Data set from Children looked after in England including adoptions

CLA starting during the year by characteristics - NATIONAL

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Children who started to be looked after during the year, by gender, age on starting, category of need, ethnicity, legal status, previous permanence and placement type. Data formerly in tables C1 and C2.

Data set details

Children's social care
Children looked after in England including adoptions
Release type
Geographic levels
  • Number
  • Percentage
  • Characteristic
Time period
2018 to 2021

Data set preview

Table showing first 5 rows, from underlying data
2021Reporting yearNationalE92000001EnglandAge on starting1 to 4 years511018
2021Reporting yearNationalE92000001EnglandAge on starting10 to 15 years726026
2021Reporting yearNationalE92000001EnglandAge on starting16 years and over571020
2021Reporting yearNationalE92000001EnglandAge on starting5 to 9 years475017
2021Reporting yearNationalE92000001EnglandAge on startingTotal children28440100

Variables in this data set

Table showing all 3 variables
Variable nameVariable description


  1. No new applications for freeing orders may be made on or after 30 December 2005, they were replaced by placement orders.
  2. '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).
  3. In 2021 there were 13 secure units in England, therefore most placements will inevitably be outside the council boundary.
  4. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Percentages rounded to the nearest whole number. See the methodology document for further information. Figures exclude children looked after under a series of short-term placements. Historical data may differ from older publications which is mainly due to amendments made by local authorities after the previous publication.
  5. Only the first occasion on which a child started to be looked after has been counted.
  6. FFA relates to Fostering for Adoption. Foster placements 'not FFA or concurrent planning' include children in long term foster placements.
  7. Category of need is the main category of the eight “need codes” at the time the child started to be looked after.

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