Why Do Children Enter Foster Care

Why Do Children Enter Foster Care & How Old Are They?


Reasons Children Enter the Foster Care System

In this video Trey Rabun of Amara discusses the multitude of reasons why a child may get placed into foster care and what the average age is of those children.

Most children enter foster care in the United States due to neglect. This is a result of the inability to meet the day-to-day needs of the children and/or provide a safe living environment. This neglect is often correlated to substance abuse, domestic violence in the home, or poverty. A smaller amount of children will enter the foster care system due to physical or sexual abuse.

What is the Average Age of Children in Foster Care?

Children that enter the foster care system are between the ages of 0 and 18, but many states now have extended foster care where children may stay in the foster care system until the age of 21, if they decide to opt-in. While the age breakdown of children varies state to state, in Washington State in 2020, 40% of children in foster care aged five and younger.


Posted by Trey Rabun

Trey graduated with his Master's in Social Work from the University of Washington in 2011 and soon after begun his career at Amara. He also holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Hampton University and a Master's Degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Illinois. Trey spent 4 ½ years as a case manager at Amara assessing, licensing, and supporting foster parents and their foster children. In April 2016, he took on a new role leading Amara's efforts in outreach and recruitment of foster parents. Personally, Trey and his partner have been foster parents for about 1 ½ years and currently have a two-year-old foster child. In his free time, Trey enjoys cooking, traveling, and playing with his Pug.

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