Over 670,000 children spent time in U.S. foster care. At any given time, there are approximately 428,000 children and youth in foster care in the U.S. Of those, more than 20,000 young people age out of the foster care system without a permanent family. Who are the foster children? 52% are male and 48% are female, of those 39% are 5 years old or under, 23% are 6 to 10 years old, 22% are 11 to 15 years old and 16% are 16 to 20 years old.
Research and studies have demonstrated that the individuals who leave foster care without having a permanent family have a higher probability than youth in the general population to experience homelessness, unemployment and imprisonment as grown-ups. Within 6 months of emancipation, an estimated 50% will become homeless.
Education is significantly impacted as well.
Foster children trail other students in elementary school. 75% of foster children perform below grade level standard. 80% of foster children have had to repeat a grade in school by 3rd grade. Only 45% of the foster youth complete highschool. Of those, 43% enroll in a college and 41% stay enrolled after the first year. This is simply just too heartbreaking and it needs to change.