.

    2percenthadotheroutcomes.5

    Trends. FromFY2006toFY2015,therewereincreasesinthepercentagesofchildrenwholeftthesystemforadoptionandguardianship.Thereweredecreasesinthepercentagesofchildrenwholeftthesystemtoreunitewiththeirparentsorprimarycaregiversorlivewithotherrelativesorwholeftwithotheroutcomes(seeex