NCPA Releases First Ever State-By-State Foster Care Numbers

WASHINGTON, D.C. - For 17 years, states have failed to comply with the Federal Government's requirement to record and report on the status of children in state-managed foster care. Now, the National Center for Policy Analysis is releasing the first ever state-by-state report that details the number of children in foster care who are legally free to be adopted. This study is the result of two years' work by the Institute For Children based in Boston, Massachusetts.

The National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) is hosting a press conference to release a new study that examines what's going wrong with government-run foster care and adoption.

More than half-a-million American children are stuck in government-run foster care - an indication that the system is not working. Originally intended to provide safe, temporary homes for abused children, the $12 billion foster care program frequently keeps children in care long after they are legally free to be adopted. For example:

  • The American Civil Liberties Union reports that one-fourth of all foster children remain in care for more than four years.
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that children who leave the system to be adopted do so after an average stay of 3.5 to 5.5 years.
  • This year alone, some 15,000 children will turn 18 in foster care with no permanent home.
  • Detractors often claim that Americans are only interested in adopting healthy white babies, but the results from this national survey show that almost three-quarters of Americans polled would be willing to adopt a foster child.

Senators and congressmen actively supporting the release of this study include: Sen. Larry Craig (R., Idaho), Sen. Charles Grassley (R., Iowa), Sen. Dan Coats (R., Indiana), Sen. Don Nickels (R., Oklahoma), Sen. Sam Brownback (R., Kansas), Rep. Jim Ryun (R., Kansas), Rep. Todd Tiahrt, (R., Kansas). Also participating in the press conference will be Conna Craig, president of the Institute for Children and co-author of the study, and Derek Herbert, associate director of the Institute for Children and co-author of the study as well as members of the National Center for Policy Analysis.

WHO: National Center for Policy Analysis

WHAT: Foster Care Press Conference

WHEN: 10 a.m. (EST), Thursday, Aug 7, 1997

WHERE: National Press Club
Peter Lisagor Room, 13th Floor
529 14th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20045