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Provisional figures showing the number of children looked after by ...
Provisional figures showing the number of children looked after by

local authorities in England were published today.

The figures, for the year ending 31 March 1999, show:

- The number of children being looked after at 31 March 1999 was

55,300; this is 4% higher than a year earlier and 11% higher than

in 1995

- 65% of the children looked after at 31 March 1999 were placed with

foster parents, similar to the proportion for previous years

- 34,100 children were looked after under a care order at 31 March

1999, over 2,000 more than a year ago

- 44% of children looked after at 31 March 1999 were aged under 10

- the number of children who started to be looked after during

1998/99 fell by 5% (compared with the previous year); but the

number of children ceasing to be looked after fell by 8%

- the proportion starting to be looked after under single voluntary

agreements has fallen; down from 78% in 1994/95 to 67% in 1998/99

- during 1998/99 7,000 young people left care aged 16 or older

- 40% of children who ceased to be looked after during 1998/99 had

been looked after for less than 8 weeks during their last period

of care


1. Copies of the bulletin are available, free of charge, from

Department of Health, Room 451C, Skipton House, 80 London Road,

London SE1 6XH. A copy of this bulletin, together with a number of

additional tables will be made available on the department's

website at

2. The 1999 children looked after figures are the latest in a

regular series which the Department of Health collects from local

authorities in England. Numbers are presented for those children

looked after at 31 March, and those starting or ceasing to be

looked after during the preceding year.

3. Following the implementation of the Children Act 1989 in

October 1991, a child is looked after by a local authority if he

or she is placed in their care by a court (under a care order) or

is provided with accommodation by the authority's social services

department for more than 24 hours.

4. The figures presented for 1999 are based on data provided by

147 authorities (out of 150). For each of the years 1995-1999,

estimates have been made to take account of the data for local

authorities which did not make a return, or whose returns were

incomplete. These are based on statistical data supplied by local

authorities on the statistical return CLA 100. More detailed data

and analyses on the data (together with any revisions) will be

published in the new year.

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