Facts & Figures

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Children and youth in foster care move an average of seven times before the age of 18, usually abruptly leaving their home with very few personal belongings. Through Families Helping Families of Iowa’s programs and services, we strive to make these transitions a bit more bearable.

We encourage businesses and individuals to learn more about foster care in the United States and especially in Iowa. With your support, donations and volunteering efforts, you can positively impact the lives of families and children in foster care.

Infographics for Download

Download some of our infographics to print and share, or share on social media, to tell people about the foster care system and how you can help by supporting organizations like Families Helping Families.

 By the Numbers – Iowa

  • Over 800 children in foster care in Cedar Rapids (2017)
  • 8.2 of every 1,000 children in Iowa are in foster care, higher than the national average of 5.5 of every 1,000 (2017)
  • Iowa is sixth in the nation for children in foster care (2016)
  • Nearly 10,000 children (ages 0 to 18) are in Iowa’s foster care system (2017)
  • Nearly 6,000 children in Iowa lived apart from families or out-of-home care in 2015
  • More than 14,000 grandparents are raising their grandchildren
  • 85% of children reunified with their families were still with them 12 months later
  • A child is abused or neglected every 40 minutes in Iowa
  • Approximately 16,210 grandparents in Iowa had the primary responsibility of caring for their grandchildren in 2015

Iowa Sources:

By the Numbers – United States

The following statistics are according to 2016 national research and data of the U.S. foster care system:

  • More than 440,000 children in foster care, nationally on a day-to-day average
  • In 2016, more than 687,000 children nationally spent time in foster care
  • National median age of children in foster care: 9 years old
  • 37% of children find themselves in 2-3 different placements
  • 52% of foster children are male; 48% are female
  • 46% of children in foster care are in a foster family home, non-relative
  • 51% of children in foster care leave care to be reunited with parent(s) or primary caretaker(s)
  • 52% of children in foster care will graduate high school; 3% will attend college
  • 30% of nation’s homeless have been in foster care at some point in their life

Some children who enter foster care have experienced abandonment, mental injury, sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, denial of critical care, medical neglect or have been placed in other abuse situations. These children are then placed in a safe home and deemed a Child In Need of Assistance (CINA).

National Sources:

  • AFCARS & Children’s Defense Fund – https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/afcarsreport22.pdf
  • Children’s Rights – http://www.childrensrights.org/newsroom/fact-sheets/foster-care/
  • Child Welfare – https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/foster/

Support Children in Your Community

Your giving – by donation, volunteering or supporting the Families Helping Families mission – can greatly impact the lives of children in foster care in Iowa. From funding programs and scholarships to providing materials, supplies and clothing during their transition process between homes, your support makes an important and lasting difference in the lives of Iowa’s foster children and teens.