9 Excellent Foster Care & Adoption Data Sources


Conducting research for a foster care, adoption or child welfare article or report?

Here are some outstanding resources (in alpha order):


(1) AdoptUS Kids’ “State by State Adoption & Foster Care Info”

• For each state includes

• Foster and Adoption Licensing Requirements

• Costs for Fostering and Adopting

• Agency Contact and Orientation Information

• Parent Support Group Contacts

• Information on Arizona's Waiting Children


(2) Ann E Casey Foundation’s “KIDS COUNT”

A project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, KIDS COUNT is the premier source for data on child and family well-being in the United States. Access hundreds of indicators, download data and create reports and graphics on the KIDS COUNT Data Center that support smart decisions about children and families.


Extensive data on available nationally or parsed by state according to: 

• Demographics

• Economic Well Being

• Education

• Family and Community

• Health

• Safety & Risk Behaviors


(3) Building Your Family’s “Adoption Laws by State”

Interactive map with state-by-state information that includes:  

• Adoption Agencies

• Adoption Attorneys

• Adoption Laws & Statues

• International, Domestic and Foster Care Adoption Laws

• Who can access adoption records


(4) Casey.org’s “Child Welfare Population Map”

Interactive map by state shows:

  • Child Welfare Demonstration Project (CWDP) funding waiver states vs. non-waiver states

  • Number of children in foster care

  • Specific number per state

  • Percent in care due to abuse versus neglect

  • What happens to the children in foster care (percentage reunited, adopted, aged out, etc)

  • How federal funding is used per state


(5) Children’s Bureau “Statistics and Research”

Frequently cited in foster care/adoption research, the Children’s Bureau supports the development of state and tribal child welfare reporting systems to enable the collection and analysis of important information about children and families, as well as improve case practice and management. "Statistics and Research" includes:


State & Tribal Information Systems

The Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS) is a federally funded, yet voluntary, case management system for states. A tribe also may develop a similar system, referred to as a Tribal Automated Child Welfare Information System (TACWIS).


Statistics & Research

Using information collected through various monitoring and reporting systems, the Children's Bureau analyzes and reports data on a variety of topics, including adoption, foster care, and child abuse and neglect


CB Funded Research

The Children’s Bureau funds research in collaboration with other organizations.


(6) Children’s Bureau “Reporting Systems”

Includes extensive information on the US Foster Care system and children, such as:


The Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) collects case-level information from state and tribal title IV-E agencies on all children in foster care and those who have been adopted with title IV-E agency involvement. Title IV-E agencies are required to submit AFCARS data twice a year.



The National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) is a voluntary data collection system that gathers information from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico about reports of child abuse and neglect.



The National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) collects information about youth in foster care, including outcomes for those who have aged out of foster care.


(7) Child Trends: Federal and State/Local Child Welfare Agency Spending per Child, 2004–2014


(8) Kidsdata.org 

Extensive data about the health and well-being of children in California including: 

• Child and Youth Safety

• Children with Special Health Care Needs

• Demographics

• Education & Child Care

• Emotional & Behavioral Health

• Environmental Health

• Family Economics

• Physical Health


(9) LGBT Map’s “LGBT Adoption Laws by State”

Colored map showing state’s laws with regard to LGBT people and foster care