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KVC West Virginia

How Many Children Are in Foster Care in West Virginia?

how many children are in foster care

Why Are Children in Foster Care?

Children and teens enter foster care when their family is experiencing a crisis, and foster care gives the family an opportunity to resolve the conflicts or problems that lead to foster care. Youth who have experienced abuse, neglect or are deemed unsafe to remain in the home by the courts are placed in foster homes. Foster care is a temporary arrangement that gives the youth’s family an opportunity to learn healthy skills so they can safely return home. On average, more than half of all children and teens entering foster care return to their birth family within a year.

Click here to learn more about becoming a foster parent.

The Importance of Keeping Children in Their Home Community

When a child or teen enters foster care, their case worker aims to reduce disruptions to the child’s life as much as possible by trying to find a trusted family member for them to live with, or an adult in their life that they already know like a coach or a teacher. That is called kinship care. Remaining in their home community and attending the same school is also important so that the child can be surrounded by familiar people and routines.

However, when it isn’t possible for the child to live with a family member or trusted adult they know, the child is placed in a foster home. When this happens, they might have to change school districts and live in an area they are unfamiliar with, which can lead to added trauma and poor school performance. Therefore, it’s extremely important to keep children and teens in the same community as their birth family. For this reason, foster parents are needed in every community. Learn more about the different types of foster care.

How Many Children Are in Foster Care?

In West Virginia, 6,222 youth are in foster care as of October 31, 2023. According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, 31.54% are 13-17 years old. As the number of youth in foster care increases, the need for loving foster parents is greater than ever.

How You Can Help

The most significant way you can help children and teens in foster care is by becoming a foster parent. If you’re interested, we’d love to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the process. Contact us today!

Change a child's life forever. Learn about becoming a foster parent.