Fostering statistics

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Over 65,000 children live with almost 55,000 foster families across the UK each day. This is nearly 80% of the 83,000 children in care away from home on any one day in the UK.

The statistics below provide a picture of the care system on just one day of the year. Around 30,000 more children come into care over the course of 12 months, with similar numbers leaving the care system to return home, move in with another family member, live with new adoptive families, become subject to a special guardianship or residence order or move on to adult life.
 

England

  • 55,200 children were living with foster families on 31 March 2018.
  • This is 73 per cent of the 75,420 children in care looked after away from home.
  • There are around 43,500 foster families in England.
  • The Fostering Network estimates that fostering services need to recruit a further 7,220 foster families in the next 12 months – read more on our recruitment targets.

Northern Ireland

  • 2,451 children were living with foster families on 31 March 2018.
  • This is 79 pre cent of the 3,109 children in care looked after away from home.
  • There are approximately 2,100 foster families in Northern Ireland.
  • The Fostering Network estimates that fostering services need to recruit a further 250 foster families in the next 12 months – read more on our recruitment targets.

Scotland

  • 5,058 children were living with foster families on 31 July 2018.
  • This is three-quarters (74%) of 6,817 children in care looked after away from home and family.
  • There are approximately 4,400 foster families in Scotland.
  • The Fostering Network estimates that fostering services need to recruit a further 580 foster families in the next 12 months – read more on our recruitment targets.
For more details, see the Scottish Government website.
 

Wales

  • 4,717 children were living with foster families on 31 March 2018.
  • This is 74 per cent of the 6,407 children in care looked after away from home.
  • There are approximately 3,700 foster families in Wales.
  • The Fostering Network estimates that fostering services need to recruit a further 550 foster families in the next 12 months – read more on our recruitment targets.

For more details see the Welsh Government website.

 

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