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Foster care


Our foster care system places minors who have been made wards of the court into institutions, group homes and private homes. These residences are headed by a state-certified caregiver called a foster parent. The placement of a child is usually arranged through a social-service agency and the foster parent is provided compensation for expenses. Foster children may be orphaned, abused, neglected or delinquent Americans who cannot live with their biological families. The median age of children in foster care is 6 ½ years old. Therapeutic Foster Care allows special-needs children to receive treatment and clinical services while benefiting from a home and community-based environment.

In 2019, there were about 440,000 American children living in foster homes. About half of these children were living in non-relative foster homes, about 25% were living in foster homes with relatives, 10% were in institutions and 5% were in group homes. Most children spend less than 2 years in a foster home before they are reunited with family, adopted, emancipated as minors or aged out of the system. About 5% of these children will spend more than five years in a foster home. Advocates say the challenges are great for these children, both when growing up and after leaving the system at the age of 18. About 30,000 youth between the ages of 18 and 21 annually age out of the foster care system. Advocates say that within four years of aging out, 50% have no earnings, and those who do make an average annual income of $7,500.

Proposed Legislation: H.R.4300 - Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act of 2019
Prospective Sponsor: Rep. Madeleine Dean (PA)












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Poll Opening Date
November 22, 2021
Poll Closing Date
November 28, 2021


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