Nearly one hundred times a day, a child in California is placed in foster care. Los Angeles County alone has over 33,000 foster youth in care who have experienced abuse, neglect or been abandoned.
Too often, however, the children in foster lag behind national standards in relation to the minimal care and protection we strive to achieve for children. As a result, youth in foster care often transition into adulthood without the tools and support they need to thrive.
CLC advocates for greater community involvement and better services to help these children recognize their potential, achieve the goals they set for themselves, and chart a path to a brighter future.
Stats About Youth in Foster Care
- On any given day, there are nearly 437,000 children in foster care in the United States. Here in California, there are over 60,000 children in the foster care system.
- Many children in California’s foster care system experience frequent placement changes. Children who are in foster care for 24 months or longer 15% experienced 5 or more placements and 44% experienced 3 or more placements.
- Youth exiting foster care shared that they often lacked strong and supportive relationships. While extending foster care until age 21 has improved outcomes for youth, many youth still exit care without the support and guidance they need to successfully transition.
- Children in foster care have experienced abuse, neglect, and other adverse childhood experiences that can negatively impact their health. In fact, half of all kids in foster care have endured four or more adverse childhood experiences.
- Unique challenges can prevent students in foster care from attending school. Youth in foster care are more likely to be chronically absent (miss 10% or more days of school) than other underserved youth, due to home placement changes, school transfers, court hearings, and parental visitation.
- In California, the statewide average high school graduation rate by youth is 83%. For students in foster care, only 53% will graduate on time.
- It’s estimated that one-third of all the nation’s unaccompanied homeless youth are in California.
- Research indicates foster youth experience rates of homelessness ranging from 11% to 38%, disproportionately higher than that of the general population.
- CLC serves the 33,300 children and youth in the Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Placer county foster care systems.