Data set from Children looked after in England including adoptions

CLA on 31 March by characteristics - NATIONAL

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Children looked after on 31 March each year, by gender, age group (on 31 March), primary need, ethnicity, legal status, motherhood status and placement type (on 31 March). 

Data formerly in table A1 and A2.

Note: The number of placements during the year can now be found in the file 'CLA on 31 March by placement stability - NATIONAL'.

Data set details

Children's social care
Children looked after in England including adoptions
Release type
Geographic levels
  • Number
  • Percentage
  • Characteristic
Time period
2019 to 2023

Data set preview

Table showing first 5 rows, from underlying data
2023Reporting yearNationalE92000001EnglandAge group1 to 4 years1114013
2023Reporting yearNationalE92000001EnglandAge group10 to 15 years3187038
2023Reporting yearNationalE92000001EnglandAge group16 years and over2208026
2023Reporting yearNationalE92000001EnglandAge group5 to 9 years1491018
2023Reporting yearNationalE92000001EnglandAge groupTotal children83840100

Variables in this data set

Table showing all 3 variables
Variable nameVariable description


  1. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Percentages rounded to the nearest whole number. Historical data may differ from older publications which is mainly due to amendments made by local authorities after the previous publication. However, users looking for a longer time series may wish to check for the equivalent table in earlier releases of this publication. Figures exclude children looked after under a series of short-term placements. 
  2. FFA relates to Fostering for Adoption. Foster placements 'not FFA or concurrent planning' include children in long term foster placements.
  3. Category of need is the main category of the eight “need codes” at the time the child started to be looked after.
  4. In 2023 there were 13 secure units in England, therefore most placements will inevitably be outside the council boundary.
  5. 'Youth Justice legal statuses' refers to children: remanded to LA accommodation or youth detention accommodation under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012; placed in LA accommodation under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984; or, sentenced to a youth rehabilitation order with residence or intensive fostering requirement under the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 (as amended).
  6. Percentages for all mothers aged 12 or over looked after at 31 March are the number of looked after mothers aged 12 and over as a percentage of all looked after females aged 12 and over.

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