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Just The Facts

Facts about Homeless and Foster Children in Florida

  • 49,117 school-aged children were identified as homeless in the 2009-2010 school year in our state; this indicates a 19% increase from 2008-2009.
  • Florida has the third highest number of homeless persons by state in our country, with over 58,000 persons homeless on any given day.
  • Children under the age of 18 make up 18.3% of the 2011 homeless count, up from 16% in 2010.
  • The Suncoast Region Served 10,028 children in Foster Care during April 2011 through March 2012.
  • As of March 31st 2012 there 5,749 children in Foster Care, with 553 of those children living in a Group Home.
  • For 2011, 8.0% of the homeless persons reported having been in foster care during their life.

What impact does this have on the children?

  • Homeless children are 16 percent less proficient at reading and math than their peers.
  • Fewer than 25 percent of homeless children graduate from high school.
  • The constant barrage of stressful and traumatic experiences has profound effects on their development and ability to learn, ultimately affecting their success in life.
  • Children who are homeless have three times the rate of emotional and behavioral problems, including high rates of anxiety, depression, sleep problems, shyness, withdrawal, and aggression.
  • Children in foster care have disproportionately high rates of physical, developmental, and mental health problems.
  • Emotional and cognitive disruptions in the early lives of children have the potential to impair brain development.

Statistics Retrieved From:
     http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/
     http://fosteringcourtimprovement.org/
     http://pediatrics.aappublications.org