Voices For Children Foundation, Inc.

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Statistics and Sources

• Currently, over 3,100 kids are part of Miami-Dade County’s Foster Care system due to abuse and neglect
o Source: Our Kids of Miami-Dade/ Monroe Inc.

• 45% of these kids are 5 years old or younger
o Source: Our Kids of Miami-Dade/ Monroe Inc.

• During a 4-month period in 2013, 464 kids entered Miami-Dade County’s Foster System
o Source: Our Kids of Miami-Dade/ Monroe Inc.

• Foster children experience an average of 1 to 2 home placement changes per year
o Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2002)

• 65% of foster children experienced 7 or more school changes before 12th grade
o Source: Pecora et al., Improving family foster care: Findings from the Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study, pp. 26, 28 (2005)

• Foster Children and Youth are 5x more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder than the general population
o Source: Kulka, R. A., Fairbank, J. A., Jordan, K., & Weiss, D. (1990). Trauma and the Vietnam War generation: Report of findings from the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study. New York: Brunner/Mazel; and Hoge, C. W., Castro, C. A., Messer, S. C., McGurk, D., Cotting, D. I., & Koffman, R. L. (2004). Combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, mental health problems, and barriers to care. The New England Journal of Medicine, 351 (1), 13-22. Link: http://www.casey.org/Resources/Publications/pdf/CaseyNationalAlumniStudy_MentalHealth.pdf

• An estimated 125 Miami youth will age out this year
o Source: Our Kids of Miami-Dade/ Monroe Inc.

• Nationally, over 28,000 youth age out of foster care each year
o Source: Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS). Retrieved September 7, 2011 from http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/afcars/trends_june2011.pdf and http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/index.htm

• 22% become homeless for one day or more after aging out
o Source: Pecora, P. J., Kessler, R. C., Williams, J., O’Brien, K., Downs, A. C., English, D., Hiripi, E., White, C. R., & Wiggins, T. (2005). Improving family foster care: Findings from the Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study. Seattle, WA: Casey Family Programs. In terms of school changes, one-third of the alumni in another recent study had attended more than five elementary schools, averaging a change in schools nearly every year. See Pecora, P. J., Williams, J., Kessler, R. C., Downs, A. C., O’Brien, K., Hiripi, E., & Morello, S. (2003). Assessing the effects of foster care: Early results from the Casey National Alumni Study. Seattle, WA: Casey Family Programs, p. 28. Both studies can be downloaded from www.casey.org.

• 50% will graduate from high school
o Source: US Department of Education, 2000 http://www.reachforyou.org/fostercarestats.html

• Fewer than 3% will earn a college degree
o P.J. Pecora, R.C. Kessler, et al., Improving Family Foster Care: Findings from the Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study, Casey Family Programs (Seattle, WA; 2005). See also Mark Courtney, Amy Dworsky, et al. Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Foster Youth: Outcomes at Age 23 and 24, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago (2010) at 22, available a: http://www.chapinhall.org/sites/default/files/Midwest_Study_Age_23_24.pdf. Note that this study included foster youth alumni from Illinois, where youth have the option to continue in care until age 21.