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Home > Advocacy > National Fact Sheet 2005

 
 

National Fact Sheet 2005

The Nation's Children 2005

America's Children: A Snapshot

   Child population under age 18 in 2003 1 73,043,506
   White children under 18 in 2003 2 58.6%
   Nonwhite children under 18 in 2003 3 41.4%
   Children and youth under 14 in 2003 4 77.4%
   Children and youth age 14-17, 2003 5     22.6%

America's Most Vulnerable Children: A Snapshot

   Referrals of possible child abuse and neglect, 2002 6 1,701,780 *
   Children substantiated or indicated as abused or neglected, 2002 7     895,569 *
   Children who died as a result of abuse or neglect, 2002 8 1,390 *
   Children in foster care on September 30, 2002 9 524,560 *
   Children adopted from the public foster care system, 2002 10 52,138 *
   Children waiting to be adopted on September 30, 2002 11 127,942 *
   Children living in poverty, 2002 12 11,000,000 *
   Children living in low-income families, 2002 13 26,000,000 *
   National Poverty Rate, 2003 14 12.7%
   National Poverty Rate for children under 18, 2003 15 17.7%
   National Poverty Rate for children ages 5-17, 2003 16 16.1%
   National Poverty Rate for children birth to age 4, 2003 17 20.5%

*  Estimated

Child Abuse and Neglect
  • In 2002, 1,142,000 children were reported as abused or neglected and referred for investigation in the United States, a rate of 19.5 per 1,000 children. 18

  • In 2002, 895,569 children were substantiated or indicated as abused or neglected, a rate of 12.3 per 1,000 children. Of these children, 58.5% were neglected, 18.6% were physically abused, and 9.9% were sexually abused. 19

  • In 2002, 1,390 children died as a result of abuse or neglect. 20

  • On September 30, 2002, 524,560 children lived apart from their families in out-of-home care, compared with 532,087 children on September 30, 2001. In 2002, 28.8% of the children living apart from their families were age 5 or younger; and 19.4% were 16 or older. 21

  • Of children living in out-of-home care on September 30, 2002, 39% were white, 37% were black, 15% were Hispanic, 2% were American Indian/Alaskan Native, and 6% were of other races and ethnicities. 22
Permanent Families for Children
  • Of the 279,468 children exiting out-of-home care in the United States in 2002, 64% were reunited with their birthfamilies. 23

  • In 2003, approximately 49,000 children were legally adopted through the public child welfare agency, a 7.5% decrease from 53,000 in 2002. 24

  • Of the 523,000 children in out-of-home care in 2003, 118,000, or 22.5%, were waiting to be adopted. 25
Kinship Support
  • In 2003, approximately 2,348,758 grandparents had primary responsibility for caring for their grandchildren. 26

  • Of the 524,560 children in out-of-home care on September 30, 2002, 23.2% were living with relatives. 27

  • Of children in kinship care on September 30, 2002, 31.7% were white, 43.5% were black, 17.4% were Hispanic, 2.0% were Native American, and 5.4% were of other races. 28
Child Poverty and Income Support
  • The total number of individuals receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) declined from 5,101,376 in March 2002 to 4,897,085 in March 2003--a decrease of 4.0%. The number of families receiving TANF in March 2003 was 2,017,776--a 1.1% increase from March 2002. 29

  • In 2002, $20.1 billion in child support funds were collected and distributed in the United States, an increase of 6.2% from 2001. 30
Child Care and Head Start
  • In 2001, an estimated monthly average of 1,812,400 of the nation's children received subsidized child care, an increase from 1,747,800 children in 2000, and 1,652,600 children in 1999. 31

  • States can provide child care for families whose incomes are up to 85% of the state's median income (SMI), or lower if they choose. In 2004, 45 states had eligibility levels below 85% of SMI. The average income level nationally was 59% of SMI. 32

  • As of early 2004, an estimated 551,180 children nationwide were on the waiting list for subsidized child care. 33

  • In 2003, Head Start served 808,140 children, a 0.3% decrease from 2002. 34
Health and Mental Health
  • In 2001, 21,874,249 children under age 19 were enrolled in Medicaid, representing 48.8% of the total number of enrollees. 35

