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Journal Issue: Children and Divorce Volume 4 Number 1 Spring/Summer 1994

Children and Divorce: Overview and Analysis
Richard E. Behrman Linda Sandham Quinn


  1. The number of children and youth who do not live in family settings cannot be accurately estimated. However, some perspective on this group is gained by considering the following information. The foster care population was 442,000 at the end of FY 1992 and the system served an estimated 659,000 children during the course of the year. An additional unknown number of drug-exposed newborn infants were held in acute care hospitals pending foster care placement. The population of children 10 to 18 years of age admitted to custody in juvenile justice confinement facilities in 1988 was 760,644 with an additional 65,263 juveniles held in adult jails. A one-day census in 1989 indicated that 93,945 juveniles were incarcerated. The number of runaway and throwaway children and youth in 1988 totaled 577,800 and at least 192,700 of these children had no familiar and secure place to stay. In 1986, some 44,375 adolescents were admitted to residential treatment centers for mental health services. It has been estimated that about 6% of children 10 to 19 years of age (33,762 in 1990) live in nonfamily situations as emancipated minors.
  2. Lewit, E.M. Children in poverty. The Future of Children (Spring 1993) 3:176–82.