Reporting Year 2021

Children looked after in England including adoptions

Data guidance

Published

Description

This document describes the data included in the ‘Children looked after in England including adoptions: 2020 to 2021’ National Statistics release’s underlying data files. This data is released under the terms of the Open Government License and is intended to meet at least three stars for Open Data.

The methodology document for this subject should be referenced alongside this release. It provides information on the data sources, their coverage and quality and how the data is produced.

A guide for the 2021 data collection provides further information on the data collected.

Coverage

This data is based upon information collected in the SSDA903 (CLA) data collection. It is a child level dataset collected from local authorities in England annually. The data includes information on: 

  • children looked after on 31 March in each year, including unaccompanied asylum seeking children
  • children looked after at any time
  • children who started to be looked after
  • children who ceased to be looked after
  • children looked after who were adopted
  • care leavers now aged 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21 years old
  • children who went missing or away from placement without authorisation

 The longitudinal nature of the collection means historical information can be amended each year, so we update all time series figures published in each release.  Unless otherwise stated, numbers and percentage exclude children looked after under an agreed  series of short term placements. 

Users of the data should consider the following:

  • for some local authorities, for example Kent or Croydon, the figures may be impacted by large numbers of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and their distinctive characteristics.
  • from April 2019 the three local authorities ‘Dorset’, ‘Bournemouth’ and ‘Poole’ reorganised into  two local authorities ‘Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole’ and ‘Dorset’. As part of this, a small number of children formerly looked after in the Christchurch area of Dorset were transferred to the new authority ‘Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole’.
  • Information on children who are missing or who are away from their placement without authorisation are published as Official Statistics. Users should refer to the methodology guide when using this data and should be cautious interpreting any figures across years or between local authorities due to differing practices. Hackney did not provide any missing or away without authorisation data in 2021.

File formats and conventions

Rounding and suppression

National and regional figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.  Local authority figures are unrounded.

Where any number is shown as zero, the original figure submitted was zero. 

The following symbols have been used in the release:

  • ‘c’ to protect confidentiality. Secondary suppression may have been applied
  • ‘z’ for not applicable
  • ‘:’ for not available
  • ‘~’ for negligible – also used for a percentage (<0.5%) that would round to 0 but is not zero

For percentages:

  • where the numerator or denominator is small then the figure is replaced by ‘c’
  • they may not sum to 100% due to rounding
  • they are rounded to whole numbers

Also in the release:

  • the average duration for adoptions (formerly table E2) are rounded to the nearest month
  • the average number of missing or away without authorisation incidents (formerly in table G1) have been rounded to one decimal place.

Data files

All data files associated with this releases are listed below with guidance on their content. To download any of these files, please visit our data catalogue.

Care leavers accommodation - LA

Filename
la_care_leavers_accommodation_type.csv
Geographic levels
Local Authority; National; Regional
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Local authority level data on care leavers aged 17 to 21, by accommodation type (as measured on or around their birthday).

For some local authorities, such as Kent or Croydon, the figures may be impacted by significant numbers of unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
accommodation_typeAccommodation type
ageAge
numberNumber
percentagePercentage
Footnotes
  1. 'Accommodated with parents or relatives' is likely to be an under count - if a young person's former foster carer is a relative they should be recorded as accommodated with their former foster carer.
  2. National and regional numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Percentages rounded to the nearest whole number. Figures exclude young people who were looked after under an agreed series of short term placements, those who have died since leaving care, those who have returned home to parents or someone with parental responsibility for a continuous period of at least 6 months and those whose care was transferred to another local authority.

Care leavers accommodation - NATIONAL

Filename
national-accommodation_of_care_leavers.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Care leavers aged 17 to 21, by accommodation type (as measured on or around their birthday). Data formerly  in tables F2 and F4.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
accommodation_typeType of accommodation the care leaver is in
care_leaver_ageAge of the care leaver
numberNumber
percentagePercentage
Footnotes
  1. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Percentages rounded to the nearest whole number. Figures exclude young people who were looked after under an agreed series of short term placements, those who have died since leaving care, those who have returned home to parents or someone with parental responsibility for a continuous period of at least 6 months and those whose care was transferred to another local authority.
  2. 'Local authority not in touch' excludes young people where activity information is known, as a third party provided it even though the local authority is not directly in touch with the young person.
  3. 'Accommodated with parents or relatives' is likely to be an under count - if a young person's former foster carer is a relative they should be recorded as accommodated with their former foster carer.

Care leavers activity - LA

Filename
la_care_leavers_activity.csv
Geographic levels
Local Authority; National; Regional
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Local authority level data on care leavers, aged 17 to 21, by activity (as measured on or around their birthday).

For some local authorities, such as Kent or Croydon, the figures may be impacted by significant numbers of unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
activityActivity
ageAge
numberNumber
percentagePercentage
Footnotes
  1. National and regional numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Percentages rounded to the nearest whole number. Figures exclude young people who were looked after under an agreed series of short term placements, those who have died since leaving care, those who have returned home to parents or someone with parental responsibility for a continuous period of at least 6 months and those whose care was transferred to another local authority.

Care leavers activity - NATIONAL

Filename
national_activity_of_care_leaver.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Care leavers, aged 17 to 21, by activity (as measured on or around their birthday). Data formerly in tables F1 and F3.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
age_groupAge of the care leaver
characteristicCharacteristic - By measure
numberNumber
percentagePercentage
Footnotes
  1. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Percentages rounded to the nearest whole number. Figures exclude young people who were looked after under an agreed series of short term placements, those who have died since leaving care, those who have returned home to parents or someone with parental responsibility for a continuous period of at least 6 months and those whose care was transferred to another local authority.
  2. 'Local authority not in touch' excludes young people where activity information is known, as a third party provided it even though the local authority is not directly in touch with the young person.

