Coram responds to new figures on looked after children in England

Published: Thursday 5th December 2019

Coram has responded to new figures published today by the Department for Education showing a 4% rise in the number of looked after children over the year ending 31 March 2019, and a 7% drop in in children ceasing to be looked after due to adoption over the same period.

Children looked after in England (including adoption) year ending 31 March 2019 finds that the number of looked after children now stands at 78,150, while children adopted and ceasing to be looked after fell to 3,570, continuing the drop seen last year and down from a peak of 5,360 in 2015.

Dr Carol Homden, Coram CEO, said: “The figures published today by the DfE indicate that we have more children needing the protection of the state and living in foster care and residential settings alongside a drop in the number of those being adopted. Since 2015, the number of adoptions has fallen by a third, and this is concerning. There are more singles and same-sex couples adopting now, and timescales for children adopted are still good, however those not yet adopted are waiting longer.

“This dichotomy indicates a need to recruit more adopters and improve child centred planning to ensure all children have the security and love they need.

“We are also concerned that the data published today sets out that for one in eight children taken into care it is not known whether they were previously in care. Where they have been, that would mean there is a case file for the child containing key information about their life and any trauma they have previously experienced. This information is vital for ensuring their future care takes full account of their history, and we urge local authorities to address this point.”

Find out more about the looked after children statistics