Child Welfare League of America Making Children a National Priority

 

Child Welfare League of America Making Children a National Priority
About Us
CWLA
Special Initiatives
CWLA
Advocacy
CWLA
Membership
CWLA
News and Media Center
CWLA
Programs
CWLA
Research and Data
CWLA
Publications
CWLA
Conferences and Training
CWLA
Culture and Diversity
CWLA
Consultation
CWLA
Support CWLA
CWLA Members Only Content
       
 

Home > Advocacy > National Fact Sheet 2006

 
 

National Fact Sheet 2006

The Nation's Children 2006

America's Children: A Snapshot  22

   Child population under age 18 in 2004 1 73,277,998
   White children under 18 in 2004 2 58.9%
   Nonwhite children (non-Hispanic) under 18 in 2004 3 41.1%
   Children and youth under 14 in 2004 4 77.0%
   Children and youth age 14-17, 2004 5 23.0%

America's Most Vulnerable Children: A Snapshot

   Referrals of possible child abuse and neglect, 2003 6 2,958,000
   Children substantiated or indicated as abused or neglected, 2003 7 906,000
   Children who died as a result of abuse or neglect, 2003 8 1,177
   Children in foster care on September 30, 2003 9 523,085
   Children adopted from the public foster care system, 2003 10 50,362
   Children waiting to be adopted on September 30, 2003 11 124,665
   Children living in poverty, 2004 12 11,000,000
   Children living in low-income families, 2004 13 27,000,000
   National Poverty Rate, 2004 14 13.1% *
   National Poverty Rate for children under 18, 2004 15 18.4% *
   National Poverty Rate for children ages 5-17, 2004 16 16.9% *
   National Poverty Rate for children birth to age 4, 2004 17 21.0% *

*  Actual percentage, 2004

Child Abuse and Neglect
  • In 2003, there were an estimated 2.9 million reports of child abuse and neglect. Of those reports, 944,531 were referred for investigation, as reported by 34 states. 18

  • In 2003, an estimated 906,000 children were substantiated or indicated as abused or neglected, as reported by 50 states. Of these children, 61% were neglected, 19% were physically abused, and 10% were sexually abused. The victimization rate was 12.4 per 1,000 children-a 6.2% decrease from 2002. 19

  • Of the children substantiated as abused and neglected, only 57.1% received follow-up services. Of those children reported as abused and neglected but not substantiated, 25.1% received follow-up services. 20

  • In 2003, 1,177 children died as a result of abuse or neglect. 21

  • On September 30, 2003, 523,085 children lived apart from their families in out-of-home care, compared with 524,500 children on September 30, 2002. In 2003, 25% of the children living apart from their families were age 5 or younger, and 20% were 16 or older. 22

  • Of the children living in out-of-home care on September 30, 2003, 53% were white, 36% were black, 16% were Hispanic, 2% were American Indian/Alaskan Native, and 4% were children of other races and ethnicities. 23
Permanent Families for Children
  • Of the 278,848 children exiting out-of-home care in the United States in 2003, 54% were reunited with their parents or other family members. 24

  • In 2003, approximately 50,362 children were legally adopted through public child welfare agencies, a 3.5% decrease from 52,138 in 2002. 25

  • Of the 523,085 children in out-of-home care on September 30, 2003, 124,665, or 23.8%, were waiting to be adopted. 26
Kinship Support
  • In 2004, approximately 2,374,694 grandparents nationwide had primary responsibility caring for their grandchildren. 27

  • Of the 523,085 children in out-of-home care on September 30, 2003, 23% were living with relatives. 28

  • Of all of children in kinship care on September 30, 2003, 32.6% were white, 40.1% were black, 19.3% were Hispanic, 2.1% were Native American, and 5.6% were all other races. 29
Child Poverty and Income Support
  • Children under 18 living in poverty increased from 16.1% in 2000 to 18.4% in 2004, a 14.3% increase over five years. 30

  • The total number of individuals receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in the United States declined from 4,786,945 in March 2004 to 4,547,143 in March 2005, a decrease of 5%. The number of families receiving TANF in March 2005 was 1,925,544, a 3% decrease from 2004. 31

  • In 2004, $21.9 billion in child support funds were collected and distributed in the United States, an increase of 3.2% from 2003. 32
Child Care and Head Start
  • In 2004, an estimated monthly average of 1,732,500 of the nation's children received subsidized child care; 1,751,300 children were served in 2003, and 1,743,100 children were served in 2002. 33

