Statistics: England

The figures presented below are taken from statistical reports gathered and published by government departments and bodies. Details of sources are provided at the foot of this page.

On this page:

> Children in public care
> Placements
> Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children
> Private Fostering
> Adoption Orders by date of Court Order
> Adoptions from Care
> Adopters
> Sources

Children in public care

69,540 children were in the care of local authorities on 31st March 2015, compared to 68,800 in 2014.

The rate of looked after children per 10,000 under 18 years on 31st March 2015 was 60. This figure varies significantly at Local Authority level from a low of 20 (Wokingham) to a high of 158 (Blackpool). 

Gender

55% (38,530) of children looked after on 31st March 2015 were boys and 45% (31,010) were girls

Age

  • 5% (3,710) of children looked after on 31st March 2015 were under 1 year old
  • 15% (10,120) were aged between 1 and 4 years old
  • 21% (14,310) were aged between 5 and 9 years old
  • 38% (26,140) were aged between 10 and 15 years old
  • 22% (15,270) were aged 16 and over

Ethnicity

  • 77% (53,600) of children looked after on 31st March 2015 were white
  • 9% (6,170) were of mixed racial background
  • 4% (2,660) were Asian or Asian British
  • 7% (4,920) were Black or Black British
  • 2% (1,700) were from other ethnic groups
  • 1% (500) were other (refused or information not yet available)

Placements

  • 75% (52,050) of children looked after on 31st March 2015 were living with foster carers
  • 9% (6,570) were living in secure units, children's homes or hostels
  • 5% (3,510) were placed with their parents
  • 5% (3,320) were placed for adoption
  • 3% (2,280) were with another placement in the community
  • 3% (1,750) were placed in residential schools or other residential settings

Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children

2,630 unaccompanied asylum seeking children were looked after on 31st March 2015

  • 90% (2,360) were boys and 10% (260) were girls
  • 75% (1,970) were aged 16 and over

Private Fostering

  • 1,560 children were reported to local authorities as being cared for and accommodated in private fostering arrangements at 31st March 2015 (compared to 1,610 in 2014).
  • 2,740 new private fostering arrangements began during the year ending 31st March 2015(overall increase from 1,420 in 2007).
  • 2,770 private fostering arrangements were reported to have ended during the year ending 31st March 2015 (a steady increase over 9 years, from 1,040 in 2007).

Awaiting Adoption

4,060 children had an adoption decision but were not yet placed at 31 March 2015, down from 5,680 at 30 June 2014.

2,810 children had a placement order for adoption but were not yet placed at 31 March 2015.

Siblings

51% (1,420) of the children with a placement order waiting to be placed at 31 March 2015 were part of a sibling group. This is a percentage increase from 48% (1,670) at 30 September 2014.

Harder to Place

73% (2,050) of the children with a placement order waiting to be placed at 31 March 2015 were considered 'harder to place'. This means the child is any of the following: 5 years or over, BME, disabled or part of a sibling group.

Waiting times

71% (3,780) children were placed for adoption within 12 months of an agency decision that the child should be placed for adoption during the year ending 31st March 2015.

The average time between a child entering care and moving in with its adopted family, for those who have been adopted, was 533 days in 2014-15.

Adoptions from Care

5,330 children were adopted from care during the year ending 31st March 2015, compared to 5,050 in 2014.

Gender

53% (2,800) of children adopted during the year ending 31st March 2015 were boys and 47% (2,530) were girls.

Age

The average age at adoption in the year ending 31st March 2015 was 3 years 3 months, 2 months younger than in 2014

  • 4% (230) of children adopted during the year ending 31st March 2015 were under 1 year old
  • 76% (4,050) were aged between 1 and 4 years old
  • 19% (990) were aged between 5 and 9 years old
  • 1% (60) were aged between 10 and 15 years old
  • None were aged 16 and over (to nearest 10)

Ethnicity

  • 83% (4,400) of looked after children adopted during the year ending 31st March 2015 were white
  • 11% (580) were of mixed racial background
  • 2% (120) were Black or Black British
  • 2% (90) were Asian or Asian British
  • 1% (50) were from other ethnic groups
  • 2% (100) were other (refused or information not yet available)

Siblings adopted

1,930 (36%) of the 5,330 children adopted during 2014-15 were part of a sibling group

Sources

Adopters

During the year ending 31 March 2015 90% (4,810) of children were adopted by couples and 10% (520) by single adopters.

8.5% (450) of children were adopted by same sex couples (either in a civil partnership, married or neither) in the year ending 31 March 2015. In the previous year before same-sex marriages were introduced, 7% (340) of children were adopted by same sex couples (either in a civil parternship or not).

3,350 approved adopters (from local authorities and voluntary adoption agencies) were waiting to be matched with children at 31 March 2015.

 

Sources:

Children looked after in England (including adoption and care leavers) year ending 31 March 2015
www.gov.uk

Adoption Leadership Board quarterly data reports: Jan to Mar 2015
www.gov.uk

Notifications of private fostering arrangements in England: Year Ending 31 March 2015
www.gov.uk

Adoptions in England and Wales, 2012
www.ons.gov.uk

Children's Social Work Statistics 2012 Edition (Scotland but some data in additional tables covers all countries)
www.scotland.gov.uk