Statistics - national statistics

Children looked after by local authorities in England: year ending 31 March 2010

This statistical first release (SFR) provides information about looked-after children in England for the year ending 31 March 2010.

Documents

Main text: SFR27/2010

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National tables: SFR27/2010

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Local authority tables: SFR27/2010

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Additional tables 1: SFR27/2010

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Additional tables 2: SFR27/2010

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Additional tables 3: SFR27/2010

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Additional tables 4: SFR27/2010

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Addtional tables 5: SFR27/2010

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Additional tables 6: SFR27/2010

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Additional tables 7: SFR27/2010

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Additional tables 8: SFR27/2010

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Additional tables 9: SFR27/2010

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Publication schedule: SFR27/2010

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Underlying data: SFR27/2010

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Pre-release access list: SFR27/2010

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Detail

Reference Id: SFR27/2010

Publication Type: Statistical First Release

Publication data: Underlying Statistical data

Local Authority data: LA data

Region: England

Release Date: 30 September 2010

Coverage status: Final

Publication Status: Published

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

This release reports progress on seven local authority indicators (national indicators under the previous government’s targets).

Key Points:

  • There were 64,400 looked after children as at 31 March 2010, an increase of 6% from 2009 and an increase of 7% since 2006.
  • 27,800 children started to be looked after during the year ending 31 March 2010. This is an increase of 8% from the year ending 31 March 2009 and 13 percent from the year ending 31 March 2006. Of these children 9,500 are classed as being taken into care (see technical note 12).
  • 25,100 children ceased to be looked after during the year ending 31 March 2010. This is similar to last year’s figure of 25,000.
  • Overall, the main reason why social care services first engaged with children who started to be looked after during the year was because of abuse or neglect (52%). This percentage has increased since 2009.
  • 73% of children who were looked after at 31 March 2010 were in a foster placement. This is an increase from 69% in 2006. There were 2,300 children placed for adoption at 31 March 2010.
  • There were 3,400 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) who were looked after at 31 March 2010. This is a decrease of 12% from 2009.
  • There were 350 mothers aged 12 and over who were looked after at 31 March 2010. This is the same as the previous year and an increase of 18% cent from the 2006 figure.

Note that these are replacement PDF and Excel files to correct the percentage of children who ceased to be looked after due to adoption during the year ending 31 March 2006.

The additional tables for this SFR have been arranged into eight key themes:

  • 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

As part of a Government drive for data transparency in official publications we have included supporting data for this publication as additional tables. Underlying data for this publication was made available on 28 October 2010.

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.

UK comparability of children looked after statistics

Statistics on social services for children are collected and published by the following government departments:

  • The UK government’s Department for Education (for England)
  • The Scottish government’s Education Analytical Services Division
  • The Welsh Assembly government’s statistical directorate
  • The Northern Ireland executive’s Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety.

In each area of social services, there are similarities between the collections in the different countries, but also differences. These may be due to different legislation, the differing history of data collections and differences in the requirements for monitoring policy. To fulfil the UKSA requirement to document these differences, a report has been produced comparing the legislative provisions in each country, describing the range of statistics produced and providing a set of statistics for English regions, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Natalie Masters
0114 274 2195

natalie.masters@education.gsi.gov.uk