Who is being fostered? – An analysis of recent UK Foster Care Statistics

Recent foster care statistics reports have lifted the lid on the number of children being fostered, and who these children are. The reports include:

What do these reports tell us about who is being fostered?

There are a number of findings from the reports – here are some of the major ones…

The number of children in public care has risen in recent years:

  • 68,110 children were in the care of local authorities on 31st March 2013, compared to 67,080 in 2012
  • The rate of looked after children per 10,000 under 18 years on 31st March 2013 was 60, compared to 59 in 2012

More boys are being looked after than girls:

  • As of 31st March 2013, 55% (37,510) of children looked after were boys and 45% (30,600) were girls

The most popular age for looked after children is between ten and 15 years old:

  • As of 31st March 2013, six per cent (4,310) of children looked after were under one year old
  • 18% (12,360) were aged between one and four years old
  • 19% (13,260) were aged between five and nine years old
  • 36% (24,450) were aged between ten and 15 years old
  • 20% (13,730) were aged 16 and over

The majority of looked after children are white, followed by mixed racial background:

  • As of 31st March 2013, 78% (53,030) of children looked after were white
  • 9% (6,090) were of mixed racial background
  • 4% (2,620) were Asian or Asian British
  • 7% (4,470) were Black or Black British
  • 2% (1,390) were from other ethnic groups
  • 1% (500) were other (refused or information not yet available)

The majority of looked after children are living with foster carers, rather than living in children’s homes or other options.

  • As of 31st March 2013, 75% (50,900) of children looked after were living with foster carers
  • 9% (6,000) were living in secure units, children’s homes or hostels
  • 5% (3,260) were placed with their parents
  • 5% (3,350) were placed for adoption
  • 3% (2,190) were with another placement in the community
  • 3% (2,140) were placed in residential schools or other residential settings

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