Children’s Bureau Releases 2018 AFCARS Data

On Friday, the Children’s Bureau released AFCARS Report #26, the 26th annual report from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), which reflects national data related to children in the foster care system during federal fiscal year 2018, which occurred from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018.

The most noteworthy finding is that the number of children in foster care declined slightly for the first time since 2012: there were 437,300 children in foster care at the end of FY2018, compared to 441,000 reported at the end of FY2017. In addition, the number of children entering care in FY2018 dropped to 263,000 compared to 270,000 in FY2017. Also significant, the proportion of children in group homes has declined – from 6 percent in FY2017 to 4 percent in FY2018. If you are interested in accessing data for your own state, the Children’s Bureau publishes this information through the Child Welfare Outcomes Report, available here. (Note that this reflects FY2017 data.)