Demographics of Children in Foster Care

The State of Georgia currently has over 11,000 children in foster care. Children in the state’s custody thrive when they can be placed in home settings. We look for relatives to create kinship care homes for all children to decrease the trauma they face when removed from their family. When a relative is not ready or available, we look to foster parents to care for a child. Foster parents open their homes and care for children in foster care until their parents are ready for them to return home, they can go to a relative’s home, or find their forever family through adoption. If a child has specialized treatment needs and treatment or a foster home is not available, they may go to a group home until a home is available. The state recruits, trains, and supports foster parents and individuals interested in becoming foster parents. We also partner with over 100 private agencies for the same purpose. This partnership expands the options for caregivers and allows them to determine the agency, public or private, that is the best fit for them. Click here to see current demographic data for children in Georgia’s foster care system.

Special Needs Children

If a child is available for adoption, the parents may have volunteered to give up their parental rights, but usually these rights were terminated by the court system due to abuse, neglect or abandonment.

What does “special needs” mean?

Children who meet the definition of special needs for the purpose of adoption include any child who:

  • At the time of adoptive placement has been in the care of a public or private agency or individual other than the legal or biological parent for more than 24 consecutive months
  • A child with a physical, mental, or emotional disability as validated by a licensed physician or psychologist
  • A child who is a member of sibling group of two or more placed in the same home

Georgia’s Independent Living Program (ILP) provides eligible youth currently or formerly in foster care with services to successfully prepare and transition to adulthood. ILP services are designed to provide youth with the life skills and education necessary to become self-sufficient, live independently, and maintain stable employment. Services include life skills training, financial assistance, and educational and social support. Foster and Adoptive families can provide a forever family for a teen and guide them through the ILP program.