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Half of all private and voluntary sector fostering placements offered by six companies

New Ofsted data show that half of all private and voluntary fostering placements nationally are concentrated in just six providers. That equates to placements for over 18,000 children.

Published for the first time as management information, Ofsted's statistics show that the six largest providers own 66 independent fostering agencies (IFAs), around one-fifth of all IFAs. The top two providers own 47 IFAs, offering over 11,000 fostering places between them, making up 31 per cent of all places offered by private and voluntary IFAs nationally.

Across England, 93 per cent of all IFAs have been judged either good or outstanding by Ofsted. The proportion of good and outstanding IFAs owned by the largest providers is higher than the national average, at 98 per cent.

The data also reveal that around one-third of all private and voluntary children's homes are run by just ten providers, a similar position to last year.

Ofsted has previously raised concerns about the lack of suitable care placements for vulnerable children, with national supply not matching the local needs of children.

For the latest statistics, click here.