Sunday, February 04, 2007

Foster care statistics

Each year, over 20,000 young people "age out" the U.S. foster care system.

Older youth (aged 16–18) are more likely to be living in group homes or
institutions than the overall foster care population—the least “family-like” settings.

In 2005:
- 513,000 children were in foster care
- 48% were female (243,964)
- 41% were Caucasian (208,537)
- 94,650 were in group homes or other institutional settings
- 4,445 foster children ran away
- 51,000 children were adopted
- 114,000 children eligible for adoption and waiting for homes

Each week, nearly 60,000 children in the United States are reported as abused or neglected.

In 2003:
- 2.9 million reports of child abuse and neglect were filed
- Of those reports, 944,531 were referred for investigation
- 906,000 reports were substantiated or indicated
- 61% were neglected, 19% were physically abused, and 10% were sexually abused.
- Only 57.1% of these children received follow-up services

Seven out of 10 cases of child abuse and neglect are exacerbated by parental drug / alcohol abuse.

In 2005:
-40% of responding child welfare officials reported increases in the number of children placed in foster care due to parental methamphetamine use in the past year
-Children whose families do not receive appropriate treatment for alcohol and other drug abuse are more likely to end up in foster care, remain in foster care longer, and reenter foster care once they have returned home.

Role of caseworkers:
Federal Child and Family Service Reviews have clearly demonstrated that the more time a caseworker spends with a child and family, the better the outcomes for those children and families.

Currently, nationwide, staff shortages, high caseloads, high worker turnover, and low salaries impinge on the delivery of services to achieve safety, permanence, and well-being for children.

Sources:
Adoption and Foster Care Reporting and Analysis System (AFCARS)
Casey Family Programs
Chapin Hill Center for Children
Child Welfare Information Gateway: http://www.childwelfare.gov/
Child Welfare League of America (CWLA)

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Comments:
Hello,

My name is Kyrianna Ruddy. I'm a graduate student at the University of Delaware -- I'm also a former foster care youth who aged out of the system. Since exiting foster care,I've devoted my life to helping others kids like myself. I'm doing my Master's thesis on the relationships of youth who age out from foster care. However, I'm having a difficult time finding former foster youth for my study. I'm looking for different online forums that I might be able to post my information to access this population. On one of the forums I posted on, someone linked me to you. Are you aware of any national online forums or messageboards that I could connect with former foster youth who have aged out of the system? Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated. I can be reach at kyrianna@udel.edu. Thanks!
 
Kyrianna,

I support what you are doing, and want to help in any way that I can,

Foster Care Alumni of America www.fostercarealumni.org

I also have an list of direct email addresses for foster care alumni across the country.

Please email me (link to do so from this blog) and I will copy you and email them to ask them to participate in your study.

Lisa
 
I rolled across your page while researching the foster system. You rock! Stand proud and keep doing what you are doing. You are a true inspiration.
 
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