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The State of Foster Care from the Inside: National Survey Paints a Challenging Picture

This national, inaugural survey on foster care included former foster youth, caregivers, and child welfare professionals.

A new survey report, released in May, represents a rare attempt to gather an account of the foster care system directly from those living in or with children in it, and from frontline workers and caregivers working in the system. This first “Voice of the Foster Care Community” report, organized by iFoster, included over 1,000 foster youth, 1,100 caregivers, and nearly 230 child welfare professionals across 49 states.

The results of the survey show a reality where those closest to the system are frustrated and dissatisfied. According to the Executive Summary of the report:

“The overwhelming consensus is that the child welfare system is failing the children and youth it is responsible for raising. It’s failing by allowing children to languish in the system longer than they need with no permanency; failing to be equitable; failing to recognize the lifelong impacts of trauma, and failing to prepare youth to be independent when they age out of care if a permanent family has not been found for them.”

The full report can be found here:

iFoster is a national nonprofit with over 60,000 members across all 50 states, Guam and Puerto Rico. iFoster’s mission is to ensure that every child growing up outside of their biological home has the resources and opportunities they need to become successful, independent adults.



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