Maria Luis (center) with her children Angie and Daniel on the day they were reunited in 2011. The children spent five years in the foster system after federal immigration officials sent Luis back to her native Guatemala.
Courtesy of Omar Riojas
Hearing Officer Jim Teal presides over a session of Early Intervention Family Drug Court in Sacramento, Calif., in March. The county program helps keep families together — and saves taxpayers $7 million annually, Sacramento County officials say.
Robert Durell for Kaiser Health News
Juana Zacharias, 18, lives in a group home for foster children in Oxnard, Calif. She came out as transgender when she was 10; she entered the foster care system when she was 11, after her father was killed.
A judge in Utah ordered that an infant girl be removed from the care of foster parents April Hoagland (left) and Beckie Peirce, seen in a screen shot from a Reuters video.
Reuters/Screen shot by NPR
A young boy talks with Tina Cloer, director of the Children's Bureau, in Indianapolis. The nonprofit shelter takes in children from the state's Department of Child Services when a suitable foster family can't be found. Cloer says the average length of stay at the shelter has increased from two days to 10 in 2015.
Jake Harper/Side Effects Public Media
Of the roughly 40 houses currently rented in Hope Meadows in Rantou, Ill., 10 are occupied by families who've adopted children from foster care. The rest are occupied by older adults who volunteer to help them.