News Brief: More Children in Foster Care Than One Year Ago

A new report shows that there were more children in U.S. foster care at the end of 2015 than 2014. This is the third year this number has risen.

the number of children in u.s. foster care is rising

The number of children in the U.S. foster system rose last year, from 414,429 at the end of fiscal year 2014 to 427,910 in 2015, according to the latest Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) Report compiled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Children’s Bureau. The number of children in care who are waiting to be adopted also rose, from 108,189 to 111,820.

This is the third straight year the number of children in care has risen; HHS attributes this troubling increase in large part to a rise in parental substance abuse, including opioids and methamphetamine, and hopes that increased funding for substance abuse treatment and regional partnership grants aimed at “improving the safety, permanency and well-being of children who have been removed from the home as a result of parent or caregiver substance use” can help reverse this trend.

After declining from 2012 to 2014, however, the number of children adopted from foster care rose last year, from 50,625 in 2014 to 53,549 in 2015.

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