Statistics

National statistics for fostering and adoption

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Statistics

This year in the UK, 40,000 children and young people will enter the care system. That’s 109 every day.

There are currently around 92,000 children in the UK who are classified as looked-after away from home. An increase of 2% from the previous year.

More than 65,000 children live with almost 55,000 foster families across the UK.

The UK urgently needs 8,100 more foster families to meet the need.

As of March 2017, there were 2580 children waiting for adoption in England. 28% of these had been waiting over a year.

Children and families in England who have been waiting longer than three months join the Adoption Register. Currently there are almost three times as many children (1115) on the Adoption Register as families (412).


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Care Leavers and care-experienced young people

Care leavers and care experienced young people

  • 33% of children leaving care have no qualifications.11
  • 26% of care leavers aged 16-18 have 5 GCSEs (A*-C) or higher, compared to 82% of school leavers as a whole.12
  • 1 in 4 care leavers aged 16-18 had a statement of special educational needs.13
  • 39% of care leavers aged 19 were NEET*.14
  • 12% of all care leavers aged 19 were parents.15

Care leavers and care experienced young people

  • 43% of care leavers aged 19 are known to be NEET*.10
  • Between 20-30% of the young homeless population are care experienced.11
  • 23% of children leaving care aged 16 or over have no formal qualifications, vocational or otherwise.12

Care leavers and care experienced young people

  • One third of young offenders and almost one third of the adult prison population self-identify as care-experienced.9
  • Only 16% of school leavers who have been in care for the entirety of their final year have one qualification at Level 6 or better.10
  • Between 30-50% of the homeless population are care experienced.11
  • 27% of young people leave care without a formal ‘pathway’ plan for their next steps.12

Care Leavers

  • Looked after children are six times more likely than children in the general population to be convicted of a crime or receive a caution.12
  • It is estimated that up to half of all children in custody are care-experienced.13
  • One third of care leavers become homeless within the first two years of leaving care and 25% of homeless people are care-experienced.14
  • 40% of care leavers were NEET* compared to 13% of all 19-21 year olds.15
  • 25% of 19 and 20-year olds continue to live with their former foster carers through ‘Staying Put’ despite ceasing to be looked after on their 18th birthday.16

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