Data driven journalism

Pitch – Foster care in New York State

Anthony Kane
Maria Arcel
Christina Nordvang Jensen

Fewer children in foster care the last ten years

Nut graph
In the past ten years New York State has experienced a dramatic fall in the number of children in foster care, it has fallen by 50% throughout the state.
In 2004 there were 29,656 children in care, ten years later, in 2014, that number was 18,488.
11,168 children were living in foster care throughout NY, in 2014, compared to 2004. That is a 38% drop of children in the system.

The decline has been driven by a number of things. For example a healthy economy and a shift in local child welfare policy, which now seeks to keep children in their own homes whenever possible. But it might not all be positive. Some children can end up staying with a family even though it is not good for them.

Why do we care?
We want to look into the factors behind the development. The drop in children in foster care is quite a big change, in a 10 year span, so we want to break down the subject and focus on why this has changed so dramatically. Maybe this isn’t a positive sign – maybe the children are living in the street instead. We should always care about dramatic changes like this to find out what the reason is behind them.

Sources to contact:

The National Coalition for Child Protection Reform
Office of children and family services
Sheila J. Poole – Acting Commissioner
Social service – contact
A child in foster care
Foster Care and Adoption Agency
For example this one in New York City:

Description and link to the data
The data is from New York State and shows how the total number of admissions, discharges, children in foster care, the type of care and total Child Protective Services (CPS) reports during have developed in the period from 1994 to 2014.