  • In 2003, 5,841,351 children were enrolled in State Children's Health Insurance Programs nationwide, a 9.9% increase from 2002, when 5,315,229 children were enrolled. 36

  • In 2001, 7,135 babies were born to girls under age 15. In 2002, 425,493 babies were born to girls ages 15-19, reflecting a birthrate of 43.0 per 1,000 girls. 37

  • As of December 2002, 821,470 adults and adolescents, and 8,804 children under age 13, had been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in the United States. 38

  • In 2001, 1,890 children under age 20 committed suicide in the United States, a rate of 2.6 per 100,000 children. 39

  • Recent estimates show approximately one in five children have a diagnosable mental disorder; one in ten have a severe emotional or behavioral disorder that causes significant impaired functioning at home, at school, or in the community. 40

  • Co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders are increasingly prevalent in youth; of youth treated for substance abuse disorders, 80%-85% also have a mental health disorder. 41

  • Although African American and Latino children are referred for mental health services at the same rates as the general population, they are much less likely to receive specialty mental health services or medications. Children of color are more likely to receive mental health services through the juvenile justice and child welfare systems than through schools or mental health settings. 42
Substance Abuse
  • Seven out of ten cases of child abuse and neglect are exacerbated by a parent's abuse of alcohol and other drugs. In most cases, the parent's substance abuse is a long-standing problem of at least five years' duration. 43

  • Children whose families do not receive appropriate treatment for alcohol and other drug abuse are more likely to end up in foster care, remain in foster care longer, and reenter foster care after returning home, than are children whose families do receive treatment. 44

  • Of mothers receiving comprehensive substance abuse treatment, 75% had physical custody of one or more children six months after being discharged from treatment, compared with 54% who had custody of any children shortly before entering treatment. 45

  • Children of substance abusing parents are more likely to have delinquency problems, perform poorly in school, and have emotional difficulties like aggressive behavior and hyperactivity than are peers whose parents do not abuse alcohol and other drugs. 46

  • Approximately 67% of parents with children in the child welfare system require substance abuse treatment, but child welfare agencies are able to provide treatment for only 31%. 47

  • In 2002, an estimated 2,209,000 children ages 12-17, and 19,797,000 adults 18 and older were dependent on or abusing illicit drugs or alcohol. 48
Vulnerable Youth
  • In 2003, 11% of teens ages 16-19 were high school dropouts, a 28% decrease from 2000. 49

  • In 2002, 15% of young adults ages 18-24 were not enrolled in school, were not working, and had no degree beyond high school. 50

  • In one state, a multiyear study of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students, grades 9-12, showed that 34% were threatened or injured at school, compared with 7% of heterosexual students; 25% skipped school because they felt unsafe, compared with 5% of heterosexual students; and 45% attempted suicide, compared with 8% of heterosexual students. 51
Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
  • In 2001, 835 children ages 19 and under were killed in firearm deaths nationwide, a 2% increase from 819 in 2000. 52

  • In 2003, 1,687,814 children under age 18 were arrested, a 3% decrease from 1,747,452 arrests in 2002. Of the arrests in 2003, 25,531 were for violent crimes and 11,501 were for possession of a weapon. 53

  • A 2001 census of juvenile offenders showed 104,413 children in juvenile correction facilities in the United States, a 4% decrease from 108,931 children in 1999. 54
Funding Child Welfare Services
  • In 2002, the country spent $22.2 billion for child welfare services. Of this amount, 51% came from federal funds, 37% from state funds, and 12% from local funds. 55

  • Of this $22.2 billion, 25% came from Title IV-E Foster Care and Adoption Assistance, 2% came from Title IV-B Child Welfare Services and the Promoting Safe and Stable Families program, 5% came from Medicaid, 6% came from the Social Services Block Grant, 10% came from TANF, 0.3% came from Supplemental Security Income, 0.1% came from Survivors Benefits, and 1% came from other federal sources. The remaining 49% came from state and local sources. 56

