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Foster Care Entry Rates Grew Faster for Infants than for Children of Other Ages, 2011-2018

Publication Date
Gilbert Crouse, Robin Ghertner, Emily Madden, and Laura Radel

Between 2011 and 2018, increasing numbers of infants were removed from their parents or caregivers. From 2011 to 2018 the number of infants entering foster care increased 24 percent reaching around 50,000 in 2018. This increase was nearly 13 times as much as the 1.8 percent increase in placements for other age groups . Infants accounted for more than 70 percent of the total increase in foster care entries.

This study summarizes national, state, and county-level increases in infant foster care entry. Forty-four states had increases in infants entering foster care with increases ranging from 2 percent to 124 percent; in 13 states, infant foster care entries rose more than 50 percent from 2011 to 2018. Over half of all counties (1,655) saw infant foster care entries increase over this period, whereas entries decreased in less than a quarter (743 counties). Counties with growth rates more than 50 percent were widely dispersed across the country.

Related Products:


Other ASPE products on foster care can be found on our Adoption and Foster Care page.

Product Type
Research Brief
Children | Infants & Toddlers
Location- & Geography-Based Data
State Data | County Data