According to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) there are approximatley 523,000 children in foster care. About the same amount of children enter the foster care system exit it. In 2003 297,000 children entered the foster care system while 281,000 left. The average stay of a foster child in a certain foster home was around 31 months.The average age for a child to join the foster care system is around 10 years old. In this system there are huge factors that decide who goes into the homes of the foster parents and which parents get their kids back. Of the thousands of children who are in the foster care system about 55% are returned to their original parents or gaurdians. Those who aren't put into foster homes are put into group homes or placed in alternative environments.
Ethnicity and Race
There is a much bigger factor than age that plays a part of who is picked to live in which foster home, ethnicity. African Americans make about 15% of the United States population of people who are under 18 years of age but this group is also about 40% of the children in foster care system.
It is more likely for a person of any color at all to adopt one of “their own” races. For example many people prefer to have Latinos in Spanish speaking homes and it goes the same with all the rest of the races. Also there is a much bigger likelihood of a white person to recover their child from the foster care system than any other race. In a few studies done by researchers at the Connect for Kids link, only 2% of black foster parents got their children back when they had drug problems, no job skills, and had no services to help them get their children back. But 7% of white parents who had these same factors got their children back. Even when black parents did have all the skills took the services, and had no drug problem only 22% of the time they got their while white parents got theirs back 56% of the time This is almost double on all of these cases during the research period which shows that white parents are twice as likely to get their children back just based on race.