Care leavers by whether their accommodation is suitable - LA

Filename
la_care_leavers_accommodation_suitability.csv
Geographic levels
Local Authority; National; Regional
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Local authority level data on care leavers, aged 17 to 21, by whether their accommodation is deemed to be suitable. 

For some local authorities, such as Kent or Croydon, the figures may be impacted by significant numbers of unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
accommodation_suitabilitySuitability of accommodation
ageAge
numberNumber
percentagePercentage
Footnotes
  1. Accommodation suitable/not suitable figures also exclude young people who have gone abroad, been deported or their residence is not know as in these cases the suitability of the accommodation will be unknown. Regulation 9(2) of the Care Leavers Regulations defines what is meant by 'Suitable accommodation'. 'Not known' includes young people whose accommodation is not known because wither the local authority is not in touch, or the young person has refused contact or no longer requires services.
  2. National and regional numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Percentages rounded to the nearest whole number. Figures exclude young people who were looked after under an agreed series of short term placements, those who have died since leaving care, those who have returned home to parents or someone with parental responsibility for a continuous period of at least 6 months and those whose care was transferred to another local authority.

Care leavers by whether their accommodation is suitable - NATIONAL

Filename
national-care_leavers_by_whether_their_accommodation_is_suitable.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Care leavers, aged 17 to 21, by whether their accommodation is deemed to be suitable. Data formerly in tables F2 and F4.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
accommodation_suitabilitySuitability of accommodation
care_leaver_ageAge of care leaver
numberNumber
percentagePercentage
Footnotes
  1. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Percentages rounded to the nearest whole number. Figures exclude young people who were looked after under an agreed series of short term placements, those who have died since leaving care, those who have returned home to parents or someone with parental responsibility for a continuous period of at least 6 months and those whose care was transferred to another local authority.
  2. Accommodation suitable/not suitable figures also exclude young people who have gone abroad, been deported or their residence is not know as in these cases the suitability of the accommodation will be unknown. Regulation 9(2) of the Care Leavers Regulations defines what is meant by 'Suitable accommodation'. 'Not known' includes young people whose accommodation is not known because wither the local authority is not in touch, or the young person has refused contact or no longer requires services.

Care leavers in contact with the responsible authority - LA

Filename
la_care_leavers_intouch.csv
Geographic levels
Local Authority; National; Regional
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Local authority level data on care leavers, aged 17 to 21, by whether the LA was in touch (as measured on or around their birthday).

For some local authorities, such as Kent or Croydon, the figures may be impacted by significant numbers of unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
ageAge
in_touchContact with local authority
numberNumber
percentagePercentage
Footnotes
  1. 'Local authority not in touch' excludes young people where activity information is known, as a third party provided it even though the local authority is not directly in touch with the young person.
  2. National and regional numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Percentages rounded to the nearest whole number. Figures exclude young people who were looked after under an agreed series of short term placements, those who have died since leaving care, those who have returned home to parents or someone with parental responsibility for a continuous period of at least 6 months and those whose care was transferred to another local authority.

Care leavers who left foster care aged 18 and were eligible for care leaver support (Staying put ) LA

Filename
la_care_leavers_stayput.csv
Geographic levels
Local Authority; National; Regional
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Young people aged 18, 19 and 20 who ceased to be looked after in a foster placement on their 18th birthday, were eligible for care leavers support and who were living with their former foster carer.

For some local authorities, such as Kent or Croydon, the figures may be impacted by significant numbers of unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
ageAge
numberNumber
percentagePercentage
stay_putWith former foster carer
Footnotes
  1. National and regional numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Percentages rounded to the nearest whole number. Figures exclude young people who were looked after under an agreed series of short term placements, those who have died since leaving care, those who have returned home to parents or someone with parental responsibility for a continuous period of at least 6 months and those whose care was transferred to another local authority.

Care leavers who left foster care aged 18 and were eligible for care leaver support (Staying put) - NATIONAL

Filename
national-care_leavers_staying_put.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Young people aged 18, 19 and 20 who ceased to be looked after in a foster placement on their 18th birthday, were eligible for care leavers support and who were living with their former foster carer. Data formerly in table F2 and F4.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
care_leaver_ageAge of care leaver
characteristicWith former foster carer
numberNumber
Footnotes
  1. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Percentages rounded to the nearest whole number. Figures exclude young people who were looked after under an agreed series of short term placements, those who have died since leaving care, those who have returned home to parents or someone with parental responsibility for a continuous period of at least 6 months and those whose care was transferred to another local authority.

Care leavers who were unaccompanied asylum-seeking children - NATIONAL

Filename
national-care_leavers_who_were_unaccompanied_asylum-seeking_children.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Care leavers, aged 17 to 21, who were formerly unaccompanied asylum seeking children, by gender. Data formerly in table F1 and F3.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
care_leaver_ageAge of the care leaver
characteristicCharacteristic
numberNumber
percentagePercentage
Footnotes
  1. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Percentages rounded to the nearest whole number. Figures exclude young people who were looked after under an agreed series of short term placements, those who have died since leaving care, those who have returned home to parents or someone with parental responsibility for a continuous period of at least 6 months and those whose care was transferred to another local authority.