  • States can provide child care for families whose incomes are up to 85% of the state's median income (SMI). In 2004, 45 states had eligibility levels below 85% of SMI. The average income level nationally was 59% of SMI. 34

  • As of early 2004, an estimated 551,180 children nationwide were on waiting lists for subsidized child care. 35

  • In 2004, Head Start served 905,857 children, a 0.4% decrease from 2003. 36
Health and Mental Health
  • In 2001, 869,087 children in foster care were enrolled in Medicaid, representing 4% of all children enrolled in Medicaid. 37

  • Nearly 40% of Medicaid spending on children in foster care was for rehabilitative, inpatient psychiatric, targeted case management (TCM), and inpatient hospital services. 38

  • Children in foster care receiving TCM services were much more likely to receive other important services supported by Medicaid than were children in foster care not receiving TCM services. 39

  • In 2004, 6,789 babies were born to girls under age 15; 415,408 babies were born to girls ages 15-19-a rate of 41.2 births per 1,000 girls ages 15-19. 40

  • As of December 2003, 14,669 adolescents and young adults in the United States, ages 13-24, as well as 802 children younger than 13, had been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. 41

  • Recent estimates are that approximately 1 in 5 children have a diagnosable mental disorder, and 1 in 10 have a severe emotional or behavioral disorder causing significant impaired functioning at home, at school, or in the community. 42

  • Co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders are increasingly prevalent among youth. Of youth treated for substance abuse disorders, 80%-85% also have a mental health disorder. 43

  • 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 than are other children. Children of color are more likely than white children to receive mental health services through the juvenile justice and child welfare systems than through schools or mental health settings. 44
Substance Abuse
  • Seven out of 10 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. 40

  • 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 once they have returned home, than are children whose families do receive treatment. 46

  • Seventy-five percent of mothers receiving comprehensive substance abuse treatment had physical custody of one or more children six months after discharge from treatment, compared with 54% who had custody of any children shortly before entering treatment. 47

  • In a 2005 National Association of Counties survey, 40% of responding child welfare officials reported increases in the number of children placed in foster care due to parental methamphetamine use in the past year. 48

  • From 2000 to October 2005, 15,192 children were affected by methamphetamine labs seized by local or federal law enforcement. 49

  • Children of substance-abusing parents are more likely to have problems with delinquency, poor school performance, and emotional difficulties (aggressive behavior and hyperactivity) than are peers whose parents do not abuse alcohol and other drugs. 50

  • 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%. 51

  • In 2003, 2,214,000 children ages 12-17, and 19,372,000 adults 18 and older, were estimated being dependent on or abusing illicit drugs or alcohol. 52
Vulnerable Youth
  • In 2004, 8% of teens ages 16-19 were high school dropouts, a 27.3% decrease from 2000. 53

  • In 2004, 5% of teens ages 16-19 were not enrolled in school and were not working. 54

  • In 2003, 1,243,000 children ages 12-17 needed but did not receive treatment for illicit drug use in the past year. 55

  • In 2003, 1,390,000 children ages 12-17 needed but did not receive treatment for alcohol use in the past year. 56

  • In 2002, 1,777 children under age 20 committed suicide in the United States, a rate of 2.1 per 100,000 children. 57

  • A multiyear study in one state showed that of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students in grades 9-12, 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. 58
Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
  • In 2002, 2,893 children age 19 and younger were killed in firearm deaths nationwide, a 2% decrease from 2,937 in 2001. 59

  • In 2004, 1,598,247 children under age 18 were arrested, a 2% increase from 1,563,149 arrests in 2003. Of the arrests in 2004, 66,268 were for violent crimes, and 29,447 were for possession of a weapon. 60

  • 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. 61
Funding Child Welfare Services
  • In 2002, the country spent $22.2 billion for child welfare services. Child welfare services refer to all direct and administrative services the state agency provides to children and families. Of this spending, 51% came from federal funds, 37% from state funds, and 12% from local funds. 62

  • Of the $22.2 billion spent for child welfare in 2002, 25% came from Title IV-E Foster Care and Adoption Assistance, 10% from TANF, 6% from the Social Services Block Grant, 5% from Medicaid, 2% from Title IV-B Child Welfare Services and Promoting Safe and Stable Families, 0.3% from Supplemental Security Income, 0.1% from Survivors Benefits, and 1% from other federal sources. The remaining funds (50.6%) came from state and local sources. 63

