Facts about life as a Foster Youth

1) Twenty-eight thousand children are currently in foster care in Los Angeles County.

2) Fourteen hundred children in foster care are awaiting adoptive families.*

3) Thirty-eight percent of California’s foster care population is in Los Angeles County.*

4) More than one quarter (28.5%) of California’s poor children live in Los Angeles County.**

5) More than 38% of Los Angeles County’s population live in economic hardship and 16.1% (or approximately 1.56 million people) live under the federal poverty limit ($22,050 annually for a family of four).**

6) Abused and neglected children who have been victimized in the past are 42% more likely to be abused and neglected again. The youngest, up to age 3, are most likely to experience a recurrence of maltreatment.*

7) Nearly one half of foster care children have learning disabilities or developmental delays.

8) Only 58% of foster youth graduate from high school and only 3% graduate from college.

9) Half of youth who have aged out of foster care end up homeless or incarcerated.

10) Nearly 2,000 youth are enrolled in extended foster care in Los Angeles County (foster care after age 18).

11) Teen girls in foster care are 2.5 times more likely to become pregnant by age 19 than those not in foster care.

12) Half of 21 year-old men aging out of foster care have become fathers, compared to 19% of their peers who were not in foster care.

13) Three quarters of young women in foster care report at least one pregnancy by age 21, compared to only one third of those in the general population.

14) Eighty-seven percent of youth in the juvenile justice system have learning disabilities.

17) By grade 11, only 20% of foster youth are proficient in English, and 5% are proficient in math.

16) Seventy-five percent are performing below grade level, and by third grade 80% have had to repeat a grade.

18) Forty-three percent of foster children in L.A. County live with a relative and more than half are not eligible for federal foster care funding.

*from CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates)
**from Catholic Charities