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Comment: DfE children looked after statistics

Jenny Coles, ADCS President said:

“These figures show the continued support that local authorities provide to children and young people in their local areas to safeguard and protect them. ADCS research shows that the number of children in care has increased significantly over the past decade, while local authorities have faced a 50% reduction in budgets since 2010. Yet despite the barriers, we continue to work intensively with children and families to enable them to stay together safely. Only through long-term national investment in early help can we ensure that children are not taken into care when they could have stayed with their family and had their needs been met earlier.

These figures are largely unaffected by the Covid 19 pandemic. While the true impact of national and local lockdowns on vulnerable children and families is only starting to emerge, we anticipate that it will remain with us throughout next year and beyond, with families presenting greater complexity of need. It is essential that we have both the capacity and resources to meet these needs as quickly as possible. The government must provide the sector with a sustainable, equitable and long-term financial settlement that enables children to thrive, not just survive in the wake of the pandemic.”


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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