How Long Does Foster Care Last? - Good Shepherd


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August 1, 2019

There can be many questions when a family considers becoming involved in foster care. At the top of the list is typically, “How long will a child be placed in my home?” There are no simple answers to that question, as every child’s experience in foster care is unique and there are many factors that play a part in the length of a protective services case.

A child may stay for a few days or a few months. We do know that the majority of children in Missouri remain in care for an average of 18-22 months. In each case, a team will assess the needs of the family and ensure services are provided to help the family work toward permanency. There could be a variety of needs such as substance abuse, mental health concerns, or housing stability that require attention before a child can safely return home. The hope is for foster parents to care for the child throughout their entire stay in foster care, therefore lessening the trauma of further separation and loss that a placement change may cause.

Whether a child is with a family for a few days or many, the impact of providing a safe and nurturing home is long lasting.


Interested in becoming a foster parent? Find out more information here or contact Cora at 314-854-5716.