Recent figures released by the Department of Education have shown that there were 67,050 looked after children at 31st March 2012, an increase of 2% compared to the same point last year, and an increase of 13% compared to 31st March 2008.
Of children looked after at 31st March 2012, 50,260 were cared for in a foster placement. This represents 75% of all children looked after at 31st March 2012. There were 3,450 looked after children adopted during the year, which is the highest figure since 2007 and an increase of 12% from the 2011 figure.
Edward Timpson, Minister for Children and Families, said:
“The rise in the number of adoptions and adoption placement orders is extremely welcome, but it still takes too long for those who want to adopt and foster to be approved. The time it takes for a child in care to be adopted can be a significant period in that child’s life.
“So we are looking at measures to encourage councils to make use of adopters in other parts of the country. We will shorten the approval process and fast track those who are already foster carers.
“Taken together I hope these reforms will, over time, encourage more people to come forward and volunteer to adopt children. I want more young children to have a settled start in life with a loving family.
“That way, they can make a profound and lasting impact on young lives.”
Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0.