Foster Watch: the statistics that count

The facts and figures that underpin world of foster care serve to focus attention on what may be current trends. More significantly they may point toward new or emerging trends.  They should be scrutinised; or at the very least born in mind. A new national fostering stocktake will be reporting later this year. Charities, along with just about anyone with an interest in fostering have been contributing to the exercise. Is it good enough to wait so long before analysing the trends? It may seem prosaic, but it is surely better to keep on top of the figures rather than be swayed by anecdote. That is not to say that being aware of anecdote is a bad thing; more that because fostering can easily become an emotive subject, we need the cool detachment of the statistics. If we take, for example, the following –

A report from 2016 compiled by a group of children’s charities entitled ‘Losing in the Long Run’ confirmed that government for early intervention services is now expected to be cut by a whopping 71%. In pounds, shillings and pence, this will result in a reduction from £3.2bn to less than £1bn  that will be available between 2010 and 2020. This leaves no room for confusing rhetoric or hyperbole. We can imagine a difference of £2.2bn is going to have tangible consequences. A strong case can also be made for repetition: a simple fact restated becomes embedded in the public consciousness and is all the more powerful for that. That can work for the good – so it is worth repeating that we need over 9,070 new foster families this year. In simple marketing terms repetition can achieve ‘cut through’ and create belief. And then one hopes, suitable action.

2016 targets for recruiting foster families

Northern Ireland  170, Wales 500, Scotland 800, England 7600,

English regions: North East 475, North West 1300, Yorkshire and the Humber 775,

East Midlands 550, West Midlands 1000, East of England 650, London 1150, South East 1100,

South West 600 

TOTAL 9070

Foster Care Facts

The rate of looked after children per 10,000 under 18 years on 31st March 2015 was 60. This figure varies significantly at Local Authority level from a low of 20 (Wokingham) to a high of 158 (Blackpool). The figures shown below come from various statistical reports  collated and published by various government departments and bodies. These are the statistics for children in care up to 18/07/2016.

Gender breakdown

38,530 (fifty five percent) of children looked after on 31st March 2015 were boys and 45% (31,010) were girls.

Age comparisons

3,710 (five percent) of children who were looked after on 31st March 2015 were under one year old.

10,120 (fifteen percent) were aged between one and four years old.

14,310 (twenty one percent) were aged between five and nine years old.

26,140 (thirty eight percent) were aged between ten and fifteen years old.

15,270 (twenty two percent) were aged sixteen and over.

Ethnicity of children and young people

53,600 (seventy seven percent) of children looked after on 31st March 2015 were white.

6,170 (nine percent) were of mixed racial background.

2,660 (four percent) were Asian or Asian British.

4,920 (seven percent) were Black or Black British.

1,700 (two percent) were from other ethnic groups.

500 (1 percent) were other (refused or information not yet available).

Placements into foster care

52,050 (seventy five percent) of children looked after on 31st March 2015 were residing with foster carers.

6,570 (nine percent) were residing in secure units, hostels or children’s homes.

3,510 (five percent) were placed with their birth parents.

3,320 (five percent) were placed for adoption.

2,280 (three percent) were with residing in another placement in the community.

1,750 (three percent) were residing in residential schools, or other residential settings.

Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children

2,630 unaccompanied asylum seeking children were being ‘looked after’ on 31st March 2015.

2,360 (ninety percent) were males and 260 (ten percent) were females.

1,970 (seventy five percent) were aged 16 and over.

Rainbow Rewards – something to consider if you want to foster

We support our approved foster carers twenty four hours a day all year round. And we really value them. Currently, we are paying a £500 bonus if you can give us a referral. The bonus will be paid direct to you, when the person has been approved and have received their first foster care placement from Rainbow. If you are an approved foster carer considering transferring to us, our Fostering Services will take care of everything in a smooth and efficient manner. And transferring to Rainbow, may also mean you also will qualify for a generous bonus. Call our foster recruitment advisors on 020 8427 3355 to discover more out more.

An hour or spent chatting with our team could change your life – as well as the life and prospects of a vulnerable child. If you care…foster care!

Our good news at the end of this weeks foster care rainbow…another crop of long hot summer birthdays to celebrate for our foster children and foster carers. Happy Birthday from the team at Rainbow!

Rainbow fostering: this week in the news – read all about it!

Leading foster charity responds to article about carers’ status.

July 19th, 2017

The chief executive of The Fostering Network, Kevin Williams, has just responded to an article in Community Care – Children’s services directors wary of moves to ‘professionalise’ foster carers (cont)

Foster care statistics

Foster care facts and figures