Okay, let's talk facts. Here's some stats. And rights and links to other sites. All about care. Oh yeah.

Statistics for 2005

Children looked after

  • 60,900 children were looked after at 31 March 2005, a decrease of less than 1% from a year earlier but an increase of 3% from 2001.
  • The largest category of placement for children looked after on 31 March 2005 was foster care, accounting for 68% of all placements. The number of children in foster placements has increased by 9% since 2001.
  • 2,900 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children were looked after at 31 March 2005. 69% of the Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children were located in London, with a further 16% located elsewhere in the South East.
  • 65% of the 23,100 children under 16 who have been looked after for 2.5 or more years had been living in the same placement for at least 2 years or were placed for adoption. This is the same as the updated figure for last year (see paragraph 4 in "Notes for Editors"). The Government's target is that by 2008, 80% of these children will have been living in the same placement for at least 2 years, or are placed for adoption.


  • 3,800 children were adopted in the year ending 31 March 2005. This is the same as the updated figure for the previous year (see paragraph 4 in "Notes for Editors").
  • In 2004-05, 1,000 more children were adopted than in 1999-00. This represents an increase of 38%. The Government's target for adoptions, included in the Priorities and Planning Framework 2003-06, is to increase by 40% the number of looked after children who are adopted by 2004-05 and to exceed this by achieving, if possible, a 50% increase by 2006, from 1999-00.
  • 81% of children looked after adopted in 2004-05 were placed for adoption within 12 months of the decision that adoption is in the child's best interests. From 2000-01 this figure has remained stable at around 80%. The Government's target, contained in the Priorities and Planning Framework 2003-06 was to increase the proportion to 95% by 2004-05.
  • 62% of children adopted were aged between 1 and 4 while 28% were aged between 5 and 9. The average age at adoption in 2004-05 was 4 years 2 months and has changed little in the last five years.

Care leavers

  • 43% of the 7,500 children leaving care aged 16 or over in 2004-05 had at least one GCSE or GNVQ on leaving care, the same as last year. When Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children looked after for less than 2 years at the time of leaving care are excluded, along with children who would not have usually sat their exams at the time of leaving care, the equivalent figure is 50%.
  • 6% left care with at least 5 GCSEs at grades A*- C, the same as in 2003-04.

Activity of care leavers on their 19th birthday

  • 5,200 former looked after children were 19 in 2004-05 and had been looked after on 1 April 2002 (in their 17th year). Councils were in touch with 89% of these children. This compared to an in touch rate of 85% in 2003-04.
  • The largest category of accommodation for 19 year old former care leavers is independent living, which accounts for 42% of the cohort. The increase in the proportion of former care leavers in independent living over the last few years is largely the result of the improved in touch rate.
  • 59% of former care leavers were in education, employment or training on their 19th birthday. This compares to 55% in 2003-04.

New information collected in this year's collection

Distance between home and placement
  • Nearly three quarters (74%) of looked after children were living in placements within 20 miles from their home at the time they were taken into care.
  • There were 320 mothers aged 12 and over who were looked after at 31 March 2005. The vast majority of these were aged 15 to 17 (97%). The percentage of females in care who were mothers increased with age from 2% among 15 year olds to 8% among 17 year olds. Overall, 4% of looked after females aged 15-17 were mothers.
  • More than half of all children (51%) who had a statutory review spoke for themselves. 17% did not attend and did not have their views conveyed to a review.


This is a summary of statistics about young people from care from the DfE Research and Statistics Gateway. Stats from other years are available in the menu below.


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