Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health      

kidsdata advisory

The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health | June 18, 2014

Rates of Foster Care Entry in California Fluctuate; Gaps Between Racial/Ethnic Groups Remain

In 2013, nearly 26,000 California children — 2.8 of every 1,000 — entered foster care for the first time. While the rate of first entries has fluctuated since 2000, African American/Black and American Indian/Alaskan Native children continue to enter foster care at more than three times the rate of white and Latino children.

Rates of first entry for African American/Black and American Indian/Alaska Native children in California were 8.5 and 8.8 per 1,000, respectively, in 2011-13. This compares to 2.7 for Latino, 2.6 for white, and 0.7 for Asian/Pacific Islander children during the same period.

Child welfare experts suggest that many factors play a role in this persistent inequity (PDF), including possible biases among social workers, and higher rates of poverty for African American/Black and American Indian/Alaska Native families, which is associated with higher levels of child maltreatment.

California children are spending less time in foster care than they did a decade ago, although the median number of months in care increased slightly between 2009 and 2011, to 14 months. Higher percentages of children are being reunified with their families and being adopted after long periods spent in foster care.

These changes are due in part to foster care policy shifts that have sped up adoptions, increased family reunifications and improved services to families to avoid having to remove children from their homes, according to child welfare professionals.

Read more about this topic, including policy implications>>

See Foster Care Data in Your Community

Helpful Links

Abuse, Neglect, Adoption and Foster Care Research, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

California Child Welfare Indicators Project, California Department of Social Services & UC Berkeley, Center for Social Services Research

Child Trends: Child Welfare

Child Welfare Information Gateway, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Bureau

Child Welfare League of America

Children's Rights

The Chronicle of Social Change, Foster Care Online Publication

Kidsdata Tip

To see child health and well-being indicators by State Assembly, State Senate or U.S. Congressional legislative district, rather than county, select your district from this list. Don't know your district? Just click on "What's My District?" to find out. Mascot
Get customized e-alerts Get custom data alerts
Join the conversation (Facebook) Join the conversation
Find a fact of the day (Twitter) Keep current on kids
Read our blog posts Read our blog posts

First Entries into Foster Care, by Race/Ethnicity (2000-2002 to 2011-2013)

Foster Care Mascots is a program of the Lucile Packard Foundation of Children's Health, which uses data to promote the health and well being of children.
Email not displaying correctly? Click here to view it in your browser. Subscribe Unsubscribe
This email was sent by: %%Member_Busname%%
%%Member_Addr%% %%Member_City%%, %%Member_State%%, %%Member_PostalCode%%, %%Member_Country%%