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:
- 5,662 children were in the care of local authorities on 31st March 2016, an increase of 47 (0.8%) on the previous year
- The rate of looked after children per 10,000 under 18 years on 31st March 2016 was 90
- 2,055 children started to be looked after during the year ending 31st March 2016
- 2,009 children ceased to be looked after during the year ending 31st March 2016. This is a decrease of 163 children (8%) on the previous year.
- 54% (3,030) of children looked after on 31st March 2016 were boys and 46% (2,635) were girls
- 5% (300) of children looked after on 31st March 2016 were under 1 year old
- 18% (1015) were aged between 1 and 4 years old
- 23% (1,315) were aged between 5 and 9 years old
- 37% (2,085) were aged between 10 and 15 years old
- 17% (940) were aged 16 and over
- 91% (5,140) of children looked after on 31st March 2016 were white
- 3% (190) were of mixed racial background
- 1% (75) were Asian or Asian British
- 1% (60) were Black or Black British
- 1% (50) were from other ethnic groups
- 3% (145) were of unknown ethnic origin
- 75% (4,262) of children looked after on 31st March 2016 were living with foster carers
- 11% (625) were living with their parents or another person with parental responsibility
- 4% (238) were living in residential placements
- 5% (262) were placed for adoption
- 5% (264) were living independently or in other placements
10% of children (559) looked after at 31 March 2016 had three or more placements during 2015-16.
- 45 children were known to be living under private fostering arrangements at 31st March 2015
- 77 children were in private fostering arrangements that began in the year ending 31st March 2015 compared to 69 children the previous year.
- 69 private fostering arrangements ended during the year ending 31st March 2015.
340 children were adopted from care during the year ending 31st March 2016. The number of children adopted decreased by 45 (12 %) over the previous year.
54% (185) of children adopted during the year ending 31st March 2016 were boys and 46% (155) were girls.
The average age at adoption in the year ending 31st March 2016 was 3 years 4 months.
- 1% (5) of children adopted in the year ending 31 March 2016 were under 1 year old
- 75% (255) were aged between 1 and 4 years old (down from 84% in 2014)
- 24% (80) were aged between 5 and 9 years old (up from 14.5% in 2014)
- *% (*) were aged between 10 and 15 years old
- *% (*) were aged 16 years and over
(* = suppressed to prevent disclosure, less than 5 children)
- 94% (320) of adoptions during the year ending 31st March 2016 were by couples and 6% (20) were by single adopters
- 6% (20) of all adoptions during the year ending 31st March 2016 were by same sex couples
For children adopted during the year ending 31st March 2015:
- The average time between entry into care and adoption was 835 days (approximately 2 years 3 months)
- The average time between the best interest decision and adoption was 579 days (approximately 1 year 7 months)
Foster Carer Adoptions
40 of the children adopted from care in the year ending March 31st 2015 were adopted by their former foster carer. This accounts for 10% of adoptions of looked after children.
The Adoption Contact Register for England and Wales
At 30th June 2001, there were 19,683 adoptees and 8,492 relatives on the Adoption Register for England and Wales, and 539 successful matches have been made since the start of the Adoption Register in 1991.
Children's Services Statistics Wales
Adoptions, Outcomes and Placements for Children Looked After by Local Authorities: Year Ending 31 March 2016
Private Fostering: Year Ending 31 March 2015
Adoptions in England and Wales, 2012
Adoptees and Relatives who Wish to Contact Each Other Using the Adoption Contact Register: Trends, relationships and proportions of records matched, from Population Trends, No 106, Winter 2001
Children's Social Work Statistics 2012 Edition (Scotland but some data in additional tables covers all countries)