Foster Care

In the U.S. 400,540 children are living without permanent families in the foster care system.  115,000 of these children are eligible for adoption, but nearly 40% of these children will wait over three years in foster care before being adopted.
Source: AFCARS Report, No. 19

There are 6,000 kids in the foster system between Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas County Florida.

The average time a child waits in the foster system, once biological rights are terminated, is almost 2 years. The average age of these children is 9 years old.

No child under three years of age should be placed in institutional care without a parent or primary caregiver.  This is based on results from 32 European countries, including nine in-depth country studies, which considered the “risk of harm in terms of attachment disorder, developmental delay and neural atrophy in the developing brain." 
Source: Mapping the Number and Characteristics of Children Under Three in Institutions Across Europe at Risk of Harm: Executive Summary

15,000 orphans aging out of state-run institutions every year, 10% committed suicide, 5,000 were unemployed, 6,000 were homeless and 3,000 were in prison within three years.

Children raised in orphanages have an IQ 20 points lower than their peers in foster care, according to a meta-analysis of 75 studies (more than 3,800 children in 19 countries).  This shows the need for children to be raised in families, not in institutions.
Source: IQ of Children Growing Up in Children's Homes A Meta-Analysis on IQ Delays in Orphanages

Each year, over 27,000 youth “age out” of foster care without the emotional and financial support necessary to succeed.  This number has steadily risen over the past decade.  Nearly 40% had been homeless or couch surfed, nearly 60% of young men had been convicted of a crime, and only 48% were employed.  75% of women and 33% of men receive government benefits to meet basic needs.  50% of all youth who aged out were involved in substance use and 17% of the females were pregnant.
Source: Fostering Connections

Nearly 25% of youth aging out did not have a high school diploma or GED, and a mere 6% had finished a two- or four-year degree after aging out of foster care.  One study shows 70% of all youth in foster care have the desire to attend college.
Source: Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth

As of 2011, nearly 60,000 children in foster care in the U.S. are placed in institutions or group homes, not in traditional foster homes.
Source: AFCARS Report, No. 19

States spent a mere 1.2-1.3% of available federal funds on parent recruitment and training services even though 22% of children in foster care had adoption as their goal.
Source: Adoption Advocate No. 6: Parent Recruitment and Training: A Crucial, Neglected Child

Over three years is the average length of time a child waits to be adopted in foster care.  Roughly 55% of these children have had three or more placements.  An earlier study found that 33% of children had changed elementary schools five or more times, losing relationships and falling behind educationally.
Source: AFCARS Report, No. 19


The definition of an orphan is “a child who has lost one or both parents to death or other causes”.

Around the world, there are an estimated 153 million orphans who have lost one parent.  There are 17,900,000 orphans who have lost both parents and are living in orphanages or on the streets and lack the care and attention required for healthy development.  These children are at risk for disease, malnutrition, and death.
Source: UNICEF and Childinfo

According to the U.S. State Department, U.S. families adopted more than 9,000 children in 2011.
Last year, Americans adopted the highest number of children from China  followed by Ethiopia, Russia, South Korea, and Ukraine.
Source: United States State Department

Over 10 million children die every year from poverty, abuse, disease and hunger.

Of the 1.8 million adopted children in the U.S., 37% came from foster care, 38% came from private adoptions and 25% from international adoptions.

Adopted children make-up roughly 2% of the total child population under the age of 18, but 11% of all adolescents referred for therapy have been adopted.  Post-adoption services are important to all types of adoption, whether foster care adoption, international adoption, or domestic infant adoption.
Source: Behavior Problems and Mental Health Contacts in Adopted, Foster and Nonadopted Children

Every day 5,760 more children become orphans. 

Some studies have found that violence in residential institutions is six times higher than violence in foster care, and that children in group care are almost four times more likely to experience sexual abuse than children in family based care.

Every 2.2 seconds another orphan ages out of care with no family and no home. That's 39,000 per day.

Every 15 seconds, another child in AFRICA becomes an AIDS orphan.

Human Trafficking

Child/Human Trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world.

Florida is the second largest hub of human trafficking in the US.

Tampa, and the outskirts of Hillsborough County have the highest rate of sex trafficking in the state of Florida.

100,000- 300,000 is the number of prostituted children in the U.S.

12-14 is the average age of entry into prostitution for girls.

11-13 is the average age of entry into prostitution for boys.

2.8 million kids run away each year in the U.S. and 1/3 of those are recruited to prostitution and pornography.