  • Out of 523,085 children in out-of-home care in 49 states on September 30, 2003, only 228,692 children-44%-received Title IV-E federal foster care assistance. 64
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. 65

  • The GAO report cited the average caseload for a child welfare/foster care caseworker is 24-31 and that these high caseloads contribute to high worker turnover rates and to insufficient services to children and families. 66

  • According to a 2004 child welfare workforce survey, the average caseload size (where one child equals one case) was 24 for child protective service (CPS) workers and 23 for foster care caseworkers. 67 CWLA recommends that a CPS caseworker responsible for the initial assessment/investigation have no more than 12 active cases per month, and that a foster care caseworker have a caseload of 12-15 children. 68

  • The average minimum salary for a caseworker responsible for investigating reports of abuse and neglect was $29,797 in 2004; the median income for a family of three in the United States was $55,049. 69

  • The average vacancy rate for CPS workers at public agencies was 8.5% in 2004, down from 9.3% in 2000. The average number of weeks required to fill a vacant CPS position was 10 weeks. 70

  • The turnover rate for CPS workers increased from 19.9% in 2000 to 22.1% in 2004. 71

  • The findings of the federal Child and Family Service Reviews have clearly demonstrated that the more time a caseworker spends with a child and family, the better the outcomes for those children and families. 72

Examples of direct services include child abuse and 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. Examples of 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 2005.
  • The National Fact Sheet from 2004.
  • The National Fact Sheet from 2003.
  • The National Fact Sheet from 2002.
  • The National Fact Sheet from 2001.
  • The National Fact Sheet from 2000.

Sources

  1. U.S. Census Bureau. (2005). Annual estimates of the population by selected age groups and sex for the United States: April 1, 2000, to July 1, 2004 (NC-EST2004-02). Washington, DC: Author. Available onlineback

  2. U.S. Census Bureau. (2005). National population estimates-characteristics. National sex, age, race, and Hispanic origin (NC-EST2004-asrh). Washington, DC: Author. Available onlineback

  3. Ibid. back

  4. U.S Census Bureau. (2005). National population estimates-characteristics. National sex and age (NC-EST2004-as). Washington, DC: Author. Available onlineback

  5. Ibid. back

  6. Administration on Children, Youth, and Families. (2005). Table 2-1. Child maltreatment 2003. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available onlineback

  7. Administration on Children, Youth, and Families. (2005). Table 3-2. Child maltreatment 2003. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available onlineback

  8. Administration on Children, Youth, and Families. (2005). Table 4-1. Child maltreatment 2003. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available onlineback

  9. Special tabulation of the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System (AFCARS) by CWLA. back

  10. Ibid. back

  11. Ibid. back

  12. National Center for Children in Poverty. Columbia University. (2005). Low-income children in the United States. New York: Author. Available onlineback

  13. Ibid. back

  14. U.S. Census Bureau. (2005 August). American community survey-data profiles. Selected economic characteristics: 2004. Washington, DC: Author. Available onlineback

  15. Ibid. back

  16. Ibid. back

  17. Ibid. back

  18. Administration on Children, Youth, and Families. (2005). Child maltreatment 2003: Reports from the states to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available onlineback

  19. Ibid. back

  20. Ibid. back

  21. Ibid. back

  22. Special tabulation of the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System (AFCARS) by CWLA. back

  23. Ibid. back

  24. Ibid. back

  25. Ibid. back

  26. Ibid. back

  27. U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey-Data Profiles. (see note 14). back

  28. Special tabulation of the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System (AFCARS) by CWLA. back

  29. Ibid. back

  30. U.S. Bureau of the Census. (2005 August). Poverty status by state in 2000 (Table 25). Washington, DC: Author. Available online.

    U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey-Data Profiles. (see note 14). back

  31. Administration for Children and Families. (2005). Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Separate State Program, Maintenance of Effort, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Caseload Data. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available onlineback

  32. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Support Enforcement. (2004). Child support enforcement, FY 2004 preliminary report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available onlineback

  33. Administration on Children and Families, Child Care Bureau. (2005). FY 2004 CCDF Data Tables (Preliminary Estimates). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available onlineback

  34. Ibid. back

  35. Schulman, K., & Blank, H. (2005). Child Care assistance policies 2005: States fail to make up lost ground, families continue to lack critical supports. Washington, DC: National Women's Law Center. Available onlineback

  36. Administration for Children and Families, Head Start Bureau. (2005). Head Start program fact sheet for fiscal year 2004. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available onlineback

