According to a new report from Child Trends, Florida is near the top of the pack in foster care outcomes.
The child welfare research group compiled 2019 data for the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and found the Sunshine State leading the way in six categories and placing second in two more.
The Child Trends report includes data on child maltreatment, foster care, kinship caregiving and adoption from foster care.
The organization said the data are “are essential to help policymakers understand how many children and youth came in contact with the child welfare system and why. States can use this information to ensure their child welfare systems support the safety, stability and well-being of all families in their state.”
In Florida, children who enter foster care spend about 15-and-a-half months in the system — the shortest stay on average; just 2% of Florida foster children have been in foster care for more than five years and only 7% of those who aged out had been in foster care since before they turned 13.
About two in five Florida foster children are placed in the custody of a family member, and just over half exit the system after a family member adopts them. Foster children spend an average of 25 months waiting for adoption.
Each of those metrics far outpaces the national average — the Child Trends report says the average foster stay nationwide is about 20 months, and children typically wait 32 months for their finalized adoption.
Source: Florida Politics