Foster Care In North Carolina - Statistics

Goals

To report statistical trends in the foster rates, age-out of foster system rates, adoption rates, and rates of children who were re-united with birth parents after fostering in North Carolina within the past five years. This information will be used for the development of a marketing strategy.

Early Findings

  • Based on the 2019 Kids Count Data Book published by the Anna E. Casey Foundation since 1990) and the child advocacy organization NC Child, 17,280 children were in the foster care system in North Carolina in 2018 (the latest year for which data are available). This equates to 7.1 children per 1,000 -- or 0.71%. This is a 0.03% increase from the previous year (2017, where 6.8 children per 1,000 were in foster care).
  • Of the 17,280 children in the foster care system, 10,543 (61%) were reported to be in some type of foster care in 2018.
  • Of these 10,543 children categorized as being in some type of foster care, 5,452 (54%) were being fostered in a non-relative family home, 2,431 (24%) were being fostered in a relative family home, 1,114 (11%) were in a group home or institution, 341 (3%) were in a pre-adoptive home, and 600 (6%) were in a trial home visit.
  • In 2018, a total of 4,698 children exited the foster care system in North Carolina -- this represents 27% of the total children in foster care during that year (4,698/17,280).
  • Of the 4,698 children that left foster care in 2018, 1,401 (31%) of children exited the foster care system via adoption, 1,811 (40%) exited the system via reunification with their parent or primary caretaker, and 1,014 (22%) children exited the system via legal guardianship.
  • In 2017, 572 children (12%) aged out of the foster care system in North Carolina; data for this metric were not available for 2018, though between 2001 and 2016, the number of people that have out of the system increased by more than 70 percent; thus, it is likely this number was similar or trending upwards.
  • The Foster Care 18 to 21 Initiative was passed in North Carolina in 2015, allowing children to stay in the system until they are 21 if so desired, in order to continue to receive support services.

Summary Of Early Findings In Relation To The Goals

In this hour of research, we were able to find the total number of children in the foster care system in North Carolina, as well as the total number of children categorized as being in some form of active foster care (within the greater foster care system). We also located and reported statistics regarding the manner by which children exited foster care in 2018 -- the latest year for which data are available. Most of the statistics presented above are based on the 2019 Kids Count Data Book, and summary statistics were located on the website of the child advocacy organization NC Child.

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