Professional Zone

Who's in Care? National Statistics

  • On 31st March 2013 there were 68,110 children in care in England. However there were 95,170 children that were looked after at some point in the year ending 31st March 2013.
  • Of the children who were looked after on 31st March 2013, 75% were looked after in foster placements, 9% in secure units, children’s homes and hostels, 5% with parents, 5% placed for adoption and 6% in ‘other’ care (including living independently and residential schools).
  • 2/3 of children in care had one placement during the year and 11% had 2 or more placement moves.
  • 28% of children were placed outside their ‘home’ local authority and 43% of children in secure units, children's homes/ hostels were placed outside their local authority.
  • The majority of looked after children are on Care Orders (59%).
  • Children aged between 10 and 15 represent the majority of the looked after population (36%).
  • Boys (55%) and children from white backgrounds (78%) represent the majority of the looked after population.
  • ‘Abuse and neglect’ (62%) was the main reason social services first engaged with looked after children. ‘Family dysfunction’ (15%) was the second most common reason. Just 2% of children are in care because of ‘socially unacceptable behaviour’.
  • Of the young people who are now aged 19 and were in care at age 16, 35% are in education, 23% are in training, 34% are NEET and 8% are out of touch with Children's Services (which is up 2% since last year).
  • 28,830 children started to be looked after during the year ending 31 March 2013.
  • There were 28,460 children who ceased to be looked after during the year ending 31st March 2013. 35% returned to home to live with parents or relatives, 11% were in care for less than 2 weeks, 46% were in care for less than a year and 14% were in care for 5-10 years. Additionally, 38% had 3 or more placement moves and 7% had 10 or more placements.
  • There were 736,100 children who had the status of being ‘in need’ at some point during the year ending 31st March 2013.
  • 52,680 children became the subject of a Child Protection Plan during the year ending 31 March 2013. The most common reasons for children being on Child Protection Plans were 'neglect' (41%) and 'emotional abuse' (32%).
  • 67% of the 1,860 UASC are looked after by authorities in London and the South East.

 

Source: Department for Education (11 December 2013) ‘Statistical First Release: Children Looked After in England (including Adoption and Care Leavers) year ending March 2013’ and Department for Education (31 October 2013) ‘Characteristics of children in need in England: 2012 to 2013’.