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Adoptions in year to March 2014 rose by 26%

Number of looked after children in England and Wales continues to rise slightly

The number of looked after children in England and Wales continues to rise, according to the latest figures released by the Department for Education. There were 68,840 looked after children at 31 March 2014, an increase of 1% compared to 31 March 2013 and an increase of 7% compared to 31 March 2010. The numbers have increased steadily over the past five years.

More children started to be looked after. There were 30,430 children who started to be looked after during the year ending 31 March 2014, an increase of 5% from 2013 and an increase of 8% from 2010.

More children ceased to be looked after. There were also 30,430 children who ceased to be looked after during the year ending 31 March 2014, an increase of 6% from 2013 and an increase of 20% from 2010.

Adoptions are increasing. There were 5,050 looked after children adopted during the year ending 31 March 2014, an increase of 26% from 2013 and an increase of 58% from 2010. Although the number of looked after children adopted fell between 2010 and 2011, the number of these adoptions has since increased and is now at its highest point since the start of the current collection in 1992.

In November the Department published a 'myth-buster' guide because of a fall in adoptions in recent months.

The DfE statistical release is here.

12/12/14