Many states have been using different ways to combat the problem of so many kids in care. More kids are being placed in kinship care (care of a family member), trying to speed up the process of getting children placed in care back home ( I think this can be both good and bad) and investing more in programs for parents to improve themselves so children can be safe at home. The spokeswoman for the Department of Children and Families was quoted as saying "We don't want kids in foster care for any reason for too long," and "If they can go back home safely we want to get them home quickly and if not, we want to get them adopted".
There is still a large number of kids that are aging out of the system that have no ties with there parents. Out of the 245,260 children who left the system, 26,286 of them aged out. Some say this shows the rush to the termination of parental rights that states did in the past. In 2007, parent terminations were 82,020 compared to 61,361 in 2011.
Some other quick facts from the preliminary 2011 estimates
- 45% of kids were in non relative foster care homes and 27% living with a relative
- 52% were male 48% female
- The average time in care was 23.9 months with 21% staying 1 to 5 months
- Average age at entry was 7.7 years with 16% younger than age 1
- 54% of kids were adopted by a foster parent
- 68% of the kids were adopted by a married couple and 27% were single females adopting
You can take a look at the report yourself by clicking here