  • Out of 519,802 children in out-of-home care in 49 states on September 30, 2002, only 230,620, or 44%, received Title IV-E federal foster care assistance. 57
Child Welfare Workforce
  • A 2003 General Accounting Office (GAO) report documented that staff shortages, high caseloads, high worker turnover, and low salaries impinge on the delivery of services to achieve safety, permanence, and well-being for children. 58

  • The findings of the federal Child and Family Service Reviews have clearly demonstrated that the more time a caseworker spends with children and families, the better the outcomes for those children and families. 59

  • According to the GAO report, child welfare/foster care caseworkers have average caseloads of 24-31 children, and these high caseloads contribute to high worker turnover and insufficient services provided to children and families. CWLA recommends that foster care caseworkers have caseloads of 12-15 children. 60

  • In 2002, the national minimum annual salary for a caseworker responsible for investigating reports of abuse and neglect was $23,166; the median income for a family of four in the U.S. was $43,527. 61

Child welfare services are all direct and administrative services the state agency provides to children and families. Direct services include child abuse/neglect investigations, foster care, community-based programs, case management, and all such services that are required for the safety, permanency, and well-being of children. Administrative services include management information systems, training programs, eligibility determination processes, and all services that provide the infrastructure supports for the public agency.

Also available:
  • This document in PDF format. (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
  • The National Fact Sheet from 2007.
  • The National Fact Sheet from 2006.
  • The National Fact Sheet from 2004.
  • The National Fact Sheet from 2003.
  • The National Fact Sheet from 2003.
  • The National Fact Sheet from 2001.
  • The National Fact Sheet from 2003.

