Children in care: Understanding the Statistics

Omega Care
As of March 31, 2022, there were over 90,000 children in care across England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. These children have been removed from their homes due to a variety of reasons, including abuse, neglect, and parental incapacity. While the number of children in care fluctuates year-to-year, it remains a significant issue in the UK. The statistics show that most children in care are aged between 10 and 15 years, with 71% of children being looked after by this age. It is concerning that such a high percentage of children are entering the care system at such a young age. While some children do need to be removed from their homes for their own safety, it is essential that we provide support and resources to prevent this from happening in the first place. The majority of children in care live with foster carers, with 70% of children in care in England living in foster care. This is a positive development, as it provides children with the opportunity to live in a stable and supportive family environment. However, it is important to note that almost a third of all children in care are moved two or more times in a year, and one in ten children have three or more placements. These statistics highlight the need for better support for children in care, particularly those who experience multiple moves. While some children are adopted or placed with special guardians, the majority of young people leave the care system when they turn 18. In 2022, 37% of young people who left the care system did so because they aged out of care on their 18th birthday. This can be a challenging time for young people, as they transition into adulthood without the support of their previous carers. It is essential that we provide support for care leavers to help them make a successful transition into independent living. Overall, the statistics show that there is still much work to be done to support children in care in the UK. We need to provide more preventative services to support families before children enter care, improve stability for children in care, and provide better support for care leavers. By doing so, we can ensure that all children in care have the best possible outcomes and opportunities in life.
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