June 2011: Special Edition
WE CAN HELP YOU FOR FREE
NCSL can help state child welfare systems develop ways to safely reduce the number of children in foster care through:
- Presentations, informal briefings and testimony before committees and hearings,
- Written research and analyses, or
- Informal telephone conference calls with state child welfare administrators, legislators and legislative staff in other states to discuss their experiences with child welfare reform.
RECENT TRENDS IN CHILD WELFARE NUMBERS
By Amy Taylor
More than 400,000 children in the United States reside in some form of foster care. Although this number is high, there has been a decline in foster care placements over the past few years. In fact, between 2005 and 2009, there was a 15 percent reduction in the overall foster care population nationally.
This recent decline in the number of children in foster care, as well as other data trends in the foster care population, is important for policymakers to be aware of as they look at foster care reform in their state. The numbers presented in this newsletter are based on the most recent data available from the Adoption and Foster Care Reporting and Analysis System (AFCARS) between fiscal years 2005 and 2009.
Other recent data trends in the foster care population include:
- The overall number of children entering foster care has decreased.
- The number of children leaving foster care has outpaced the number of children entering foster care.
- Re-entry into foster care and cases of repeat maltreatment have remained the same or have declined.
- These trends provide context for state lawmakers as they examine their own state data and work with their child welfare agency to improve the lives of children and families.
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2011 NCSL LEGISLATIVE SUMMIT
Plan to join us August 8-11, 2011 in San Antonio, Texas for this year’s Legislative Summit, the largest and most important meeting of the year for legislators and legislative staff. Register Today!
NCSL CHILD WELFARE QUICK LINKS
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