Foster Care Facts

  • There are approximately 25,000 foster children in New York State.
  • Many of these children have physical, mental, or emotional challenges and disabilities or belong to sibling groups who need to be placed together.
  • Most enter the foster system with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. And while social services provide some financial assistance, it is not nearly enough to fully cover all of the expenses necessary to care for these kids.
  • Foster care was intended to be temporary, but many of these children remain in care for years—on average 2½ years with a 40 percent chance of experiencing three or more placements.
  • One quarter of these kids have a goal of adoption. Of them, few are three years old or younger; many are between the ages of 6 and 13; and over one third are teens, ages 14 and over. For those waiting to be adopted, the average length of stay in care is close to five years.
  • In 2009, 11% percent of these children aged out of the foster care system each year with little family or community support.
  • All of these children have experienced neglect and/or abuse in their lives. They need the stability and unconditional love of a family so that they can learn to trust… and to ride bikes, make cookies, read, play basketball and dance!

“I would like to thank you for the wonderful clothes. They fit so nicely and I feel so special in them. I especially like the soft jammies. I am working hard in school so I can wear that special dress to the Prom.”