Children in Care - Public Accounts Contents


The Department for Education sets policy for children in care and has objectives to improve the quality of their care and the stability of their placements. Local authorities look after more than 68,000 children, in line with statutory duties set out by the Department. Ofsted regulates and inspects care services and the Department can intervene if local authorities do not deliver services to an acceptable standard. Local authorities look after children in their own foster and residential homes, or pay private or voluntary organisations to do so. On 31 March 2013, 75% of children in care were fostered and 9% were in residential children's homes. In recent years, local authorities have protected spending on foster and residential care, despite wider cuts to council spending. Local authorities spent £2.5 billion in 2012-13 on foster and residential care, an increase of 3% in real terms since 2010-11 despite an overall fall in spending, and the number of children in care rose by 4% over the same period.

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Prepared 11 March 2015