• There are over 500,000 children in the United States Foster Care System I
  • 1 out of every 5 of our Nation's foster children lives in California. II
  • 46% of foster youth fail to complete high school III
  • 65% of California's foster youth face imminent homelessness. IV
  • 3 out of every 10 of our Nation's homeless are former foster youth. V
  • 70% of foster youth dream of going to college.only 3% actually make it. VI
  • Rates of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder among foster care alumni are up to twice the rate of US war veterans who faced combat. VII
  • 83% of children in foster care are held back in school by 3rd grade and 75% are working below grade level. VIII
  • 35% of foster youth have experienced four or more school changes and each school move results in a six month loss of educational progress. IX
  • 51% are unemployed at age 22. X


  1. Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS)
  2. CA - Foster Care and Child Development
  3. Children's Law Center of Los Angeles (a project of the LA Superior Court)
  4. CA Dept of Social Services
  5. Roman, N.P. & Wolfe, N. (1995). Web of failure: The relationship between foster care and homelessness. Washington, DC: National Alliance to End Homelessness.
  6. McMillen C, Auslander W, Elze D, White T, Thompson R. Educational experiences and aspirations of older youth in foster care. Child Welfare. 2003 Jul-Aug;82(4):475-95. PMID: 12875372 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  7. Pecora P, Kessler R, Williams J, et al. Improving family foster care: findings from the Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study. Seattle, WA: Casey Family Programs, available at; 2005.
  8. Children's Law Center of Los Angeles (a project of the LA Superior Court)
  9. Molly Herzog, Director of Project People, cited in The Connection: News and Information from the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, Summer 2004, Vol. 20 No. 2 Temple, J. A., & Reynolds, A. J. (1999). School mobility and achievement: Longitudinal results from an urban cohort. Journal of School Psychology, 37(4), 355-
  10. Burley, M. & Halpern, M. (2001) Educational Attainment of Foster Youth. Washington State Institute for Public Policy (Document #01-11-3901)

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