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Foster Care Youth


1955 - 2023

These books are dedicated to the memory of foster care hero and role-model, Dr. John Seita. Separated from his mother at the age of eight for child abuse and neglect, John survived 15 foster and residential care placements, wrote numerous books and scholarly articles about foster care and child welfare and taught his social work students to “never give up” on the at-risk youth they serve. His resilient spirit will continue to guide our mission.

Foster Care Statistics & Outcomes

Foster Care Statistics

Who they are, why they are in foster care, for how long and their placements.

  • There are over 400,000 American youth in the foster care system

  • Forty-four percent of foster kids are White, 23% African-American, 21% Hispanic

  • There are slightly more boys than girls in the foster care system

  • Abusive neglect accounts for over 60% of children removed from their home

  • Parental alcohol/drug abuse cause about 40% of children to be removed from their home

  • Physical abuse result in about 12% of children being removed from their home

  • On average, a foster child can spend 12-20 months in foster care

  • About one in ten foster youth spend over five years in foster care

  • About 45% of foster children live in non-relative foster family homes

  • Around 32% of foster kids live in kinship care

  • Nearly 23% of foster care children live in institutions, group homes, trial and pre-adoptive homes

  • Family members or foster parents adopt about 25% of foster kids

Foster Care Outcomes

What can happen after they leave the foster care system


  • Foster kids are four times more likely than other children to attempt suicide

  • Close to one-fifth of the U.S. prison population is comprised of former fosters

  • Half of young adults who leave foster care will develop a substance use dependence

  • About 70% of youth who exit the foster care system are arrested at least once by age 26 

  • As high as 80% of foster care children suffer from significant mental health issues

  • Former fosters are twice as likely as U.S. war veterans to experience PTSD in adulthood

  • One-in-five foster children are homeless at age 18

  • Seventy percent of female fosters are pregnant before their 21st birthday

  • As high as 60% of child trafficking victims have histories in foster care

  • About half of foster youth will not graduate high school

How do we improve the placement experiences and adult outcomes of these vulnerable young people? Successful former fosters answer this and other important questions by sharing their personal foster care stories in these enlightening foster care books.

These foster care alumni have chosen to reflect on their childhood experiences through the lens of adult professionals so that their unique knowledge might reach receptive minds looking to improve services to youth growing up in foster care. Their pre-placement memories may shock you. Their in-placement experiences may alarm you. Their post-placement accomplishments may inspire you. Their insights and recommendations may enlighten you. Most of all, what they have to say will make you think!

Featured Books On Foster Care:

These true stories provide the unique client perspective required for child welfare professionals and foster parents to grasp the significance of the crucial roles they play in preparing foster youth for life on their own. Furthermore, youth getting ready for life after foster care, as well as recently emancipated alumni who crave guidance from role-models, now have access to a detailed road map that illuminates the path to their self-actualization.

Buy these books and learn how successful former fosters answer these life-changing questions.

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