More than 500,000 U.S. children today reside in foster care, and too many of them wait far too long for a permanent family. While the system was designed to provide an important safety net for vulnerable children, it was never intended to be a long-term solution. Children need a safe, permanent family in which to grow and thrive. In fact, foster care children are often moved from one placement to another--on average, three times. Each year, more than 20,000 children “age out” of the system without ever finding a permanent family. Children who stay in the system for long periods of time often exhibit emotional and behavioral problems and do poorly in school. Later in life, they are more likely to become homeless, unemployed, incarcerated or dependent on welfare.