US teens in foster care: By the Numbers

Posted by Heather Sewell on July 08, 2013  /   Posted in Foster Care
By: Chris Crutchfield 

Kids in foster care move from home to home for any or no reason at all. Many feel unwanted and unloved as they have no permanency in their lives.

When children transition into the teen years an illusion of adulthood sets in. You may be there now, or maybe those years are buried in your memory’s past. Today’s youth rely on lies from the culture to shape their identity and without direction, these lies lead them to destruction.

Holding_Hands_by_vonnievdmEven more, imagine a world with no guidance or mature adult leading to the narrow path of Christ’s forgiveness and grace. It’s important to recognize the kids who need this basic foundation, sooner, rather than later.

The impact is immense.” But solutions arise as well, when, because of a shortage of foster homes, local leaders call upon leaders in the religious community to provide foster homes.

It is difficult for many of us to imagine a child not having a home or a family to call his/her own.

Sadly, this is the plight of some 400,500 children living in foster care in the United States.   A child is placed into the foster care system for a variety of reasons.  In some cases, it is deemed necessary for the child’s safety due to physical and/or emotional abuse by the parent(s).    Other cases involve the caregiver’s inability to adequately provide for the child due to a loss of employment, a medical condition, or substance abuse.


There are even cases where the child is removed because they have become a danger to themselves or the other family members.   Whatever the reason, the outcome is never ideal for the child and efforts are made to reunite the family or place the child into another home environment as quickly as possible.    If you feel God leading you to get involved in Foster Care, perhaps these statistics will aid in your decision.


FOSTER CARE BY THE NUMBERS:   Statistics based on FY2011

400,500 – number of children living in foster care

104,236 – number waiting to be adopted

61,361 – number waiting whose parental rights have been terminated

9 years old   – average age when a child enters foster care (52% Male, 48% Female)

2 years – average time spent in care


Call to Action

There are several ways you can get involved.  You can become a temporary placement home for children who are removed from the home and are waiting for a more permanent foster care placement.  You can also become a foster parent for children needing a longer length of stay while the courts work on reunification with the child’s own family.   You may also become a foster-to-adopt’ parent for those children whose parental rights have been terminated and they are looking for a permanent home/family.

Whichever path you choose, one thing you can begin doing right now is praying for these children.   These children can only remain in the foster care system until they reach the age of 18.  At this time, they have ‘aged out’ of the system and will likely never have a family or a home to call their own.

To learn more, contact OCA to receive an amazing book resource, entitled Wait No More by Kelly and John Rosati, that walks you through the Rosati family’s story that will “open your eyes to the growing numbers and plight of orphances in our world today,” Dr. Wess Stafford says.


  1. Markkenin April 3, 2014 1:31 am Reply

    Every kid needs someone who loves them and does not hurt them, but they also need a house, a place to sleep, nutritious food to eat, clothes to wear, and toys to play with.
    Is our society is unable to provide them these basic amenities? Everyone must ask this question to themselves?

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Back to Top