CLA ceasing during the year by characteristics - LA

Filename
la_children_who_ceased_during_the_year.csv
Geographic levels
Local Authority; National; Regional
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Local authority level data for children who ceased to be looked after during the year by:

  • age group
  • gender
  • reason episode ceased.

For some local authorities, such as Kent or Croydon, the figures may be impacted by significant numbers of unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
characteristicCharacteristic
numberNumber
percentagePercentage
Footnotes
  1. Only the last occasion a child ceased to be looked after has been counted.
  2. In 2021, 65% of all children who were stated as ceasing due to other reasons left care on their 18th birthday.
  3. 'Aged 18 (or over) and remained with current carers' was a new category introduced in 2021. It's likely many of these children were previously reported within the 'care ceased for any other reason'.
  4. National and regional 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.

CLA ceasing during the year by characteristics - NATIONAL

Filename
national_children_who_ceased_to_be_looked_after_during_the_year.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Children who ceased to be looked after during the year by gender, age on ceasing, reason episode ceased, legal status, category of need, ethnicity, placement and duration of latest period of care. Data formerly in tables D1, D2 and D3.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
characteristicCharacteristic
numberNumber
percentPercentage
Footnotes
  1. National and regional numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Rates 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.
  2. Only the last occasion a child ceased to be looked after has been counted.
  3. Category of need is the main category of the eight “need codes” at the time the child started to be looked after.
  4. '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).
  5. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Percentages and averages 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.
  6. No new applications for freeing orders may be made on or after 30 December 2005, they were replaced by placement orders.
  7. In 2021, 65% of all children who were stated as ceasing due to other reasons left care on their 18th birthday.
  8. FFA relates to Fostering for Adoption. Foster placements 'not FFA or concurrent planning' include children in long term foster placements.
  9. Period of care refers to a continuous period of being looked after, which may include more than one placement or legal status.
  10. In 2021 there were 13 secure units in England, therefore most placements will inevitably be outside the council boundary.
  11. 'Aged 18 (or over) and remained with current carers' was a new category introduced in 2021. It's likely many of these children were previously reported within the 'care ceased for any other reason'.

CLA ceasing during the year by number of periods of care, number of placement and age on ceasing - NATIONAL

Filename
national_cla_ceased_during_year_placements_care_periods.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Children who ceased to be looked after during the year by number of periods of care, number of placements and age on ceasing. Data formerly in tables D4.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
age_on_ceasingAge on ceasing
numberNumber
percentagePercentage
periods_or_placementsNumber of periods of care or placements
Footnotes
  1. 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.
  2. Only the last occasion a child ceased to be looked after has been counted.

CLA during the year and on 31 March for at least 12 months by characteristics - NATIONAL

Filename
national-children_looked_after_during_the_year_and_at_31_march_for_at_least_12_months_by_characteristics.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Children looked after at any time during the year, and those looked after continuously for at least 12 months at 31 March, by age, ethnicity, gender and placement type. Data formerly in table B1.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
characteristicType of characteristic - Select characteristic
CLA_groupPopulation group - Select CLA population
NumberNumber
Footnotes
  1. 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.
  2. Age at the end of the latest episode of care, or at 31 March if child is still looked after.
  3. Placements relate to the total number of placements made for each looked after child during the year ending 31 March. For example, if a child has been placed in a foster placement, with parents and also in a residential care homes they will appear three times in these figures - once in each category. If a child has had 2 foster placements and 1 placement in a residential care home, they will be counted once under foster care and once under residential care. For children looked after continuously for 12 months only the placement at 31 March is counted.

CLA during the year by characteristics - LA

Filename
la_cla_during_year_new_placements.csv
Geographic levels
Local Authority; National; Regional
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Local authority level data for children looked after during the year by placement locality by reason for placement change.

For some local authorities, such as Kent or Croydon, the figures may be impacted by significant numbers of unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
characteristicCharacteristic
numberNumber
percentagePercentage
Footnotes
  1. Placement locality denotes whether or not the placement is within the geographical boundary of the responsible LA.
  2. Approval removed denotes where a setting is no longer approved/registered with the appropriate statutory body (eg Ofsted). Change in status of a placement only denotes where there is a change of status for the placement but the child remains with the same carer and there is no change to the care plan, for example if a foster carer moves house, or a foster carer working for a local authority becomes managed by an independent fostering agency.
  3. National and regional 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.

CLA during the year by placement type, distance and locality - NATIONAL

Filename
national-children_looked_after_during_the_year_by_placement_type_and_locality_of_placement2.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Number of new placements for children looked after during the year by locality of placement and distance between home and placement. Data formerly in table B2.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
characteristiccharacteristic
CLA_groupType of placement
NumberNumber
PercentPercent
Footnotes
  1. 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.
  2. Placement locality denotes whether or not the placement is within the geographical boundary of the responsible LA.
  3. Distance is the distance in miles between the child's home and placement. In some cases this is not known, for example UASC, or not recorded for confidentiality reasons, such as some children placed for adoption.
  4. Placements denotes the total number of new placements starting during the year - if a child has for example, more than one foster placement then both will be counted. Living independently includes children in residential employment. Other includes placement in residential schools and other placements

CLA during the year who were looked after exclusively under a series of short term placements - LA

Filename
la_children_looked_after_exclusively_under_a_series_of_short_term_placement.csv
Geographic levels
Local Authority; National; Regional
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Local authority level data for children looked after at any time during the year ending 31 March who were only looked after exclusively under a series of short term placements.

For some local authorities, such as Kent or Croydon, the figures may be impacted by significant numbers of unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
numberNumber
Footnotes
  1. Children looked after exclusively under one or more agreed series of short term placements at any time during the years ending 31 March.
  2. National and regional 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.

