Data By Topic Security & Safety Child Care & Wellbeing Foster Care & Public Adoption

Foster care population at end of year

The number of children in currently in foster care is counted every year on September 30th, the end of the fiscal year. But children enter and exit the foster care system throughout the year. This means that the number of children who were in the foster care system at some point over the year is higher than this point-in-time measure.
There were a total of 407,493 children in foster care in the US at the end of 2020. This is a decrease of 4.5% or 19,073 children in foster care from 2019.

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