About Foster Care

What is Foster Care?

Foster care is a temporary service provided by state child welfare agencies for children who, due to any number of circumstances including neglect and abuse, cannot live under the care of one or both biological parents. Among the effects of foster care on children that have been documented are psychological and/or emotional trauma and a host of other emotional, developmental, and behavioral issues.


Foster Care

- There are over 400,000 kids/youth in foster care

- 100,000 kids are eligible to be adopted

- A child enters into foster care every 2 minutes

- Children in foster care are far more likely to change schools during the school year, to be in special education classes, and to fail to receive passing grades than their general population counterparts.

- High school dropout rates are 3 times higher for foster youth than other low-income children

- Only about 50% graduate from high school

- Over 40% of school-aged children in foster care have educational difficulties


Transitioning Out of Foster Care

Turning 18 marks the beginning of legal adulthood and independence, making it an important birthday for many teenagers. For many foster youth, however, turning 18 also marks their emancipation from the foster care system. Many young adults that age out of the foster care system find themselves alone in the world without support or guidance from family members and often without a plan for how they will manage the many challenges of day to day life.


- Foster kids can suffer from PTSD at two times the rate of a returning veteran

- 23,000 youth age out of foster care each year

- 60% of those that are human trafficked come from the foster care system

- Approximately 25% of former foster youth experience homelessness within 4 years of being emancipated from the foster care system

- 3% of foster youth will graduate with a college degree

- 48% of girls in foster care become pregnant by the age of 19, with roughly a third of 17-year-old girls in the system currently pregnant.  

- 80% of inmates on death row come from foster care