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The Department of Health and
Human Services reports the number of children in foster care has
increased by more than 15,000 children in just one year. The annual report, which
was released Wednesday, tallied 415,129 children in the foster care system, a
number that is so baffling that HHS officials have no definitive answer for its
"We are concerned about
any increases in the foster care numbers, and we are working hard with our
state partners to better understand the reasons behind the increase," said
Rafael Lopez, commissioner of the department's Administration on Children,
Youth and Families told ABC News.
of the children in care last year were living with foster families, while 14
percent were in group homes or institutions. Some 4,544 foster children were listed as runaways.
A decline in
international adoption rates, coupled with an increase in foster care rates, indicates Americans may have shifted their attitudes towards
parenting. Of the children in foster care a year ago, more than half were boys; 22 percent were Hispanic, 24 percent black and 42
percent white. Nearly 108,000 of them were available for adoption, an increase of more than 4,000 children available for adoption as tallied in 2013.