Why We’re Here
ARW has facilitated more than 1,500 adoptions of children from the foster care system in its nearly 25-year history. Because these children are no longer in “the system,” Wisconsin taxpayers have saved more than $88 million. This number is based on a very conservative estimate of $5,000 savings each year in court and administrative costs for each child who is adopted – many states estimate the costs closer to $20,000 per year per child.
Today in Wisconsin, there are more than 6,500 children in Wisconsin in foster care.
Children leave the foster care system in one of four ways:
- They return to the care of their parents;
- They are placed with a family through guardianship, often with relatives;
- They are adopted;
- Or they “age out” of the system when they turn 18.
Children who leave the foster care system without ever finding a permanent family – 8% annually – face many struggles. Within 18 months of leaving the system:
- 37% had not finished high school;
- 50% are unemployed;
- 27% of young men and 10% of young women were incarcerated.*
More than half of the 22,000+ prisoners in the Wisconsin correctional system have spent
time in foster care – at a cost of $50,000 per year per inmate.+
* Source: Chapin Hall Center for Children, University of Chicago, Multi State Foster Care Data Archive
+Source: U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Jail Statistics