• Dec 2011/Jan 2012
  • Vol. 12, No. 9

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Number of Emancipating Youth Declines, Percentage Rises

According to recent Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) data, the number of youth aging out of the foster care system dropped from a high of 29,730 youth in 2007 to approximately 27,850 youth in 2010. This follows a 10-year increase of nearly 70 percent between 1998 and 2007. However, this recent drop does not reflect the overall percentage of youth emancipated from care, which sits at roughly 11 percent compared to slightly more than 7 percent in 2001.

Details about recent trends for youth in foster care are available in a new brief from Fosteringconnections.org that specifically highlights:

  • Placement settings for youth in foster care
  • Length of stay in foster care
  • Outcomes for youth who age out of care
  • State variations for youth who age out of care

The paper also analyzes the impact of the Fostering Connections Act, especially the provision that allows States to offer to extend assistance to youth beyond the age of 18.The brief, written by Marci McCoy-Roth, Kerry DeVooght, and Megan Fletcher of Child Trends, is an update to a December 2009 brief and can be found here:

http://www.fosteringconnections.org/tools/assets/files/Older-Youth-brief-2011-Final.pdf  (600 KB)

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