April 17, 2017

America’s Foster Care Population Grew for Third Straight Year

The nation’s foster care population has swelled to 428,000 children — its largest size since 2008, according to the KIDS COUNT Data Center.

The total number of kids in care nationwide fell from 2005 to 2012 before reversing course and inching higher for each of the last three years on record.

In these last three years, 37 states have seen a rise in their foster care numbers. Five states that reported the greatest percent change increase were: Indiana (50%), Montana (45%), Georgia (43%), Alaska (40%) and Minnesota (40%).

One statistical bright spot worth noting: Despite the three-year uptick, the number of kids in care in 2015 — the latest full year that data is available — is still 16% smaller than a decade prior.

Visit the KIDS COUNT Data Center for more child welfare data at the national and state level:

Children 0 to 17 in foster care
Children in foster care
Children in foster care by age group
Children in foster care by gender
Children in foster care by race and Hispanic origin
Children in foster care by placement type
Children in foster care with more than two placements
Children in foster care with two or more placements by race and Hispanic origin

Children 0 to 17 entering foster care Children entering foster care
Children entering foster care by age group
Children entering foster care by gender
Children entering foster care by race and Hispanic origin