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November 2015Vol. 16, No. 8New AFCARS Report Released

The Children's Bureau recently posted new statistics on the numbers of children involved with the child welfare system. Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) Report #22 provides preliminary estimates for fiscal year (FY) 2014 and indicates that, as of September 30, 2014:

  • There were 415,129 children in foster care.
  • There were 107,918 children waiting to be adopted.
  • The average age of children in foster care was 8.7 years.
  • The largest percentage of children (46 percent) in foster care were in nonrelative foster family homes, followed by 29 percent in relative foster family homes.
  • The largest percentage of children (55 percent) had reunification with parents or primary caregivers as their placement goal.
  • Of the children in foster care, 42 percent were White, 24 percent were Black, and 22 percent were Hispanic.

The updated Trends report, which compiles data from FY 2005 through FY 2014, shows that after a decline of more than 20 percent between FY 2005 and FY 2012 to a low of 397,000, the number of children in foster care increased to 415,000 in FY 2014. Trends for children entering the system follow a similar pattern, and most of these increases occurred during the past year.

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

Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) Report #22 is available at

Trends in Foster Care and Adoption FY 2005–FY 2014 is available at (125 KB).