CLA for 12 months, convictions and health outcomes - NATIONAL

Filename
national_conviction_health_outcomes_for_cla.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Children looked after at 31 March for at least 12 months, by OC2 indicators. These are:

  • Whether the child was convicted or subject to youth cautions, or youth conditional cautions during the year
  • Whether the child was identified as having a substance misuse problem, and if so, if they were offered an intervention and if they refused it
  • Whether the child had their annual health assessment
  • Whether the child had their immunisations up to date
  • Whether the child had their teeth checked by a dentist
  • If the child is under 5 years whether their development assessments are up to date
  • Information on Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) scores
     

Data formerly in tables I1 , I2, I3, I4, I5a and I5b.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
age_groupCharacteristic by age
genderGender
numberNumber
percentPercentage
Footnotes
  1. Figures include children who have been continuously looked after for at least 12 months as at 31 March and exclude children who were looked after under an agreed series of short term placements. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number. Age is as at 31 March.
  2. Offending totals include a small number of children for whom offending data is not known (less than 10 each year). Latest available comparable offending figures from the Ministry of Justice for all children are for 2017 where 1% of all children aged 10-17 years were convicted or subject to youth cautions, or youth conditional cautions during the year.
  3. Substance misuse is defined as 'intoxication by (or regular excessive consumption and/or dependence on) psychoactive substances, leading to social, psychological, physical or legal problems'. It includes problematic use of both legal and illegal drugs (including alcohol when used in conjunction with other substances). The term 'drug' is used to refer to any psychotropic substance, including illegal drugs, illicit use of prescription drugs and volatile substances. Young people's drug taking is often inextricably linked with the consumption of alcohol. Therefore the term 'substance' refers to both drugs and alcohol but not tobacco.
  4. Development assessment information is collected for children aged 4 or younger at 31 March who were looked after continuously for at least 12 months. This measures whether the child's health surveillance or health promotion checks were up to date.
  5. Immunisations were up to date by end of March. 'Up to date' means the child has had all immunisations that a child of their age should have received, according to the immunisations timetable produced by the Department of Health.
  6. 'Teeth checked by dentist' records whether the child has had their teeth checked by a dentist in the year ending 31 March
  7. 'Had annual health assessment' records whether the child received their annual health assessment from a doctor or other suitably qualified professional during the year. Both assessments must be carried out for under fives (once in every six months before the child's fifth birthday). For fives and over a single assessment fulfils the requirement.
  8. Average SDQ scores have been rounded to the nearest one decimal place. An SDQ score is required of all children aged 4-16 on the date of last assessment. Date of assessment is not collected so data in this table is restricted to children aged 5 to 16 years. A higher score indicates more emotional difficulties. 0-13 is considered normal, 14-16 is borderline cause for concern and 17-40 is cause for concern.

CLA for 12 months, convictions and health outcomes - LA

Filename
la_conviction_and_health_outcomes_cla.csv
Geographic levels
Local Authority; National; Regional
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Local authority level data for children looked after at 31 March for at least 12 months, by OC2 indicators. These are:

  • Whether the child was convicted or subject to youth cautions, or youth conditional cautions during the year
  • Whether the child was identified as having a substance misuse problem, and if so, if they were offered an intervention and if they refused it.
  • Whether the child had their annual health assessment
  • Whether the child had their immunisations up to date
  • Whether the child had their teeth checked by a dentist
  • If the child is under 5 years whether their development assessments are up to date
  • Information on Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) scores

For some local authorities, such as Kent or Croydon, the figures may be impacted by significant numbers of unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
numberNumber
outcomeOutcome
percentagePercentage
Footnotes
  1. Offending totals include a small number of children for whom offending data is not known (less than 10 each year). Latest available comparable offending figures from the Ministry of Justice for all children are for 2017 where 1% of all children aged 10-17 years were convicted or subject to youth cautions, or youth conditional cautions during the year.
  2. Substance misuse is defined as 'intoxication by (or regular excessive consumption and/or dependence on) psychoactive substances, leading to social, psychological, physical or legal problems'. It includes problematic use of both legal and illegal drugs (including alcohol when used in conjunction with other substances). The term 'drug' is used to refer to any psychotropic substance, including illegal drugs, illicit use of prescription drugs and volatile substances. Young people's drug taking is often inextricably linked with the consumption of alcohol. Therefore the term 'substance' refers to both drugs and alcohol but not tobacco.
  3. Development assessment information is collected for children aged 4 or younger at 31 March who were looked after continuously for at least 12 months. This measures whether the child's health surveillance or health promotion checks were up to date.
  4. Immunisations were up to date by end of March. 'Up to date' means the child has had all immunisations that a child of their age should have received, according to the immunisations timetable produced by the Department of Health.
  5. 'Teeth checked by dentist' records whether the child has had their teeth checked by a dentist in the year ending 31 March
  6. 'Had annual health assessment' records whether the child received their annual health assessment from a doctor or other suitably qualified professional during the year. Both assessments must be carried out for under fives (once in every six months before the child's fifth birthday). For fives and over a single assessment fulfils the requirement.
  7. Average SDQ scores have been rounded to the nearest one decimal place. An SDQ score is required of all children aged 4-16 on the date of last assessment. Date of assessment is not collected so data in this table is restricted to children aged 5 to 16 years. A higher score indicates more emotional difficulties. 0-13 is considered normal, 14-16 is borderline cause for concern and 17-40 is cause for concern.
  8. National and regional 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.
  9. Figures include children who have been continuously looked after for at least 12 months as at 31 March and exclude children who were looked after under an agreed series of short term placements. National and regional numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number. Age is as at 31 March.

