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.

February 2024Vol. 25, No. 1Children's Bureau Releases Updated AFCARS Data Technical Bulletin

The Children's Bureau updated and released a technical bulletin with reporting instructions and examples of data elements for the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS). The bulletin also contains the regulation for each element, explanatory text, differences between AFCARS 1993 and AFCARS 2020, and data reporting standards.

State and tribal title IV-E agencies are required to report case-level information on children and youth in foster care for AFCARS. These data can be used to help with policy development and program management. The Children's Bureau and the Administration for Children and Families use these data for many purposes, including but not limited to the following:

  • Developing short- and long-term budget projections
  • Developing trend analyses and short- and long-term planning
  • Targeting areas for technical assistance efforts, discretionary service grants, research and evaluation, and regulatory change

Access Technical Bulletin 20: Data Elements for Out-of-Home Care & Adoption and Guardianship Assistance Data Files. September 28, 2023. Version 2.1 for a breakdown of more than 180 data elements and appendices that go into further detail.