The Annie E. Casey Foundation released a new data brief, “Fostering Youth Transitions 2023: State and National Data to Drive Foster Care Advocacy,” on May 8, 2023. The brief examines the experiences of teenagers and young adults in foster care as reported by all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The brief includes an analysis of comprehensive data spanning 15 years and is accompanied by data tables and source notes, including state data tables.

According to the new data, analyzed by Child Trends:

  • For young people ages 14–21 entering foster care, cases reported as “neglect” increased from 29% in 2006 to 48% in 2021.
  • Nationally, child welfare systems find families for fewer than half of teenagers and young adults in foster care — and proportionately for fewer today than in 2016.
  • More states offer extended foster care and assistance for young people beyond age 18 than did in 2018, but enrollment is low. States also inconsistently document participation.
  • Although the size of the foster care population is significantly smaller today than in the past, children of color remain overrepresented.
  • Fewer than half (47%) of transition-age young people received one or more of the services during all the years they were eligible between 2013 and 2021; less than one quarter (23%) were served in 2021.

The Journey to Success Campaign released a series of related materials and resources, including a policy brief with the following recommendations based on the new data:

  • Prioritize family ties and permanent family connections to provide those lifelong relationships that youth need most to succeed
  • Invest in and redesign Chafee to ensure youth in foster care are plugged in to supportive relationships and services
  • Improve extended foster care to provide the supportive services youth and young adults most need in young adulthood