Foster Care In The U.S.: Why Children Are Removed From The Home

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Molly Martin (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Jill Thomley

Abstract: There are around 443,000 children in foster care in the United States as of 2018. These children are typically in foster care due to some kind mistreatment or because they have no living guardian. The purpose of this study was to investigate the primary reason for the removal of a child ages three and under from the home nationally, in North Carolina, and in my home area of Catawba County. My parents have fostered children since 2008, and in our experience most children under the age of three were brought into foster care because of parental drug or substance abuse. Thus, my initial hypothesis was that nationwide and in North Carolina, most children ages three and under were removed because the parents or guardians were abusing drugs or other substances. Using graphical and statistical analysis, I found that the primary reason for removal in a case was neglect for all three data sets. In addition, many cases involve two or three reasons. For instance, a child might be removed because of abuse and neglect. Overall, I found that most removal cases involve some form of neglect. With further research, we could help determine what factors influence neglect and help prevent mistreatment of children before they become victims.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Martin, M. (2020). Foster Care In The U.S.: Why Children Are Removed From The Home. Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2020
Foster Care, Data Analysis, Mistreatment of Children, Big Data

Email this document to