Each year 7+ million children are reported to CPS for allegations of child maltreatment.
On any given day, more than 400,000 children are in foster care.
While there is a perception that the child welfare system rescues children from horrific abuse, in reality, only 16% of children enter foster care as a result of physical or sexual abuse. The vast majority have been separated from their families as a result of “neglect” – a euphemism for poverty.
Child welfare, like many other systems, is also plagued with inequities: children in care are disproportionately from communities of color. Of every 1,000 white children in the US, 4.9 are in foster care, compared with 9.2 of every 1,000 Black children and 16.6 of every 1,000 American Indian and Alaska Native children.
number of children in foster care in the US by ethnicity per 1000 children
Each experience in the system is unique, but the trends are clear: entering the child welfare system meaningfully disrupts a child’s relationship with their family and their community, disrupting their opportunity to heal, develop, and thrive.
50% of the time siblings are separated
Former foster children are almost 2x as likely as U.S. war veterans to suffer from PTSD.