CLA numbers and rates per 10,000 children aged under 18 years - LA

Filename
cla_number_and_rate_per_10k_children.csv
Geographic levels
Local Authority; National; Regional
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Local authority level data for:

  • Children looked after at 31 March
  • Children who started to be looked after during the year
  • Children who ceased to be looked after during the year
     

Data includes numbers of looked after children, population and rates per 10,000 children aged under 18 years. Data formerly in tables LAA1, LAC1, LAD1.

Note: Figures for children looked after during the year can be found in the LA dataset on children who have gone missing or who are away from placement without authorisation.

For some local authorities, such as Kent or Croydon, the figures may be impacted by significant numbers of unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
numberNumber of children looked after
population_countCLA population count
population_estimatePopulation estimate
rate_per_10000Rate per 10 000 children aged under 18 years
Footnotes
  1. Before using this data, please check the metadata guidance document (https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoptions/meta-guidance) for important information such as definitions, limitations and caveats.
  2. Rates per 10,000 children are calculated using the most recent mid-year population estimates from the Office for National Statistics.
  3. National and regional numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Rates 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.

CLA on 31 March by characteristics - LA

Filename
la_children_looked_after_at_31_march_by_characteristics.csv
Geographic levels
Local Authority; National; Regional
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Local authority level data for children looked after at 31 March by:

  • age group
  • category of need
  • distance between home and placement
  • distance between home and placement and locality of placement
  • ethnicity
  • gender
  • legal status
  • local authority of placement
  • locality of placement
  • placement type
  • placement provider
  • numbers of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

For some local authorities, such as Kent or Croydon, the figures may be impacted by significant numbers of unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
characteristicCharacteristic
numberNumber
percentagePercentage
Footnotes
  1. Placement locality denotes whether or not the placement is within the geographical boundary of the responsible LA.
  2. Category of need is the main category of the eight “need codes” at the time the child started to be looked after.
  3. '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).
  4. No new applications for freeing orders may be made on or after 30 December 2005, they were replaced by placement orders.
  5. National and regional 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.

CLA on 31 March by characteristics - NATIONAL

Filename
national_children_looked_after_at_31_march_by_characteristics.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Children looked after at 31 March each year, by gender, age group (on 31 March), primary need, ethnicity, legal status, motherhood status, placement type (on 31 March) and number of placements during the year (placement stability). Data formerly in table A1 and A2.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
characteristicCharacteristic
numberNumber
percentagePercentage
Footnotes
  1. 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.
  2. Category of need is the main category of the eight “need codes” at the time the child started to be looked after.
  3. '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).
  4. 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.
  5. FFA relates to Fostering for Adoption. Foster placements 'not FFA or concurrent planning' include children in long term foster placements.
  6. In 2021 there were 13 secure units in England, therefore most placements will inevitably be outside the council boundary.

CLA on 31 March by LA of placement net gain - LA

Filename
children_looked_after_at_31_march_la_of_placement_netgain.csv
Geographic levels
Local Authority; National; Regional
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Local authority level data for children looked after on 31 March by numbers the LA places outside their LA and numbers other LAs place within the LA.

For some local authorities, such as Kent or Croydon, the figures may be impacted by significant numbers of unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
characteristicCharacteristic
numberNumber
Footnotes
  1. National and regional numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Historical data may differ from older publications which is mainly due to amendments made by local authorities after the previous publication. See the methodology document for further information.
  2. Net gain is the difference between the number of children who are the responsibility of other LAs placed within this LA boundary and the number of children who are the responsibility of this LA placed outside the LA boundary.

CLA on 31 March by placement provider, placement type and locality - NATIONAL

Filename
national-children_looked_after_at_31_march_by_placement_provider_and_locality.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Children looked after at 31 March by placement type, placement location (inside or outside the council boundary) and placement provider. Data formerly in table A5.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
numberNumber
percentPercent
placement_providerPlacement provider
placement_typePlacement type
Footnotes
  1. Placement provider is not applicable for children placed with parents. Placement provider not reported includes children placed under other (unspecified) placements and some children placed for adoption (where information may be withheld to protect the whereabouts of the child)
  2. Placement locality denotes whether or not the placement is within the geographical boundary of the responsible LA.
  3. Placement provider is not applicable for children placed with parents. Placement provider not reported includes children placed under other (unspecified) placements and some children placed for adoption (where information may be withheld to protect the whereabouts of the child)

CLA on 31 March by placement type, distance and locality of placement - NATIONAL

Filename
children_looked_after_at_31march_by_placement_distance_and_locality_of_placement.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Children looked after at 31 March each year by distance between home and placement, by placement type and by locality of placement (placed 20 miles or less from home, or more than 20 miles from home). Data formerly in table A4.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
characteristicCharacteristic
CLA_groupType of placement
NumberNumber
PercentagePercentage
Footnotes
  1. 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.
  2. Placement locality denotes whether or not the placement is within the geographical boundary of the responsible LA.
  3. Living independently includes children in residential employment. Other includes placement in residential schools and other placements
  4. Distance is the distance in miles between the child's home and placement. In some cases this is not known, for example UASC, or not recorded for confidentiality reasons, such as some children placed for adoption.

