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Change Indicator

Children entering foster care in United States

Children entering foster care

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Definition and Source



The number of children and youth entering the foster care system. Some states allow children to remain in the foster care system until their 18th birthday while other states have age limits that extend a few years beyond this. The current indicator includes children of all ages. Children are categorized as entering foster care if they have a valid date for entry into care during a particular fiscal year. National estimates include Puerto Rico.

Data Source

Child Trends analysis of data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), made available through the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect.


N.A. - Data not available.

Last Updated

May 2024