The Department of Children and Families deals primarily with issues that occur within the home. Only 15 percent of cases require an out-of-home placement, but those children placed out of the home were very young. Almost half — 46 percent — were five or younger. Twenty-six percent were two years old or younger; 19 percent were aged three to five years. Those between six and 12 made up 31 percent of out-of-home placements.
These children were divided almost equally by gender; 51 percent were male, and 49 percent female. More than 40 percent of them were identified as African-American (42 percent), while 29 percent of children placed out of the home by child protective services were white. The remaining children in this category were Hispanic (22 percent) or other (5 percent.)