CLA on 31 March who were unaccompanied asylum-seeking children - NATIONAL

Filename
national_children_looked_after_at_31_march_who_were_unaccompanied_asylum_seeking_children.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Children looked after at 31 March each year who were unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, by gender, age group (at 31 March), primary need and ethnicity. Data formerly in table A3.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
characteristicCharacteristic
numberNumber
percentagePercentage
Footnotes
  1. 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.
  2. Category of need is the main category of the eight “need codes” at the time the child started to be looked after.

CLA on 31 March with three or more placements during the year, or aged under 16 on 31 March who had been looked after continuously for at least 2.5 years and who were living in the same placement for at least 2 years - LA

Filename
la_cla_at_31_march_placement_stability_indicator.csv
Geographic levels
Local Authority; National; Regional
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Local authority level data on children looked after at 31 March with three of more placements during the year, or aged under 16 at 31 March who had been looked after continuously for at least 2.5 years and who were living in the same placement for at least 2 years.

For some local authorities, such as Kent or Croydon, the figures may be impacted by significant numbers of unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
characteristicCharacteristic
numberNumber
percentagePercentage
Footnotes
  1. Figures are based on children aged under 16 that were looked after on 31 March for a continuous period of at least 2.5 years; and include only children living in the same placement for at least two years or if they have been placed for adoption, their adoptive placement and their previous placement combined last for at least two years. Figures exclude children looked after under an agreed series of short-term placements. The exclude children who started a period of care under an agreed series of short-term placements which later became continuous and include children in fostering placements with relative(s) or friend(s) or other foster carers who is/are also an approved adopter(s) – fostering for adoption/concurrent planning (placement codes U2 and U5) as a placement change.
  2. A child is included as having been a. in care for at least 2.5 years if their period of care start date was on or before the 30 September of the relevant year and b. in their current placement for at least 2 years if their episode start date for the relevant placement was on or before the 31 March of the relevant year.
  3. National and regional 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.

CLA starting and ceasing during the year by month - NATIONAL

Filename
national_children_started_and_ceased_by_month.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2020 April to 2021 March
Content

National monthly data on the number of children starting and ceasing to be looked after during the year ending 31 March 2021, and comparative monthly three-year averages of 2018 to 2020.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
ceasing_comparative_three_year_averageNumber of children ceasing to be looked, three-year average year ending 31 March 2018 to 2020
ceasing_single_yearNumber of children ceasing to be looked after during the year ending 31 March 2021
starting_comparative_three_year_averageNumber of children starting to be looked, three-year average year ending 31 March 2018 to 2020
starting_single_yearNumber of children starting to be looked after during the year ending 31 March 2021
Footnotes
  1. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10 and exclude children looked after under a series of short-term placements.. Only the first instance of a child starting to be looked after has been counted.
  2. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10 and exclude children looked after under a series of short-term placements.. Only the first instance of a child ceasing to be looked after has been counted.

CLA starting during the year by characteristics - LA

Filename
la_children_who_started_to_be_looked_after_during_the_year.csv
Geographic levels
Local Authority; National; Regional
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Local authority level data for children who started to be looked after during the year by:

  • age group
  •  category of need
  •  gender
  •  legal status
  •  numbers taken into care

For some local authorities, such as Kent or Croydon, the figures may be impacted by significant numbers of unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
characteristicCharacteristic
numberNumber
percentagePercentage
Footnotes
  1. Only the first occasion on which a child started to be looked after has been counted.
  2. Category of need is the main category of the eight “need codes” at the time the child started to be looked after.
  3. National and regional 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.

CLA starting during the year by characteristics - NATIONAL

Filename
children_started_to_be_looked_after_during_year.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

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.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
characteristicCharacteristic
numberNumber
percentagePercentage
Footnotes
  1. 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.
  2. Only the first occasion on which a child started to be looked after has been counted.
  3. Category of need is the main category of the eight “need codes” at the time the child started to be looked after.
  4. '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).
  5. No new applications for freeing orders may be made on or after 30 December 2005, they were replaced by placement orders.
  6. FFA relates to Fostering for Adoption. Foster placements 'not FFA or concurrent planning' include children in long term foster placements.
  7. In 2021 there were 13 secure units in England, therefore most placements will inevitably be outside the council boundary.

CLA who were adopted - average time between the different stages of the adoption process - NATIONAL

Filename
national_children_adopted_average_time_between_different_stages_of_the_adoption_process.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Children looked after who were adopted during the year ending 31 March by average time between the different stages of the adoption process and age at start of period of care. Data formerly in table E2.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
age_start_pocAge at start of period of care
numberNumber (Durations are expressed in years and months)
stage_of_adoption_processStage of the adoption process
Footnotes
  1. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Average time rounded to the nearest month. See the methodology document for further information. Historical data may differ from older publications which is mainly due to amendments made by local authorities after the previous publication. Age is as at the start of period of care. 'Number of children' is those who were placed for adoption within 12 months (i.e. less than 365 days, inclusive of date placed for adoption) of the decision that they should be placed for adoption. This figure excludes children who were placed within 12 months of the decision that they should be placed for adoption, but whose placement for adoption broke down before being adopted.

