7 Foster Care Statistics

May 4th, 2009 by Amy


I was a foster child.


While I have no memories of the experience, it has profoundly shaped everything about who I am now.


May is National Foster Care Month … and a good time to share a few facts and debunk a few myths.


1.  There are well over a half a million children in the U.S. Foster Care System.


2.  According to nationaladoptionday.org, “Four in 10 American adults have considered adoption, according to a National Adoption Attitudes Survey funded by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. That translates into more than 80 million Americans. If only one out of 500 Americans adopted out of the foster care system, these children would have homes.”


3.  You do not have to be married, make a lot of money, own your own home, have your own children, or be a stay-at-home parent to be a foster parent.


4.  While you must be 21 to be a foster parent, there are no other age requirements. In fact, many older adults have the time, patience, and perspective necessary for raising foster children. “Empty nesters” often enjoy becoming foster parents.


5.  “For the children in foster care on September 30, 2005, the average amount of time they had been in the system was 28.6 months. Half of those leaving care that year had been away from home for a year or longer. 54% of the young people leaving the system were reunified with their birth parents or primary caregivers.” www.fostercaremonth.org


6.  45 percent of Americans erroneously believe children enter foster care because of juvenile delinquency, but in fact children enter the foster care system through no fault of their own, as victims of neglect, abandonment or abuse.


7.  The myth persists that foster children “have been abused so much that they’re beyond repair.” Foster parents report that with lots of encouragement, structure, and support foster children are able to grow up to live healthy and productive lives … complete with ups, downs, and bumps along the way.


As any parent of any child will tell you  it’s the love that makes the difference!

One Response to “7 Foster Care Statistics”

  1. j. caroline Says:

    My husband and I were foster parents and adopted our daughter through the program. And she’s darling, if I say so myself! It’s such an overwhelming problem, but one child at a time makes a difference.

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