Data on Foster Care & Adoption in Massachusetts

Foster care touches every community regardless of socioeconomic status or geographic location.

Foster children are in your child's school, they play with your children at the park, and they attend church with your family. The more we can raise awareness about foster care in our communities, the more these children and their families will feel supported and strengthened.

Available Family Resources & Children in Care

As of 6/30/21

Hover over or click on each region for data

Statewide Data Trends

2016 - Present

Additional Data

Over the last 15 years, the total number of children in foster care across the state has fluctuated from a high of 10,162 (in 2003), to a low of 7,302 (in 2012).

As of last September (2017), there are 9,598 children in care across the Commonwealth.


Most recent estimates suggest we currently have 1,955 children in foster care in the western region. This is a slight increase from the prior year, when 1,870 children were in care in the region.


Foster children in the western region are in a variety of placement types.

  • The majority of them (642) reside with a relative or other known person, such as a teacher or family friend (known as a "kinship" or "child-specific" placement).
  • A large proportion (532) reside with foster parents who had no prior relationship with them or their family before they entered foster care (i.e., "unrestricted").
  • The others are in congregate care, meaning a residential/group home, specialized foster care (traditionally for children with significant medical or behavior health needs), or in preadoptive homes.

DCF makes public the number of kinship/child specific homes in the region (500) and the number of unrestricted foster homes (343).