CLA who were adopted - children for whom the local authority has made the decision that the child should be placed for adoption - NATIONAL

Filename
national_children_for_whom_local_authority_made_the_decision_that_they_should_be_placed_for_adoption.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Information on children for whom the local authority has made the decision that the child should be placed for adoption. Data formerly in E4.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
characteristicCharacteristic
numberNumber
percentagePercentage
Footnotes
  1. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Percentages rounded to the nearest whole number. See the methodology document for further information. Historical data may differ from older publications which is mainly due to amendments made by local authorities after the previous publication.
  2. Children for whom the LA has made the decision the child should be placed for adoption includes children who have been placed for adoption or adopted or who are waiting to be placed for adoption at 31 March each year, however the decision to adopt may have been made in an earlier years.
  3. Relates to adoption decisions. Small numbers of children may be adopted without a formal adoption decision or may have an initial decision reversed before a new decision and adoption placement, so this figure may not be equal to other adoption figures reported in this release.
  4. Children who have ceased to be looked after without being adopted - information is based on the year this outcome occurred, however the decision that the child should be placed for adoption may have been made in a previous year

CLA who were adopted - NATIONAL

Filename
national_children_looked_after_who_were_adopted_during_the_year.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Children looked after who were adopted in the year, by gender, age group at adoption, age at starting final period of care, primary need, ethnicity, duration of final period of care and final legal status. Data formerly in table E1.

Note: Age group at adoption and age at starting final period of care include an average age value; duration of final period of care includes an average duration. These values are in the 'Number' indicator but are in the format (years:month).

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
characteristicCharacteristic
numberNumber
percentPercentage
Footnotes
  1. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Percentages rounded to the nearest whole number. See the methodology document for further information. Historical data may differ from older publications which is mainly due to amendments made by local authorities after the previous publication.
  2. Category of need is the main category of the eight “need codes” at the time the child started to be looked after.
  3. No new applications for freeing orders may be made on or after 30 December 2005, they were replaced by placement orders.
  4. Period of care refers to a continuous period of being looked after, which may include more than one placement or legal status.

CLA who were adopted - number, gender and legal status of adopters - NATIONAL

Filename
number_and_legal_status_of_adopters.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Children looked after who were adopted during the years ending 31 March by number of adopters, legal status of adopters and by gender of adopters. Data formerly in table E3.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
measureCharacteristic level
numberNumber
percentagePercentage
Footnotes
  1. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Percentages rounded to the nearest whole number. See the methodology document for further information. Historical data may differ from older publications which is mainly due to amendments made by local authorities after the previous publication.
  2. The Royal Assent to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act in July 2013 allowed same sex marriages to be performed from summer 2014. Different sex civil partnerships were allowed from December 2019.

CLA who were adopted and who were the subject of a special guardianship order - LA

Filename
la_children_who_ceased_during_the_year_sgo_adoption.csv
Geographic levels
Local Authority; National; Regional
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Local authority level data for children ceasing to be looked after through an adoption or a special guardianship order. 

Adoption figures are split by:

  • adoption - application unopposed
  • adoption - consent dispensed with

Special guardianship order figures are split by:

  • made to former foster carer, relative or friend
  • made to  former foster carer, other than relative or friend
  • made to carer, other than former foster carer, relative or friend
  • made to carer, other than former foster carer, other than relative or friend

For some local authorities, such as Kent or Croydon, the figures may be impacted by significant numbers of unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
characteristicCharacteristic
numberNumber
percentagePercentage
Footnotes
  1. In 2019 the detail collected for the status of special guardianship order was changed. As such, figures for the status of special guardianship orders from 2019 onwards are not comparable to earlier figures.
  2. National and regional 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.

CLA who were the subject of a special guardianship order - NATIONAL

Filename
national_children_looked_after_who_were_the_subject_of_a_special_guardianship_order_during_the_year.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Children looked after who were the subject of a special guardianship order (SGO) in the year, by gender, age group at SGO, age at starting final period of care, primary need, ethnicity, duration of final period of care and final legal status. Data formerly in table E5.

Note: Age group at SGO and age at starting final period of care include an average age value; duration of final period of care includes an average duration. These values are in the 'Number' indicator but are in the format (years:month).

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
characteristicCharacteristic
numberNumber
percentPercentage
Footnotes
  1. 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.
  2. Category of need is the main category of the eight “need codes” at the time the child started to be looked after.
  3. No new applications for freeing orders may be made on or after 30 December 2005, they were replaced by placement orders.
  4. Period of care refers to a continuous period of being looked after, which may include more than one placement or legal status.
  5. In 2019 the detail collected for the status of special guardianship order was changed. As such, figures for the status of special guardianship orders from 2019 onwards are not comparable to earlier figures.

Duration of placements by type ceasing during the year - NATIONAL

Filename
national_duration_of_placement_ceasing_during_the_year.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Duration of placement ceasing during the year, by placement type. Data formerly in table B3.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
numberNumber
percentagePercentage
placement_durationDuration of placements
placement_groupPlacement type
Footnotes
  1. 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.
  2. A placement may cease but the child will continue to be looked after if a new placement begins immediately. This table gives counts of placements, not children. If a child has more than one placement in the year then each will be included.

Headline figures - NATIONAL

Filename
children_looked_after_2021_headline_figures.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Headline figures for the statistical release.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
cla_31_marchChildren looked after (CLA)
cla_adoptedCLA who were adopted
cla_ceasingCLA ceasing
cla_march_rateCLA per 10,000 children
cla_startingCLA starting
cla_uascCLA who were UASC

Official Statistics - CLA who were away from placement without authorisation - NATIONAL

Filename
national-statistics_official_statistics_children_looked_after_who_were_away_without_authorisation.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Note: These statistics are published as Official Statistics. Users should be cautious making comparisons between local authorities, or across years due to changing reporting practices - see the methodology document for further information.

