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November 2008Vol. 9, No. 9AFCARS Report on Foster Care and Adoption Trends

A new report from the Children's Bureau tracks trends in adoption and foster care statistics from all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico for the period of fiscal year (FY) 2002 through FY 2007. Data were submitted to the Children's Bureau Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS). Estimated data are presented for each FY in seven categories:

  • Number of children in foster care on the last day of the FY
  • Entries into foster care during that FY
  • Exits from foster care during that FY
  • Children awaiting adoption on the last day of the FY
  • Children whose parents' rights have been terminated by the last day of the FY
  • Children adopted during the FY
  • Children served by the public foster care system during the FY

A brief discussion of the data points out some of the trends, including the following:

  • For the first time since AFCARS data have been collected, the estimated number of children in foster care dropped below 500,000 (to 496,000 in FY 2007).
  • The estimated number of children served also reached a new low (783,000 in FY 2007), although this was not a steady decline.
  • While the estimated number of children awaiting adoption has remained around 130,000 over the measured period, the number with parents whose rights have been terminated has increased every year, reaching 84,000 in FY 2007.

Read the full report on the Children's Bureau website: