Health Conditions, Utilization, and Expenditures of Children in Foster Care. Demographic Characteristics

09/19/1999

As shown in Table A.1, the average age of children receiving emergency assistance was nearly 12 in California and slightly over 10 in Florida. The higher average age (relative to children in foster care) is accounted for by the higher concentration of adolescents in this population, presumably a diversion from the juvenile justice system. Sixty percent were male, a disproportionate rate compared to the 50/50 gender distribution within the foster care population. The racial/ethnic distribution was quite similar between emergency assistance and foster care children. The geographic distribution was similar for the two groups in Florida, whereas in California, emergency assistance was more common among children in smaller urban or rural areas.

Table A.1
Demographic Characteristics of Children Receiving Emergency Assistance, 1994
  California Florida
Emergency Assistance (N=1,301) Foster Care (N=111,236) Emergency Assistance (N=6,898) Foster Care (N=14,011)
Total 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Age
Less than 1 9.1 5.1 7.6 4.2
1 to 4 8.3 24.2 18.6 26.4
5 to 9 8.8 23.9 13.7 24.9
10 to 14 25.4 22.3 19.7 23.4
15 to 18 48.4 24.5 40.4 21.0
Mean 11.9 9.0 10.4 8.6
Gender
Male 60.0 51.9 62.3 50.5
Female 40.0 48.1 37.8 49.5
Race/Ethnicity
White 61.8 60.5 48.1 46.7
Black 11.8 19.0 42.6 45.8
Hispanic 18.7 15.9 7.6 5.7
Other/Unknown 7.8 4.7 1.7 1.9
Urban/Rural Location
Large MSA 60.7 83.7 50.2 52.6
Small MSA 29.4 13.4 44.8 42.1
Non-MSA 9.9 3.0 5.0 5.3
SOURCE: HCFA State Medicaid Research Files.
NOTE: Numbers may not sum to total due to rounding. Pennsylvania did not report any children eligible for Medicaid due to emergency assistance in conjunction with child welfare services. MSA is Metropolitan Statistical Area.