National Child Welfare Data
By on April 18th, 2011


With an estimated 115,000 children and youth in foster care waiting to be adopted, and an estimated 29,000 youth aging out of foster care without a permanent family, there is much work to be done to find adoptive families and build capacity to find more families in the future!



Of the 115,000 waiting children and youth:

  • 53 percent are male.
  • 47 percent are female.
  • 30 percent are African American.
  • 22 percent are Hispanic.
  • 38 percent are white.
  • The average age is 8.1 years.

On average, these youth have been in foster care for 38 months—that’s more than three years—waiting for a permanency outcome.

It is important to know the national data as well as state and local numbers on these and other significant characteristics (age, membership in sibling groups).

Learn more at


2 Source: The AFCARS Report #17, Preliminary FY 2009 Estimates as of July 2010, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families,  Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau.



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