National statistics for fostering and adoption

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

There are currently around 99,000 children in the UK who are classified as looked-after away from home. An increase of 3% from the previous year.

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

The UK urgently needs to recruit 8,600 more foster families to meet the need.

At 31 December 2018, there were 2750 children waiting for adoption in England. 39% of these had been waiting eighteen months or more.

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  • There are between 2.7 and 8 million children residing in orphanages globally.
  • On average, 80% of children living in orphanages have at least one living parent.

The following statistics are based on reports carried out in one location:

  • 1 in 3 children exiting residential care institutions becomes homeless.
  • 1 in 5 children exiting residential care institutions gains a criminal record.
  • 1 in 10 children exiting residential care institutions commits suicide.

Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC)

  • Between January and June 2019, around 2,800 unaccompanied and separated children arrived in Europe.1
  • Between January and June 2019, the UK received 4,780 child asylum applications (not unaccompanied or separated), making up 5% of all applications across Europe. In contrast, Germany received 39% of applications, France 12%, Spain 11% and Greece 10%.2
  • In 2017, nearly 31,000 unaccompanied children arrived in Europe. At this time, the UK government agreed to resettle 480 (1.5%) of these.3
  • So far, 220 unaccompanied children have arrived in the UK through the Dubs amendment.4

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