Children in care Statistics

Each UK nation collects and publishes statistics about looked after children (the official term for children in care). This includes information about where children in care live and why they are in care.

Source: There are currently over 92,000 children in care in UK.

This figure relates to children who have looked-after child status. It includes children who live at home under the terms of their care plan. An estimated 60,447 children are in care because of abuse or neglect. It is not possible to get an exact number for the UK as Scotland and Northern Ireland do not publish reasons for being in care. The figures for looked-after children in Scotland also include children in the criminal justice system.

People

Source: More than half of children are taken into care because of abuse or neglect.

An estimated 60,447 children were looked after due to abuse or neglect at 31 March 2013 (31 July 2013 for Scotland). It is not possible to get an exact number for the UK as Scotland and Northern Ireland do not publish reasons for being in care.

See Jutte et al (2014) p14 of How safe are our children? 2014. NSPCC and Indicator 17.

Children can also become looked after because: a child is disabled, a parent is ill or disabled, there are other family problems, or because the parents are absent (e.g. unaccompanied asylum seekers). Looked-after children also include children who are looked after on a voluntary basis at the request of, or by agreement with, their parents. It also includes children who are looked after for short periods of time, such as respite care. In Scotland, children in the criminal justice system are also counted as “looked after” children.

Source: The number of children in care has been increasing over the past few years.

The number (and rate) of children becoming looked after has been increasing in England since 2007/8 and since 2009/10 in Wales.

See Jutte et al (2014) Indicator 17

Figures from CAFCASS show that care applications in England rose steadily between 2008/09 and 2012/13. The rise has taken place since the death of Peter Connolly in 2007. The latest figures (2013/14) show a slight fall on the 2012/13 figures.

CAFCASS (2014) National picture of care applications in England for 2013-14.

 

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