Foster Care (also known as out-of-home care) is a temporary service provided by States for children who cannot live with their families. Children in foster care may live with relatives or with unrelated foster parents. Foster care can also refer to placement settings such as group homes, residential care facilities, emergency shelters, and supervised independent living.

In 2019 there were over 103,000 referrals made child welfare agencies in Colorado. More than 3,960,000 were made throughout the United States.

According to the most recent federal data, there are currently more than 400,000 children in foster care in the United States.

The most common reasons for entering foster care include:

  • Neglect 64%
  • Parental Substance Use 38%
  • Physical Abuse 13%

In July of 2020 there were 4,502 children in foster care in Colorado and only 2,372 certified foster or kinship families.

Approximately 64% of children in foster care are over the age of 6 years old.

In September of 2020, about 133 young adults left the state child welfare system due to aging out.

A survey done by the National Youth Advocate Program showed more than 1/3 of foster youth who leave the system in Colorado are homeless by age 21.

47% of foster care placements end with reunification and 26% end with adoption.

In 2019, more than 71,000 children nationally whose mothers’ and fathers’ parental rights had been legally terminated were waiting to be adopted.

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