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Fostering Statistics

Commenting on the fostering statistics published today by Action for Children, Alison O’Sullivan, President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, said:

“Ensuring that we find stable placements that meet the needs of the children in our care is one of the highest priorities for all local authorities. Any level of instability is a cause for concern but it is important to see these figures in context. Over the past decade there has been a steady increase in the numbers of children in care, with overall increases of around 40%, and according to the key government measures placement stability remains strong. Given what we know about how children move in and out of care there is quite often the need to offer short-term placements to support good matching processes between families and children. The number of children experiencing four placements is of much greater concern but this represents only 1% of the total care population.

“Nevertheless, any placement instability is a matter of serious concern and children’s services departments all have intensive strategies to keep this to a minimum, recognising that the children concerned are often among the most distressed who may pose significant challenges to their carers. Each placement is different and each faces its own challenges because families are complex and foster families are no different. Research indicates that more placement choice leads to greater placement stability. So undoubtedly our greatest collective challenge is the constant recruitment of high quality foster carers who are able to meet the needs of children in care.”


The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) Ltd is the professional leadership association for Directors of Children’s Services and their senior management teams in England.

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