NEW YORK (AP) – The number of U.S. children in foster care is climbing after a sustained decline, but just five states account for nearly two-thirds of the recent increase.
Reasons range from creation of a new child-abuse hotline to widespread outrage over the deaths of children who’d been repeatedly abused. Addictions among parents are another major factor.
The most dramatic increase has been in Georgia, where the foster-care population skyrocketed from about 7,600 in September 2013 to 13,266 last month. The state is struggling to provide enough foster homes for these children and keep caseloads at a manageable level for child-protection workers.
Along with Georgia, the states with big increases are Arizona, Florida, Indiana and Minnesota.