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Increase recorded in both approved fostering households and children in foster care

Figures released for 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019

There has been an increase in the number of both approved fostering households and children in foster care. The figures are included in Fostering in England statistics published by Ofsted for the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.

On 31 March 2019, there were 44,450 fostering households, a 2 per cent increase compared with 31 March 2018. In the same period, there has been a 3 per cent increase in the number of children in foster care. There were almost 55,000 children and young people placed with foster carers on 31 March 2019.

There has been a decrease in the number of unoccupied places, available for children to be placed into. Although the number of approved fostering places has increased by 1 per cent since 31 March 2018, the number of children entering foster care has increased at a faster pace (3 per cent). This means that there were fewer places available for children to be placed in on 31 March 2019 than the same date in 2018.

On 31 March 2019, 21 per cent of all carers in independent fostering agencies were from non-White ethnic groups, compared with 12 per cent of carers in LAs. During 2018 to 2019, 24 per cent of newly approved carers in IFAs were from non-White ethnic groups, compared with 10 per cent of new carers in LAs.

The gap between young people Staying Put in LAs and IFAs continues to exist. Despite the gap between the percentage of young people Staying Put in LAs and IFAs closing slightly this year, it remains substantial at 16 percentage points.

The proportion of unplanned endings to placements that resulted in the child moving within 24 hours has increased. During 2018 to 2019, around 5,800 children and young people experienced unplanned endings. Of these children and young people, 31 per cent were moved within 24 hours. This is an increase of 6 percentage points compared with the previous year, and 10 percentage points from 2016 to 2017.

For the full statistics, click here.

14/2/20