Published: Aug 12, 2011 4:23 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The number of Florida children being placed in foster care is declining.
    
As a result, so are the numbers of foster children who have been adopted.
    
State officials on Friday said 19,245 children were in foster care in June.
    
That's down by about 10,000, or 34 percent, in four and a half years.
    
Department of Children and Family officials say that's due to a greater emphasis on seeking safe alternatives to foster care.
    
Adoptions of foster children dropped from 3,674 children four years ago to 3,009 in the fiscal year that ended June 30.
    
That's an 18 percent decline.
    
The number of foster children available for adoption without an identified family dropped to 800 on any given day.
    
That's down from 850 in the prior fiscal year.

(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)