The Hard Facts About Foster Care
- 1 out of every 5 of our Nation’s foster children lives in California. (CA – Foster Care and Child Development)
- 46% of foster youth fail to complete high school (Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles (a project of the LA Superior Court))
- 65% of California’s foster youth face imminent homelessness. (CA Dept of Social Services)
- 3 out of every 10 of our Nation’s homeless are former foster youth. (Roman, N.P. & Wolfe, N. (1995). Web of failure: The relationship between foster care and homelessness. Washington, DC: National Alliance to End Homelessness)
- 70% of foster youth dream of going to college, only 3% actually make it. (McMillen C, Auslander W, Elze D, White T, Thompson R. Educational experiences and aspirations of older youth in foster care. Child Welfare. 2003 Jul-Aug;82(4):475-95. PMID: 12875372 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE])
- Rates of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder among foster care alumni are up to twice the rate of US war veterans who faced combat. (Pecora P, Kessler R, Williams J, et al. Improving family foster care: findings from the Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study. Seattle, WA: Casey Family Programs, available at www.casey.org; 2005.)
- 83% of children in foster care are held back in school by 3rd grade and 75% are working below grade level. (Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles (a project of the LA Superior Court))
- 51% are unemployed at age 22. (Burley, M. & Halpern, M. (2001) Educational Attainment of Foster Youth. Washington State Institute for Public Policy (Document #01-11-3901))
December 2006 U.S. Department of Justice audit of CASA:
- 13.3% of all foster children remain in care more than three years, as opposed to 5.5% of children with a CASA volunteer.
- Of the general foster care population, 16% end up reentering the system, while the figure for kids served by CASA is below 10%.
- If the children we served last year end up spending an average of one month less in foster care than they would have otherwise, that would mean a savings of $582 million.