News Release

Number of Area Children in Foster Care Declined 27-Percent Over Last Five Years

Jul 12, 2013

The overall number of area children in foster care has declined according to the COG 2012 Foster Care Annual Report.  The report, which was presented at Wednesday's COG Board meeting, found that in 2012 there were 3,349 children in foster care throughout the region, down from 4,601 in 2008 – a reduction of 27%. This figure outpaces the national rate of children in foster care, which saw a 20% decline between 2007 and 2011.

This reduction is in tandem with over 1,300 children diverted from entering foster care alone. Of 1,164 exits from foster care, 56% of those cases resulted in family reunification, 22% in guardianships and 22% in adoption.

Aging out of the system, or exiting the system without finding permanent homes through family reunification, guardianship, or adoption, remained steady with only 18 less children aging out of the system in 2012 compared with 2011. Child welfare experts say these young people sometimes have trouble navigating through the next phase of their lives and can be at risk for unplanned pregnancies, homelessness, or incarceration.

The ultimate goal of foster care is to secure a safe, permanent home for each child. 284 children in foster care were awaiting adoption as of December 31, 2012. This represents a 60% decline in the number of children waiting to be adopted since 2008. Permanent placement of teenagers especially, continues to be a primary goal of COG’s Child Welfare program, while 19 children, 16 years old or older, were adopted in 2012. COG’s Child Welfare Committee urges area governments and organizations to provide additional support for these children.

For jurisdiction-specific numbers and additional information, click here to download the report.

In May, COG honored outstanding foster parents for their commitment to foster sons and daughters as well as to the children’s birth families. Click here to learn more about these families. Let us know if you would like to contact them.

Back to news

Related News

  • 16784233542_c7d2f4f189_o

    COG supports National Adoption Month

    November 13, 2017

    November is National Adoption Month. This month highlights the need for families to foster and adopt youth in the foster care system. Find out what you can do...

  • 2017_foster_parent_DC_group

    COG honors 2017 Foster Parents of the Year

    May 10, 2017

    Foster parents from 10 jurisdictions across the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia were honored by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments...