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November 2019Vol. 20, No. 9Data Show the First Foster Care Decrease Since 2011, Record Number of Adoptions

According to the latest Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) data, the number of children in foster care decreased from 441,000 at the end of fiscal year (FY) 2017 to approximately 437,300 at the end of FY 2018. The number of children entering care in FY 2018 decreased from 270,000 in FY 2017 to 263,000 in FY 2018.

These data show the first drop since 2011 in the number of children in foster care, and the number of children achieving permanency through adoption increased for the fourth year in a row to its highest level ever. In addition, the number of children entering foster care dropped for the second year in a row after going up every year since 2013.

The number of finalized adoptions with U.S. child welfare agency involvement increased in FY 2018 to over 63,100, compared with 59,500 finalized adoptions in FY 2017. This is the largest number of adoptions reported by AFCARS since AFCARS data collection began in FY 1995.

To learn more, read the latest AFCARS report, available at: