New annual data from HHS indicates that the number of children in foster care increased by more than 14,000 children in federal fiscal year 2014. According to the annual HHS report, the number of children in foster care increased to 415,129 compared to 400,989 in 2013. The totals represent the number of children in out-of-home care (foster care) on the last day of the federal fiscal year (September 30, 2014). It is the highest number of children in foster care since 2009.
The increase is the second consecutive annual increase with last year’s (2013) total of 401,000 representing an increase of 4,000 children in care over the previous year. The 2014 to 2013 increase is also the highest year to year increase in more than a decade. The numbers released through AFCARS Report # 22 indicate that while the number of children leaving foster care decreased by 2,162 compared to 2013, the number of children entering foster care increased by 9,666. The bulk of that number seemed to increase most within the zero to three population which increased by approximately 6400 children in care.
The number of children adopted from foster care at 50, 608 is also the lowest in a decade and approximately 1500 less than the previous year. The nearly 108,000 children in foster care waiting to be adopted is also the highest since 2010.