A day in the life

Foster care, by the numbers

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services compiled data on children in foster care on Sept. 30, 2009, to give an idea of how many are in the system on a given day, their median age, how long they’ve been there, etc. Below are a few numbers relating to that day for the entire United States.

Total number in foster care 423,773

Median age 9.7 years

Median length of stay 15.4 months

Number living with foster family 200,179

Number waiting to be adopted 114,556