Children in foster care are the most vulnerable group in America. Nearly every societal problem our country faces–homelessness, trafficking, & overcrowded prisons–stems back to the ways we are failing our foster youth.
Brokenness permeates the foster care system. But there is no home for hopelessness at HOP. These numbers drive us forward to bring change to the lives they represent.
Foster Care Stats
children are in foster care in the U.S.
children are waiting for
a family to adopt them
of children enter care
due to neglect
Each year, 20,000 children
age out of foster care without support
of children enter care due
to parental drug abuse
enter care due to parental physical or mental health crisis that renders them unable to care for them
enter care due to housing issues
The average amount of time spent in foster care
spend 5 years or more in the system
struggle with significant mental health issues–compared to 20% of the general populations
Aging Out of Foster Care
Each year, over
children age out of foster care with no support.
1 in 5
become instantly homeless
end up in the sex industry
find gainful employment by 24
are suffering from PTSD
1 in 4
enter the criminal justice system by age 21
earn a 4 year college degree
70% of young women
become pregnant by 21
struggle with drug abuse
children live in institutional foster care
Kids placed in institutions:
experience higher rates of physical abuse.
will not finish high school
more likely to enter the criminal justice system than their peers in foster care
Are most likely to age out of foster care without support
Many don’t realize just how flourishing the human trafficking industry is in the U.S.
It has the
for sex in the world.
It ranks in the
countries of origin for trafficking victims
The global human trafficking market generates
There is an estimated
victims of human trafficking in the world, 1 in 4 are children
You become more vulnerable to trafficking when your needs aren’t met. This is true of adults, and it’s especially true of children. Children living in foster care who feel abandoned, worthless, alone, and hopeless are easier to lure into trafficking and less likely to have people looking for them.
Only a very small percentage of trafficking victims are rescued, making it difficult to know the extent to which children in foster care are victimized. However, we can see from the demographics of those who are rescued that children in foster care–especially those in group homes–are at very high risk of being trafficked:
In 2012, Connecticut reported 97% of sex trafficking victims were child wellfare involved.
In 2013, 60% of children recovered from sex trafficking as part of a nationwide FBI raid in 70 cities were in foster care when they went missing.
In Alameda County, 55% of children rescued from sex trafficking over a year were in group foster homes when they went missing
In Los Angeles County, of all commercially sexually exploited girls, 77% were child welfare involved.
Foster Care to
Children in foster care are much more likely than their peers to be involved in the criminal justice system as children and as adults.
within two years of
youth have significant
mental health issues
vs 20% of the general
enter the criminal
"You may choose to look away, but you can never again say that you did not know."