A recent study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found the number of children in kinship care rose by 18 percent in the last decade across the country. However, only five percent of that number are living with licensed kinship families.
Currently, there are 2.5 million children in kinship care – both informally and formally (licensed by the state). This is five times the number of children in foster care. Continue reading
The most recent Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) Report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that the number of youth in congregate care or group homes is down to 21,649, which marks a decrease of more than 10,000 children since their 2008 report. While the use of congregate care has been trending downward for more than a decade, the recently passed Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) will result in these figures dropping even more.
As previously mentioned in our newsletter, “Understanding the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA),” congregate care is slowly being phased out as funding is being redirected towards the “Foster Care New Deal.” Continue reading
In 2004, nearly 23,000 children were adopted from foreign countries. Since then, many of these countries, including Russia and Ethiopia, have put an end to international adoptions. The result is just 5,400 children have been adopted from places outside the United States in 2016. With fewer international children available, a rise in adoptions from foster care throughout the United States seemed imminent.
However, while the number of children in care across the country rose by more than 10 percent between 2012 and 2016, including a 15 percent increase in children waiting to be adopted, the adoption rate failed to keep pace. What makes these statistics more troubling is that nearly half of those waiting to be adopted are legally free.
According to a University of Chicago report, nearly one-third of the nation’s foster children haven’t graduated high school or earned their General Education Development (GED) Certificate. In an effort to raise high school graduation rates President Obama signed the “Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)” in 2015.
ESSA replaced President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and put an emphasis on improving student performance while setting a national academic standard. It also addressed the unique educational needs of foster children with several mandates, such as keeping children in the school they were enrolled in prior to entering care or moving to a new foster home and providing transportation to and from school.