Children looked after who were  away from their placement without authorisation. Figures by duration of  period away from their placement without authorisation, placement  and age of child at the start of the incident. Data formerly in table G1.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
characteristicChildren looked after who were away from placement - by missing status
numberMeasure
Footnotes
  1. 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.
  2. Since 2017 a growing number of local authorities informed the department that they do not record incidents as 'away without authorisation' but instead report all incidents as 'missing' to maintain consistency with local police reporting. We estimate this could mean an overestimate of missing incidents of up to 8% in 2018, 10% in 2019 and 13% in 2020 and 2021; suggesting the true figures could be more like 10,700, 10,800, 11,000 and 9,600. There is a corresponding estimate of an undercount of away without authorisation incidents of up to 18% in 2018, 22% in 2019, 29% in 2020 and 32% in 2021; suggesting the true figures could be more like 4,700, 4,700, 4,800 and 3,800. However some of these local authorities submitted some 'away without authorisation' information and this has been included in the away from placement without authorisation table.
  3. Figures for 2021 exclude data for Hackney who were unable to provide figures.

Official Statistics - CLA who were missing from placement - NATIONAL

Filename
national-statistics_official_statistics_children_looked_after_who_were_missing.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Note: These statistics are published as Official Statistics. Users should be cautious making comparisons between local authorities, or across years due to changing reporting practices - see the methodology document for further information.

Children looked after who were missing. Figures by duration of missing periods, placement from which the child went missing and age of child at start of missing incident. Data formerly in table G1.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
characteristicChildren looked after who were missing from placement - by missing status
numberMeasure
Footnotes
  1. 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.
  2. Since 2017 a growing number of local authorities informed the department that they do not record incidents as 'away without authorisation' but instead report all incidents as 'missing' to maintain consistency with local police reporting. We estimate this could mean an overestimate of missing incidents of up to 8% in 2018, 10% in 2019 and 13% in 2020 and 2021; suggesting the true figures could be more like 10,700, 10,800, 11,000 and 9,600. There is a corresponding estimate of an undercount of away without authorisation incidents of up to 18% in 2018, 22% in 2019, 29% in 2020 and 32% in 2021; suggesting the true figures could be more like 4,700, 4,700, 4,800 and 3,800. However some of these local authorities submitted some 'away without authorisation' information and this has been included in the away from placement without authorisation table.
  3. Figures for 2021 exclude data for Hackney who were unable to provide figures.

Official Statistics - CLA who were missing or away from placement without authorisation - LA

Filename
la_children_who_were_missing_or_away_from_placement_during_the_year.csv
Geographic levels
Local Authority; National; Regional
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Note: These statistics are published as Official Statistics. Users should be cautious making comparisons between local authorities, or across years due to changing reporting practices - see the methodology document for further information.

Children looked after who were missing or away from placement without authorisation. Data formerly in table LAG1.

For some local authorities, such as Kent or Croydon, the figures may be impacted by significant numbers of unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
cla_groupChildren who are missing or away without authorisation
numberNumber
Footnotes
  1. Since 2017 a growing number of local authorities informed the department that they do not record incidents as 'away without authorisation' but instead report all incidents as 'missing' to maintain consistency with local police reporting. We estimate this could mean an overestimate of missing incidents of up to 8% in 2018, 10% in 2019 and 13% in 2020 and 2021; suggesting the true figures could be more like 10,700, 10,800, 11,000 and 9,600. There is a corresponding estimate of an undercount of away without authorisation incidents of up to 18% in 2018, 22% in 2019, 29% in 2020 and 32% in 2021; suggesting the true figures could be more like 4,700, 4,700, 4,800 and 3,800. However some of these local authorities submitted some 'away without authorisation' information and this has been included in the away from placement without authorisation table.
  2. National and regional numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. Historical data may differ from older publications which is mainly due to amendments made by local authorities after the previous publication. See the methodology document for further information.
  3. Figures for 2021 exclude data for Hackney who were unable to provide figures.

Reason for placement change during the year of CLA by characteristics - NATIONAL

Filename
national_reason_for_placement_change_during_the_year.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2018 to 2021
Content

Reason for placement change for children who moved placements in the year. Includes breakdowns by gender, age, placement type, duration of placement and category of need. Data formerly in table B4.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
characteristicCharacteristics
numberNumber
percentagePercentage
reason_for_changeReason for change
Footnotes
  1. 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.
  2. Category of need is the main category of the eight “need codes” at the time the child started to be looked after.
  3. Age at end of placement.
  4. When a child has more than one placement then each will be counted.
  5. Approval removed denotes where a setting is no longer approved/registered with the appropriate statutory body (eg Ofsted). Change in status of a placement only denotes where there is a change of status for the placement but the child remains with the same carer and there is no change to the care plan, for example if a foster carer moves house, or a foster carer working for a local authority becomes managed by an independent fostering agency.

Time series of CLA data - 1994 to 2021 - NATIONAL

Filename
children_looked_after_time_series_1994_2021.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
1994 to 2021
Content

National time series - 1994 to 2021. Covering: 

  • Children looked after at 31 March 
  • Children who started to be looked after in the year 
  • Children who ceased to be looked after in the year 
  • Children looked after who were adopted 
  • Children looked after at 31 March who were unaccompanied asylum seeking children 

Data was formerly in table H1. 

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
numberNumber
population_countPopulation count - Select the population measure you require
Footnotes
  1. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10.See the methodology document for further information. Historical data may differ from older publications which is mainly due to amendments made by local authorities after the previous publication.
  2. Figures exclude children looked after under a series of short-term placements. Figures for 1998 to 2003 are based on a one-third sample. See the methodology document for further information.
  3. Only the first occasion on which a child started to be looked after has been counted.
  4. Only the last occasion a child ceased to be looked after has been counted.