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Foster Care Statistics

Boy in hat


Teens aging out of Foster Care

  • While the number of children in foster care is declining overall, the numbers who age out of the system without no caring adult in their lives has soared by 41% since 1998

  • One in four will be incarcerated within the first two years of leaving foster care. More than 70% of people in our prisons report having been in foster care or homeless shelters as children.

  • More than 1 in 5 becomes homeless within the first year of aging out, and more than 50% experience homelessness within the first 18 months.

  • About 50% of foster youth attain their high school diploma or G.E.D. compared to 87% of other U.S. teens.

  • Of youth who have aged out fewer than 3% earned college degrees, compared to 28% of the general population.

  • Foster care teens change where they live an average of one to two times a year. With each switch they are half as likely to graduate high school on time.

  • Of those aging out of foster care, more than a third changed schools five times or more.

  • Youth who aged out of foster care are frequently unemployed. By age 24, those who are employed earn less than half of what youth from low income families earn.

  • Girls in foster care are six times more likely to give birth before age 21. The greatest predictor of poverty is being a young single mom.





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