  37. Geen, R., Sommers, A.S., & Cohen, M. (2005 August). Medicaid spending on foster children. Washington, DC: Urban Institute. Available onlineback

  38. Ibid. back

  39. Ibid. back

  40. National Center for Health Statistics. (2005). Table 2. Births and birth rates, by age, race, and Hispanic origin of mother: United States, final 2003 and preliminary 2004. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available onlineback

  41. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2004). Diagnoses of HIV/AIDS-32 States, 2000-2003. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 53(47), 1106-1110. Available onlineback

  42. As quoted in Huang, Larke N. (2004). Transforming mental health care for children and families. Networks, 8 (3-4) [Special issue], 5-6, 14-15. Available onlineback

  43. Ibid. back

  44. Ibid. back

  45. Reid, J., Macchetto, P., & Foster, S. (1999, January). No safe haven: Children of substance-abusing parents. New York: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. Available onlineback

  46. 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. Washington, DC: Author. back

  47. Ibid. back

  48. National Association of Counties. (2005). The meth epidemic in America. Washington, DC: Author. Available onlineback

  49. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. (2005). Unpublished report generated by El Paso Intelligence Center's National Clandestine Laboratory Seizure System (made available through the Freedom of Information Act). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice. back

  50. Horgan, C.M., Skwara, K., & Strickler, G. (2001). Substance abuse: The nation's number one health problem key indicators for policy-update. Waltham, MA: Schneider Institute for Health Policy, Heller Graduate School, Brandeis University. Available onlineback

  51. Child Welfare League of America. (1997). Survey of state and public child welfare agencies. Washington, DC: CWLA Press. back

  52. Office of Applied Studies, National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. (2005). State estimates of substance use from the 2002-2003 national surveys on drug use and health (Table 18). Washington, DC: Author. Available onlineback

  53. 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. back

  54. U.S. Census Bureau. (2004). Sex by school enrollment by educational attainment by employment status for the population 16 to 19 Years old (B14005). American Community Survey. Washington, DC: Author. back

  55. Office of Applied Studies, National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. (2005). State estimates of substance use from the 2002-2003 national surveys on drug use and health (Table 19). Washington, DC: Author. Available onlineback

  56. Ibid. back

  57. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (2005). Injury mortality reports, 1999-2002. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available onlineback

  58. 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. back

  59. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (2005). Injury mortality reports, 1999-2002. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available onlineback

  60. Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2004).Crime in the United States 2004 (Table 38). Washington, DC: Author. Available onlineback

  61. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. (2004). Census of juveniles in Residential Placement Databook. Washington, DC: Author. Available onlineback

  62. Urban Institute. (2004). The cost of protecting vulnerable children IV: How child welfare funding fared during the recession. Washington, DC: Author. Available onlineback

  63. Ibid. back

  64. Special tabulation of the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System (AFCARS) by CWLA. back

  65. U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO). (2003). Child welfare: HHS could plan a greater role in helping child welfare agencies recruit and retain staff. Washington, DC: Author. Available onlineback

  66. Ibid. back

  67. Cyphers, G. (2005). Report from the 2004 Child Welfare Workforce Survey. State agency findings. Washington, DC: American Public Human Services Association. Available onlineback

  68. Child Welfare League of America. CWLA standards. Available online at www.cwla.org. back

  69. Cyphers, G. (2005). Report from the 2004 Child Welfare Workforce Survey. State agency findings (see note 67).

    U.S. Bureau of the Census. 2004 American Community Survey. Median family income in the past 12 months (In 2004 inflation-adjusted dollars) by family size (Table B19119). Washington, DC: Author. Available onlineback

  70. Cyphers, G. (2005). Report from the 2004 Child Welfare Workforce Survey. State agency findings (see note 67). back

  71. Ibid. back

  72. GAO, Child welfare: HHS could plan a greater role... (see note 65). back




 Back to Top   Printer-friendly Page Printer-friendly Page   Contact Us Contact Us

 
 

 

 


About Us | Special Initiatives | Advocacy | Membership | News & Media Center | Practice Areas | Support CWLA
Research/Data | Publications | Webstore | Conferences/Training | Culture/Diversity | Consultation/Training

All Content and Images Copyright Child Welfare League of America. All Rights Reserved.
See also Legal Information, Privacy Policy, Browser Compatibility Statement

CWLA is committed to providing equal employment opportunities and access for all individuals.
No employee, applicant for employment, or member of the public shall be discriminated against
on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or
any other personal characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.