Most of our work at Foster Friends focuses on providing for the needs of Collin County kids in foster care, but we also like to follow foster care data and look for trends in our cities, county, and region.
Plenty of CPS data is available on the DFPS website, but the data that’s regularly provided to the public only breaks down data about kids in foster care at the regional and county level. If you want to know how many kids are in foster care in your own zip code, city or neighborhood, you need to dig a little deeper. Our board was very interested to receive a treasure trove of data that breaks down the number of children entering foster care lately by zip code. Since the privacy and confidentiality of children in foster care is such a priority, little information gets out and it sometimes it can appear like foster care isn’t something that’s going on in our own neighborhoods. For many of us from Plano, this data tells a different story.
Today, we’ll consider children entering foster care over the past three fiscal years from the city of Plano, Texas. Check out the table above to see how many children were placed in foster or kinship care from each Plano zip code over the past three fiscal years. These children were victims of child abuse or neglect, placed with substitute caregivers for their own protection.
Three Collin County zip codes have more children entering foster care than all the rest. One of them is in McKinney. Another is in Wylie. But the third is Plano zip code 75074, which had 36 abused and neglected children entering foster care over the past three years.
Plano, TX zip code 75074 contributes more children to
foster care than almost any other zip code in Collin County.
Why so high? To be fair, 75074 is a very heavily populated area, with 44,622 residents as of the time of the 2010 census. By contrast, Plano zip code 75094, (which had just two removals over the past three years), had a population of less than half of that. Commentators have also suggested that investigators in different areas of the county are particularly excellent, and that the higher removal rate in a certain geographic area may be attributable to the fact that child abuse is less likely to go unnoticed and unreported by law enforcement in those areas. It’s also worth noting that there were 54 children removed in the past three years for whom CPS did not a collect zip code.
Are you wondering why zip code 75023 saw such a large spike in removals in 2017? So were we.
Plano zip code 75023 hasn’t had many children enter foster care lately,
but it doesn’t have a particularly large population, either.
While we can’t shed light on that mystery, what we can say is that the high rate of children entering foster care from that zip code in 2017 did not appear to be continuing into the first quarter of fiscal year 2018. In other words, it may have been an anomaly, and not the beginning of a new trend.