Statistics published by the Department for Education in September 2011 show that there are over 65,000 children in care, an increase of 5,000 in the last decade, while the number of adoptions has declined.
The report goes on to describe how children in the care of local authorities are one of the most vulnerable groups in society. The proportion of care leavers not in education, employment or training increased to 33 per cent in 2011. Furthermore, looked after children are more likely to suffer emotional or mental health problems, with estimates between 45 to 60 per cent compared to 10 per cent of children on average.
As part of a renewed focus on looked after children, the government is supporting local partnerships to develop a range of intensive cost effective and evidence-based interventions for children in care or custody.
Let us hope that this renewed effort will also see increased support for those children with parents already in the Justice system. By investing in the rehabilitation of parents we will generate savings in the ongoing costs associated with children in care.