- Sept / Oct 2006
- Vol. 7, No. 7
New AFCARS Report Highlights Positive Trends
The most recent data from the Children's Bureau's Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) show (1) reductions in the number of children in foster care and in the number awaiting adoption in FY 2004 and (2) an increase in the number of children adopted from foster care during that year. These statistics reflect the increasingly positive trends found for children in foster care for the last several years.
The new statistics are part of AFCARS Report #11, released in June. This report includes preliminary estimates of data submitted by States for FY 2004. AFCARS collects case-level information on all children in State foster care and on children who are adopted under the auspices of the State's public child welfare agency. The data available through the system include the number and characteristics of children in care (age, gender, and ethnicity), length of time in care, placement setting, case plan goals, and outcomes for children who exited care.
AFCARS reports can be found on the Children's Bureau website:
The National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology's AFCARS Toolkit provides State child welfare program and system staff with an orientation to AFCARS and links to key materials and documents related to the collection of quality data.
Placement Change Definitions Implementation Guide
This guide from the Child Welfare League of America and the National Working Group to Improve Child Welfare Data is designed to assist States in interpreting Federal guidance and AFCARS definitions more consistently.
[Editor's note: this link no longer exists]