Though many adults take the leap into foster care, providing valuable services to children in need, so many others consider doing so but never take the next step. Serving as a temporary caregiver until a child returns to the biological home or is placed for adoption is a very worthwhile role. Individuals who are on the fence about doing so may change their mind after reading the following statistics.
Every day in the U.S., three children die from neglect or abuse and six children commit suicide. Each day, 2,660 babies are born into poverty and teen mothers birth 1,407 babies. Every day, 3,398 babies are born to unmarried mothers. The birth weight of 145 babies born on a given day is categorized as very low. On a daily basis, 95 babies die for various reasons.
While many children fight to go to school, about 2,833 of youths drop out of school each day. Of those who do attend, 135,000 take a gun to their school in a single day. Over 6,000 children are arrested on a daily basis and nearly 8,500 youths are reported neglected or abused by a concerned citizen.
These alarming statistics from the Children’s Defense fund are sobering. The most recent foster care statistics, representing fiscal year 2009, were published by the Child Welfare Information Gateway in May 2011. As of September 30, 2009, an estimated 423,773 children were in foster care in the U.S. Close to half lived with non-relative foster families, while 24 percent resided in relative homes.
The case goal of 49 percent of the children in foster care in 2009 was reunification with their families. This reunion with the parent or primary caregiver occurred for 51 percent of the children. Of the children who left foster care during fiscal year 2009, 46 percent were in this arrangement for shorter than one year.