Statistics

Children looked after by local authorities in England: year ending 31 March 2011

This statistical first release (SFR) provides statistics on looked-after children in England for the year ending 31 March 2011.

Documents

Main text: SFR21/2011

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National tables: SFR21/2011

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Local authority tables: SFR21/2011

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Additional tables: SFR 21/2011

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Publication schedule: SFR21/2011

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Underlying data: SFR21/2011

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Pre-release access list: SFR21/2011

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Detail

Reference Id: SFR21/2011

Publication Type: Statistical First Release

Publication data: Local Authority data

Local Authority data: LA data

Region: England

Release Date: 28 September 2011

Coverage status: Final

Publication Status: Recently updated

The figures are based on data from the SSDA903 return collected from all local authorities.

Key points

  • There were 65,520 looked-after children at 31 March 2011, an increase of 2% from 2010 and an increase of 9% since 2007.
  • 27,310 children started to be looked after during the year ending 31 March 2011. This is a decrease of 3% from the previous year, but an increase of 14% from 2007. Of these 27,310 children 35% are classed as being taken into care.
  • 3,050 looked-after children were adopted during the year ending 31 March 2011, a decrease of 5% from 2010 and a decrease of 8% since 2007. Similarly there has been a decrease in the number of looked-after children placed for adoption. This figure has fallen from 2,720 in 2007, to 2,500 in 2010 with a further fall to 2,450 in 2011.
  • 26,830 children ceased to be looked after during the year ending 31 March 2011, an increase of 6% from 2010 and an increase of 7% from 2007.
  • Overall, for those children who started to be looked after during the year the main reason why they were provided with a service is because of abuse or neglect (54%). This percentage has increased each year since 2008 when 48% of children were provided with a service for this reason.
  • 74% of children who were looked after at 31 March 2011 were in a foster placement.

Additional tables have been added to this release on 30 November 2011. These have been arranged into themes and give further information on the:

  • Children looked after at 31 March
  • Children looked after during the year ending 31 March
  • Children who started to be looked after during the year ending 31 March
  • Looked after children adopted during the year ending 31 March
  • Children looked after who were adopted during the year ending 31 March
  • Children who ceased to be looked after aged 16 and over during the years ending 31 March (care leavers)
  • Children now aged 19 years who were looked after on 1 April then aged 16 (former care leavers)
  • Long term trends for children looked after at 31 March, and children who started, ceased and were adopted during the years ending 31 March

Please note that information on the timeliness of reviews for each Local Authority (Table LAA12 in the publication schedule) has not been published with this additional release. We are currently investigating the data underlying this table and will keep users informed on future publication plans. Table D6, children who ceased to be looked after during the year ending 31 March by number of periods of care in care history, number of placements and age on ceasing, will be added at a later date. We will keep users informed of the date of publication.

As part of a Government drive for data transparency in official publications underlying data for this publication is now published (30 November 2011).

Looked-after children data user group:

This is a new group which aims to seek feedback on whether these statistics are meeting users’ requirements and to consult on any future changes to this data collection and the timing and format of our outputs. If you would like to participate in this group then please register your interest via email.

An additional table (table D6) will be published on 28 March 2012, providing information on children who ceased to be looked after during the year ending 31 March 2011, by number of periods of care in care history, number of placements in period of care and age on ceasing. A revised version of table D5 which was originally published on 30 November 2011 will also be released on this date.

Julie Glenndenning
01325 735611

Julie.Glenndenning@education.gsi.gov.uk

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