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:

Looked After Children
  Placements
  Foster Placements
  Legal Status
Adoption
  Adoptions from Care
  Awaiting Adoption
  Waiting Times
  Foster Carer Adoptions
  Adopter Characteristics
Sources

LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN

On 31st March 2017:

  • 72,670 children were in the care of local authorities
  • the rate of looked after children per 10,000 children under 18 years was 62

Placements

On 31st March 2017: 

  • 74% (53,420) of children looked after were living with foster carers
  • 11% (7,890) were living in secure units, children's homes or hostels
  • 6% (4,370) were placed with their parents
  • 3% (2,520) were placed for adoption
  • 4% (3,090) were with another placement in the community
  • 2% (1,210) were placed in residential schools or other residential settings

Foster Placements

On 31st March 2017, of the 53,420 children in foster placements:

  • 32,270 (62%) were placed inside the council boundary
  • 8,830 (17%) were being fostered by a relative or friend
  • 380 (1%) were in placements where the carer is also an approved adopter (fostering for adoption) or where they were subject to concurrent planning

Legal Status

On 31st March 2017:

  • 50,470 children looked after under care orders
  • 16,470 children looked after under voluntary agreements under Section 20 of Children's Act 1989
  • 5,440 children looked after under placement orders

ADOPTION

Adoptions from Care

4,350 looked after children were adopted during the year ending 31 March 2017 

Awaiting Adoption

3,720 children had an adoption decision but were not yet placed at 31 March 2017

2,470 children had a placement order for adoption but were not yet placed at 31 March 2017

Waiting Times

457 - the average number of days between a child entering care and moving in with its adoptive family during the year 2016-2017 (Adoption scorecard indicator A1)

190 - the average number of days between an LA receiving court authority to place a child and the LA deciding on a match to an adoptive family during the year 2016-2017 (Adoption scorecard indicator A2)

Foster Carer Adoptions

Of the 2,520 looked after children who were placed for adoption at 31 March 2017, 260 were placed with their current foster carer

Adopter Characteristics

During year ending 31 March 2017:

  • 90% (3,920) of children were adopted by couples and 10% (420) by single adopters.
  • 9.7% (420) of children were adopted by same sex couples (either in a civil partnership, married or neither).

 


SOURCES

Department for Education: Children looked after in England including adoption: 2016 to 2017

The Department for Education Children looked after in England statistics include tables providing a breakdown of children in care by age, gender, ethnicity, legal status, reason for being in care, reasons for placement changes for children who moved placement in the year, fostering for adoption and concurrent planning, special guardianship, duration of latest period of care, adoption placements and care leavers activities, accommodation, children looked after who were missing, offending and substance misuse by looked after children, development, health, emotional health

Department for Education: Adoption Leadership Board quarterly data reports: 2016 to 2017

The Adoption Leadership Board data reports on how local authority adoption agencies and voluntary adoption agencies are performing. Data covers children waiting for adoption, progress through the adoption process, characteristics of children waiting, characteristics of children adopted, child timeliness, adoptive families progress through the adoption process, prospective adopters waiting and adopter timeliness.