Children in Foster Care

Description of Indicator
In this indicator, the number of children from age 0 to 20 in foster care is represented from October to September in each one-year period. The percentage of children in foster care is from the population aged 0 to 19. Also, this indicator determines the percentage of children from 0 to 19 years old in foster care by race and Hispanic origin.

Why is it important?
Children in foster care tend to face traumatic experiences and other challenges as they go through changes in living situations. It is crucial that children have access to safe and reliable care until they obtain permanent housing. Also, children living in underserved areas and those who identify as non-White have been disproportionately represented in the foster care system. Conversely, not removing children from challenging homes is equally as bad and likely to negatively impact the child through adulthood and create a generational cycle of issues.

How is the region performing?
Although no data was available for the three-county region from October 2018 to September 2019, the population of children in foster care increased slightly over the period analyzed in Luzerne and Wayne Counties. From the 2017-2018 period to the 2020-2021 period, however, the number of children in foster care trended upward for Lackawanna County. Racial and ethnic minorities belonging to the foster care population are underrepresented statewide and in the three-county region from 2020 to 2021.
No current data for this year’s report was available for children in foster care.