18 Reasons Why We Don’t Care About All Children

Did you know that May is National Foster Care Awareness Month? This post highlights some of the appalling statistics and grave odds facing children in the foster care system. If society cared about all kids, 100% could thrive.

1. The US ranks 25th of 27th among developed nations based on the rate of child deaths from abuse and neglect.

2. About 40,000 infants are placed in foster care every year.

3. 23 states fail to meet federal standards intended to protect foster kids from further abuse and neglect.

4. Annually, 650,000 kids experience foster care.

5. Children entering foster care remain there on average for nearly 2 years.

6. 65% of former foster children experienced seven or more school changes (K-12).

7. 40% of former foster youth have repeated one or more grades.


8. Adolescents who had been in foster care were nearly 2.5x more likely to seriously consider suicide.

9. 1/3 of foster youth lived at or below poverty after leaving foster care, 3x higher than the national rate.

10. 3-11% of former foster children complete a bachelor’s degree.

11. 51% are unemployed within 2-4 years of “aging-out” of the foster care system.

12. At age 19, more than three-quarterers of youth who aged out of foster care earned less than minimum wage.

13. 80 percent of the prison population once was in foster care.

14. Young women in foster care are more than twice as likely as their peers not in foster care to become pregnant by age 19.

15. Two-thirds of women and 22 percent of men who were previously in foster care receive one or more form of need-based government assistance by age 21.

16. 25% of former foster children suffer from PTSD, a lifetime prevalence rate similar to that of many U.S. war veterans.

17. 66% of foster youth will be homeless, in jail or die within one year of leaving the foster care system at 19.

18. If nothing changes by 2020, more than 10.5 million children will spend some time in foster care.

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