Los Angeles County figures show its long-troubled child protection agency has reduced the number of children in foster care by half over the last decade and shortened the time it takes to return children to their parents.
Figures show that so far this year the number of children in foster care has fallen below 25,000 for the first time since peaking at 52,000 in 1997.
The drop comes even as the number of children in the county has been rising.
The county figures also show there hasn't been an increase in abuse reports.
Still, the agency remains under pressure to address problems with the child care system.
A federal court has determined that the county has failed to provided adequate mental health services to thousands of children in its foster care system.