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Children exiting foster care by age group in the United States

Change Indicator

Data Provided By
Note: Non-consecutive years appear adjacent in the trend line
because one or more years have been deselected.

Definitions: The number of children and youth from birth up to age 20, exiting the foster care system, by age group. Some states allow children to remain in the foster care system until their 18th birthday while other states have age limits that extend a few years beyond this. The current indicator includes children up to age 20 regardless of their state limit.

Percent estimates in each age group are based on the total ages 0 to 20 exiting foster care, where age is known. Missing age data are excluded from percentage and frequency distributions. Children are categorized as leaving foster care if they exited during the current fiscal year and remained out of foster care on the last day of the year. Indicator includes children who have entered foster care in the current fiscal year or in a prior fiscal year. National estimates include Puerto Rico.

Data Source: Child Trends analysis of data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), made available through the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect.

Footnotes: Updated March 2020.
N.A. - Data not available.