Foster Care and Termination of Parental Rights/long term foster care
Dear Ms Minogue,
I am wondering what is the statistic specifically of the number of children who are in foster care for five consecutive years or more while legally free for adoption ( time in foster care prior to that release not being considered in this question,) who age out of the system at age 18 without ever having been adopted or returned to parental or relative home? I believe the scenario in this question addresses the central problem of the foster care situation. For a child to be in this situation is to be in limbo really for life-- no real family. Of course it is preferable to living with abuse in the real family but it is not the goal of foster care. I realize this situation sometimes can't be helped. Still what is this statistic- the heartbreak statistic? i know it is very hard to find and thank you very much for trying -- I know it does not just jump out of the existing statistics and finding it may be too large a task for the scope of your service. Still it is a real number nationwide and a very meaningful number.
I have spent the past few days searching for the most accurate statistic to answer your question unfortunately I believe that children that have been in the foster care system whom did not get reunited with their family or adopted have not been polled or properly kept track of over the years. My suggestion is to look up the statistic of how many children are in foster care per year, the statistic for how many children get adopted from foster care per year, and the statistic of how many children in foster care get reunited with their parents.
Now I am not the best at mathematics but I can give you the equation to find the closest answer possible.
Say you search within the year 2010
Take # of children in foster care that were adopted in 2010
+ # of children in foster care that were reunited with family in 2010
= # of children that found a home
Now Take the # of children that were in foster care during 2010
- # of children that found a home in 2010
= # of children in longterm foster care that did not get adopted or reunifyed with family members.
I do hope this helps you,