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Data & Trends

Support Youth Transitioning from Foster Care

Data & Trends Targets & Projections Background Info

Trends: Youth Exiting Foster Care without A Permanent Family

Number and Percent of Youth Exiting Foster Care Without Legal Permanence. This is the percentage of exits from foster care annually that are due to youth exiting from the state’s custody without a legal permanent family (from the Automated Foster Care and Adoption Reporting System, AFCARS).

Note: these data do not indicate the overall number of youth in foster care relative to a state’s total child population. Obtain this important information here.

To view or compare state data, select up to six jurisdictions below and click "View Data."

  • United States
  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virgin Islands
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
View Data

Limitations of AFCARS
The Automated Foster Care and Adoption Reporting System (AFCARS) is the only source of data about youth leaving foster care, but it only measures youth leaving to birth or adoptive families and not to relational permanence.


The National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) will begin tracking the services and outcomes of youth transitioning from foster care in October 2010 (FY2011). NYTD requires state child welfare agencies to collect outcome data via a survey of all youth that are in foster care around their 17th birthday, then survey a cohort of those young people again at age 19 and 21. The state must also collect data on all independent living services provided to young people.


Relational Permenance  
Even when legal permanence is not feasible, every young person should have caring, committed families as a part of their life.