Children And Education


Rate of Foster Care Admissions

What does this measure?

The annual number of children under age 18 placed in the care of the local Department of Social Services, expressed as a rate per 1,000 youths under 18. Children admitted to foster care may be cared for in congregate care facilities, foster boarding homes, approved relative homes or a supervised independent living program.

Why is this important?

This is an indicator of families' inability to care for their children in a healthy and/or safe environment.

How does our county compare?

In 2021, 1.1 children per 1,000 in Lancaster County were admitted to foster care, lower than the state rate of 2.7. Since 2009, Lancaster has consistently hovered below the state rate.

In the surrounding area, the counties with the highest rates of foster care admissions in 2021 were Dauphin and York (3.1 and 3.0 respectively). Counties with the lowest rates in 2021 were Chester (0.2) and Berks (1.3).

Notes about the data

Capacity limitations and changes in policy (for example, an emphasis on keeping families together) may affect placement decisions and be reflected in a lower rate of children entering foster care. County-level data is not available for 2019.

Rate of Foster Care Admissions
Lancaster County1.
Berks County3.
Chester County1.
Cumberland County2.
Dauphin County4.
Lebanon County2.
York County2.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
Notes: Rates are per 1,000 youth under 18.

Number of Foster Care Admissions
Lancaster County25125418420618828722930527522899139
Berks County337405368444400409410366358301165123
Chester County1206376549082779071712420
Cumberland County1288592119156132145189157189118119
Dauphin County252255228157173222359322302227176199
Lebanon County645964414467453152515567
York County291194216260308302321378321328275305

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Human Services