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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Reason for becoming looked after

Reason for becoming looked after

  • 63% Abuse or neglect
  • 14% Family dysfunction
  • 8% Family being in acute stress
  • 7% Absent parenting
  • 3% Child’s disability
  • 3% Parent’s illness
  • 2% Other

Reason for becoming looked-after

  • 66% Abuse or neglect
  • 23% Family in acute stress or dysfunction
  • 5% Parental illness, disability or absence
  • 4% Socially unacceptable behaviour
  • 2% Other

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