Foster Care for Children and Adults with Handicaps: Child Welfare and Adult Social Services Final Report

10/01/1987

This report summarizes state-by-state data on the number of children and adults in foster homes administered by child welfare or social service agencies. As of December 1985, there were approximately 261,000 children in out-of-home foster care, including 54,000 handicapped children, of whom 14,000 were mentally retarded. The total number of children in foster care on any one day has decreased only slightly since 1980, whereas the number of children reported to be mentally retarded decreased by approximately 7,500 (35%) to 5.3% of all foster children. Specialized foster homes administered by state mental retardation agencies serve approximately 6,400 additionally mentally retarded children and 10,700 mentally retarded adults. Adult social services foster care programs and data collection efforts regarding children and adults in foster care are also discussed. Many states gather and can report detailed data on both handicapped and non-handicapped children. Data collection efforts would benefit from standardization of terminology used by states. [70 pages]

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