Looked after children in England continues to rise
Department for Education release numbers of children looked after in England
Department for Education has released the numbers of children looked after in England (including adoption) year ending 31 March 2016
This Statistical First Release (SFR) provides information about looked after children in England for the year ending 31 March 2016, including where they are placed, their legal status, the numbers starting and ceasing to be looked after, and the numbers who go missing or are away from their placement without authorisation.
Figures cover looked after children who were placed for adoption, the number who were adopted and the average time between different stages of the adoption process.
Numbers and characteristics of children looked after at 31 March.
At 31 March 2016, there were 70,440 looked after children in England, an increase of 970 (1%) on 2015, and an increase of 3,370 (5%) on 2012. In 2012, 59 children per 10,000 of the population were looked after; in 2016 the rate was 60 children per 10,000 of the population.
The rise over time reflects the higher number of children starting to be looked after than ceasing. In particular, in the latest year, we have seen a rise in the number of unaccompanied asylum seeking children in care, with 3,440 unaccompanied asylum seeking children entering care, and 1,980 leaving care.
Many of the changes seen in the characteristics of the looked after children population as a whole have been influenced by this increase, for example with a rise in the number of children aged 16 and over, and a rise in the number of children with an ethnic background of ‘Any other Asian’, ‘African’ or ‘Any other ethnic group’.
If we remove unaccompanied asylum seeking children from the count of looked after children, we see that there has been a decrease in the looked after children population of 500 (1%) since 2015.
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