How Many Children Are in Foster Care?

How Many Children Are in Foster Care?


  • The state of the foster care system is ever changing. At any given time, the numbers can change drastically, by thousands. Just because there is a lower number of children in foster care in one month, that does not necessarily indicate progress. Due to the nature of foster care, the need will always be present and, often times, dire. It really takes a trend of seeing low numbers to indicate progress and the system working better to reunify families. states, "As of September 30, 2016, there were 437,465 children in foster care throughout the United States, an increase of 2.3 percent over the previous year and over 10 percent since 2012. This includes 117,794 children waiting for adoption; 65,274 of those children’s parents were terminated during that fiscal year." 

    The numbers since this article was published have likely continued to increase. There is an influx of children into foster care due to the opioid crisis. There are also many grandparents raising their grandchildren due to this crisis, and as a whole, over 2.6 million children being raised by their grandparents nationally. As this epidemic only seems to worsen, these numbers will only continue to grow. 

    One of the best ways to help is by applying to become a foster parent. Giving these children somewhere to be in the interim and one of the toughest times in their lives will be imperative. There are many changes that need to take place within the foster care system and within our own government to provide support to families in need, with reunification being the goal. For more information, and ways to help, you can read more here. 

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