Foster care in the U.S. - number of children, by race/ethnicity 2018

In 2018, there were 193,117 white children in foster care in the United States. This is compared to 99,025 Black or African American children and 90,688 Hispanic children who were in foster care.

Foster care in the United States

Foster care is where minors are taken care of in different institutions, such as a group home or private home of a caregiver certified by the state (called a foster parent). The procedure for becoming a foster parent in the United States varies from state to state. It is up to the state to determine the process; however it is overseen by the Department of Child Protective Services. It is sometimes seen as a precursor to adoption, which is different from fostering a child. There are many barriers to fostering and adopting children, such as high costs and long wait times, which can discourage people from doing it.

Who are foster children?

The number of children in foster care in the United States has decreased slightly since 2011. When looked at by age, most of the children in foster care in 2018 were one year old, and slightly more male children were in foster care than female children. Most of the children in foster care were placed into non-relative foster family homes, and in most cases, the primary goal of foster care is to reunify children with their parents or primary caregivers.

Number of children in foster care in the United States in 2018, by race/ethnicity

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Sources

Release date

October 2019

Region

United States

Survey time period

September 30, 2018

Supplementary notes

Data as of September 30, 2018.

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Statistics on "Foster care and adoption in the U.S."

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