FOSTER YOUTH DATA

Data courtesy of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau. Sourced from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS). Fiscal Year begins on October 1st and ends on September 30th.

YearServedIn CareEnteredExitedWaitingRightsAdopted
2012635,000396,000251,000238,000100,40058,40052,000
2013638,000400,000255,000238,000102,80058,90050,800
2014650,000414,000265,000236,000106,60061,20050,700
2015670,000427,000269,000242,000110,00062,40053,600
2016683,000434,000273,000249,000116,70065,50057,200
2017688,000441,000270,000247,000123,80069,70059,500
2018687,000437,000263,000250,000125,40071,30063,100

DEFINITIONS

SERVED

This is an estimated count of all children who were in the public foster care system during the FY. This number is the sum of two mutually exclusive groups of children: the children who are already in care on the first day of the fiscal year (as of October 1) and the children who enter foster care during the year. An individual child is counted only once for each year.

IN CARE
This is an estimated count of all the children in foster care on the last day of the FY. An individual child is included in the count for each year for which he or she is in foster care on the last day.

ENTERED
This is an estimated count of all children who entered foster care during the FY. An individual child is counted only once for each year, even if the child entered, exited, and reentered care during the year. The most recent date of removal from home is used to determine whether the child entered foster care during the period. If an individual child entered in one year and then exits and re-enters in a subsequent year, he or she is included in the count of entries for both years.

EXITED
This is an estimated count of all children who exited foster care during the FY at the end of their most recent foster care episode. An individual child is counted only once for each year, even if the child exited, re-entered, and exited again during the year. The most recent date of discharge (from foster care) is the one counted. If an individual child exited care in one year and then re-enters and exits again in a subsequent year, he or she is included in the count of exits for both years.

WAITING
This is an estimated count of all children who are waiting to be adopted on the last day of the FY. An individual child is included in the count for each year in which he or she is waiting to be adopted on the last day. There is no Federal definition for children waiting to be adopted. For the purposes of this analysis, children waiting to be adopted include children with a goal of adoption and/or whose parental rights have been terminated. The “waiting” population excludes children whose parents’ rights have been terminated, who are 16 years old and older, and who have a goal of emancipation. An individual child is included in the count for each year that he or she has these characteristics on the last day of the year.

RIGHTS
This is an estimated count of all children in care on the last day of the FY whose parental rights have been terminated and who are waiting for adoption. An individual child who has these characteristics on the last day of the year is counted only once for that year.

ADOPTED
This is an estimated count of all children adopted with public child welfare agency involvement during the FY. An individual child is counted only once for each year, even if (in rare cases) the child was adopted multiple times during the year. In cases when an individual child is adopted in one year and then adopted again in a subsequent year, he or she is included in the count of adoptions for both years.

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