Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

September/October 2011Vol. 12, No. 7AFCARS Shows Continued Drop in Foster Care Numbers

In July, the Children's Bureau posted new statistics on the numbers of children involved with the child welfare system. Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) Report #18 provides preliminary estimates for fiscal year (FY) 2010 and indicates that, as of September 30, 2010:

  • There were 408,425 children in foster care.
  • The average age of children in foster care was 9.4 years.
  • The largest percentage of children (48 percent) in foster care were in foster family homes, followed by 26 percent in relative family placements.
  • The largest percentage of children (51 percent) had reunification with parents or primary caregivers as their placement goal.
  • There were 107,011 children waiting to be adopted.
  • Of the children in foster care, 41 percent were White, 29 percent were Black, and 21 percent were Hispanic.
  • Of the children adopted from foster care that year, 53 percent were adopted by a foster parent and 32 percent were adopted by another relative.

The updated Trends report, which compiles data from FY 2002 through FY 2010, shows that the number of children in foster care dropped during that period from 523,000 in 2002 to 408,000 in 2010 (numbers are rounded). The number of children served by child welfare also has dropped, from 800,000 in 2002 to 662,000 in 2010.

Find the latest AFCARS reports on the Children's Bureau website: