Number of looked-after children at 30-year high, government data reveals
The number of looked-after children is now 'higher than at any point since 1985', official statistics said
The population of children in care in England is at a 30-year high, official government statistics have revealed.
A total of 69,540 children were in care at the end of March 2015, the figures published today by the Department for Education said, and the number of looked-after children is “now higher than at any point since 1985”.
The figures show a continued rise in the number of children leaving care for special guardianship placements, and that there was a 15% reduction in the number of children placed for adoption at 31 March 2015 compared to the previous year, and a 24% fall in the number of children granted an adoption placement order.
More than 6,000 children who were looked after during the year 2014-15 were recorded as missing at least once from their placement, new data for this year also revealed. Just over half of these children were accommodated in secure units, children’s homes or hostels when they went missing or away from placement.
Three-quarters of looked-after children are in foster placements, the data revealed, and almost half of children in foster placements eligible for care leaver support stayed with their foster carers for three months after their 18th birthday. Just under 40% of the 26,330 former care leavers aged 19, 20 or 21, were not in education, employment or training, the figures show.