Foster Youth Services
Student, Family, and Community Support Department Student, Family and Community Support DepartmentSan Francisco Unified School District


Over 1,200 San Francisco children are in foster care. Most children placed in foster care have suffered trauma as a result of parental neglect or abuse. The trauma, coupled with the need to adjust to new environments in a residential and educational setting, often places numerous stressors on the child. Studies of youth who have left foster care have shown they are more likely than those in the general population to not finish high school, be unemployed, and experience homelessness.

The following statistics are from the most recent San Francisco data, 2011.

Who are the children in the San Francisco foster care system?

  • 1,236 San Francisco children in foster care
  • 22% of foster children are between the ages of 0 and 5
  • 22% of foster children are between the ages of 6 and 10
  • 23% of foster children are between the ages of 11 and 17
  • Median number of years in foster care: 1.5
  • 9% (117) of the foster children live in group care or institutional settings
  • 555 children exited foster care
  • 230 (41%) reunified with their families
  • 72 (13%) were adopted
  • 62 (11%) left to live with relatives…
  • 166 (30%) “aged out”…
  • 25 (5%) left for other reasons

Where did San Francisco's children go after leaving foster care in 2009?

  • 526 children exited foster care
  • 203 (39%) reunified with their families
  • 91 (17%) were adopted
  • 71 (13.5%) left to live with relatives (Kin-Gap and other guardianships)
  • 139 (26%) "aged out" or left the system at age of 18 or older
  • 22 (4%) left for other reasons (ran away, transferred)

The source for all of the data is UC Berkeley's CWS/CMS Dynamic Reporting System, and captures point-in-time data for children in care as of 1/1/2010 and longitudinal data for exits during 2009.

To learn more, please explore the following data and statistics:


Foster Youth Services  

Student, Family and Community Support DepartmentStudent Support Services Department - San Francisco Unified School District