The foster care system is one that plays a rather large role in the lives of many who live in the United States. There are a variety of facts and statistics available due to studies done; some of which can be extremely eye opening for many.
Over 442,000 children in the United States are currently living within the foster care. This equates to 1 in every 184 children being in foster care. Approximately every two minutes, a child is placed into the foster care system. Those placed into the foster system are widespread across the states. Foster care knows no age, no location, no gender, no specific race or even religion. It is absolutely 100% varied across the board.
Of the 442,000 children that are placed within the system, 123,000 are eligible to be adopted at this time. Those eligible for adoption typically spend an average of 4 years in the foster care system before they are ever even officially adopted out.
Nearly 69,000 of the 442,000 children in foster care live in a group home or institution rather than with a foster family, which can be detrimental to the child’s wellbeing and growth.
There are approximately 38 million households in the United States that are home to at least one child under the age of eighteen.
Only 184,000 households are home to at least one foster child under the age of eighteen.
In 2017, 58,000 children in foster care were adopted out. 51% of these children were adopted by their own foster parent(s). Another 34% were adopted by a blood relative.
It is no secret that foster care is a big deal. It is a life changing situation that affects children is many ways; some good, some bad. The number of children who simply age out of the system, the number of children who grow up with physical, emotional, educational, personal issues- not one bit of it is easy.
But, foster care families can make a difference. It is evident in the children who thrive. It is evident in the children who are adopted out of the system and go on to succeed in the biggest of ways.
There is a saying in that it takes a village to raise a child. This might be true; be a part of a child’s village. Foster. Love. Chances are, it might be exactly what that child (and you) need.