Of the estimated 281,000 children who exited foster care during FY 2003, 18 percent had been in care less than 1 month, 32 percent had been in care for 1 to 11 months, 20 percent had been in care for 12 to 23 months, 11 percent had been in care for 24 to 35 months, 10 percent had been in care for 36 to 59 months, and 9 percent had been in care for 5 or more years.
For FY 2005 514,000 children were served by the foster care system nationally. 52,000 were adopted. And an additional 115,000 were waiting for adoption.
It costs taxpayers $30,000 to $100,000 per year to keep a child in foster care.
It costs taxpayers only $2,400 to $7,200 per/year (in government subsidies) if a family adopts a child from foster care (through the age of 18).
Source: AFCARS data, U.S. Children's Bureau, Administration for Children, Youth and Families