According to official statistics, the number of looked after children at the end of March 2015 totalled 69,540. This is an increase of 1% compared to last year and 6% compared to four years ago. The numbers are the highest since 1985, with 61% being looked after because of abuse of neglect.
The statistics also show that the numbers of foster placements for children are continuing to rise, with 75% of the total mentioned above for 2015 being cared for in foster homes. This has been a trend since 2009 where the number began to steadily increase.
Voluntary placements under section 20 of the Children Act 1989 has steadily risen, this type of placement allows local authorities to find suitable accommodation for children who need to be safeguarded, but require permission from the person with parental responsibility if they are under 16. Placement orders only require legal permission from the court to place the child with any prospective adoptive parents and have fallen from 9,580 in 2014 to 7,320 in 2015.
To read the government 2015 official statistics (in PDF format).