Sources

  1. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Reference Bureau. (2004). Special tabulations of the supplementary survey. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved online, January 18, 2005. Washington, DC: Author.
  2. U.S. Census Bureau. (2003) National population estimates--characteristics: National sex, age, race and Hispanic origin (Table NC-EST2003-asrh). Retrieved online, February 2, 2005. Washington, DC: Author.
  3. Ibid.
  4. U.S Census Bureau. (2003). National population estimates--characteristics: National sex and age (Table NC-EST2003-as). Retrieved online, February 2, 2005. Washington, DC: Author.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Administration on Children, Youth, and Families (ACYF). (2004). Child Maltreatment 2002. Retrieved online, February 2, 2005. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
  7. Ibid.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Special tabulation of the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System (AFCARS) by CWLA.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Ibid.
  12. National Center for Children in Poverty. (2004). Low-Income Children in the United States. Retrieved online, February 2, 2005. New York, NY: Author.
  13. Ibid.
  14. U.S. Census Bureau. (2004, August) American Community Survey, Data Profiles 2003. Retrieved online, February 2, 2005. Washington, DC: Author.
  15. Ibid.
  16. Ibid.
  17. Ibid.
  18. ACYF, Child Maltreatment 2002.
  19. Ibid.
  20. Ibid.
  21. CWLA, Special AFCARS tabulation.
  22. Ibid.
  23. Ibid.
  24. Administration on Children, Youth, and Families. (2004). National Adoption and Foster Care Statistics. Retrieved online, February 2, 2005. Washington, DC: HHS.
  25. Ibid.
  26. Census Bureau, Data Profiles 2003.
  27. Ibid.
  28. CWLA, Special AFCARS tabulation.
  29. U.S. Children's Bureau. (2003, March). Temporary Assistance For Needy Families: Total number of families and recipients, by state, percent change from March 2002 to March 2003. Retrieved online, February 2, 2005. Washington, DC: HHS, ACYF.
  30. Office of Child Support Enforcement. (2002). Annual Statistical Report FY 2002, Table 4: Total Distributed Collections, FY 2002. Retrieved online, February 2, 2005. Washington, DC: Administration for Children and Families (ACF), HHS.
  31. U.S. Child Care Bureau (2003). FFY 2001 CCDF Data Tables and Charts. Retrieved online, February 2, 2005. Washington, DC: ACF, HHS.
  32. National Child Care Information Center. (2004). Child Care and Development Fund Report of State Plans FY 2004-2005. Retrieved online, February 2, 2005. Washington, DC: ACF, HHS.
  33. Child Care Bureau, FFY 2001 CCDF Data Tables and Charts.
  34. Head Start Bureau. (2004). Head Start Program Fact Sheet. Retrieved online, February 2, 2005. Washington, DC: ACF, HHS.
  35. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (2003). Medicaid Beneficiaries by Type of Service and Age Group (Table 6). Retrieved online, February 2, 2005. Washington, DC: Author.
  36. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (2004). FY 2003 Number of Children Ever Enrolled in SCHIP by Program Type. Retrieved online, February 2, 2005. Washington, DC: Author.
  37. National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. (2004). Number of Teen Births by Age. Retrieved online, February 2, 2005. Washington, DC: Author.
  38. Divisions of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention. (2002). Table 14: AIDS cases and rates (per 100,000 population), by area of residence and age category, reported through December 2002--United States. Retrieved online, February 2, 2005. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  39. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (2004). Injury Mortality Reports, 1999-2002. Retrieved online, February 2, 2005. Atlanta: CDC.
  40. Huang, Larke N., (2004). Transforming mental health care for children and families. Networks 8 (3-4) [Special issue], 5-6, 14-15. Retrieved online, February 2, 2005.
  41. Ibid.
  42. Ibid.
  43. Reid, J.; Macchetto, P.; & Foster, S. (1999). No safe haven: Children of Substance-Abusing Parents. Retrieved online, February 2, 2005. New York: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.
  44. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (1999). Blending Perspectives and Building Common Ground: A Report to Congress on Substance Abuse and Child Protection. Retrieved online, February 2, 2005. Washington, DC: Author.
  45. Ibid.
  46. Horgan, C.M.; Skwara K.; Strickler, G. (2001). Substance Abuse: The Nation's Number One Health Problem Key Indicators for Policy--Update. Retrieved online, January 18, 2005. Waltham, MA: Schneider Institute for Health Policy, Heller Graduate School, Brandeis University.
  47. Child Welfare League of America. (1997). Survey of State and Public Child Welfare Agencies. Washington, DC: CWLA Press.
  48. National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. (2000). Estimated Numbers (in Thousands) of Persons Reporting Past Year Dependence or Abuse for Any Illicit Drug or Alcohol among Persons Aged 12 or Older, by Age Group and State: 2002 (Table 17). Retrieved online, February 2, 2005. Washington, DC: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  49. U.S. Census Bureau. (2004). Armed Forces Status by School Enrollment by Educational Attainment by Employment Status for the Population 16 to 19 Years Old (Pct036). Washington, DC: Author.
  50. Annie E. Casey Foundation (2004). 2004 Kids Count Data Book. Baltimore: Author.
  51. Goodenow, C. (2003). Violence-Related Experiences of Sexual Minority Youth: Looking at Data from the Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 1995-2001. Springfield: Massachusetts Department of Education.
  52. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Injury Mortality Reports, 1999-2001.
  53. Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2003). Crime in the United States 2003. Retrieved online, January 18, 2005. Washington, DC: Author.
    Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2004). Crime in the United States 2004. Retrieved online, January 18, 2005. Washington, DC: Author.
  54. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. (2004). Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement Databook. Retrieved online, February 2, 2005. Washington, DC: Author.
  55. Urban Institute. (2004). The Cost of Protecting Vulnerable Children IV: How Child Welfare Funding Fared During the Recession. Retrieved online, January 18, 2005. Washington, DC: Author.
  56. Ibid.
  57. CWLA, Special AFCARS tabulation.
  58. U.S. General Accounting Office (March 2003). HHS Could Play a Greater Role in Helping Child Welfare Agencies Recruit and Retain Staff. Retrieved online, January 14, 2005. Washington, DC: Author.
  59. Ibid.
  60. Ibid.
  61. Child Welfare League of America. (2003). State Child Welfare Agency Survey. Washington, DC: Author.
    U.S. Census Bureau (October 2003). Median Income for 4-Person Families, by State. Retrieved online, February 2, 2005. Washington, DC: Author.




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