May 2012Vol. 13 No. 4More Children Are Placed With Families
Research shows that in the past decade, more children and youth in the child welfare system are living with families rather than in group homes or institutions.
An issue brief by Kids Count, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, highlights data from the 2009 Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) Report, which shows that the overall number of children and youth who experience foster care is declining. The issue brief also emphasizes that between 2000 and 2009, States were more likely to place children who do experience foster care with families rather than in group homes or institutions. Children who experience foster care in group settings are more likely to age out of the child welfare system without permanent family connections, which often results in negative outcomes such as unemployment, low educational attainment, substance abuse, and more. The Kids Count issue brief also highlights the correlation between child age and placement type.
The issue brief highlights the following statistics:
- Thirty-seven States in the past decade have reduced the number of children or youth who experience foster care in group homes or institutions. Five States—Arizona, Louisiana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Oklahoma—reduced these rates by 50 percent.
- Ten States—Idaho, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, Nevada, New Jersey, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia—increased the number of children placed in kinship care by 100 percent or more.
- Thirty-three percent of children ages 1–5 experience kinship care, compared to just 11 percent of youth 16 or older.
- Only 1 percent of children ages 1–5 experience group home or institutional placements, compared to 36 percent of youth 16 or older.
The Data Snapshot on Foster Care Placement: Moving in the Right Direction: More Kids in Families is available on the Annie E. Casey Foundation's website:
AFCARS data for FY 2010 (October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010) is available on the Children's Bureau website: