Local authorities in England have children in care from an average of 27 other council areas living within their regions, new figures from Ofsted show. Nineteen per cent, meanwhile, are home to ‘looked after’ children from more than 40 other areas.
The figures, published for the first time, set out the situation at the end of March last year. They include all types of care placement: fostering, adoption, children’s homes and supervised placements at home. The number of children from other local authority areas living in particular regions varied widely in the research. While there were children from five different authorities living in the Redcar & Cleveland region in the north, youngsters from 85 other regions lived in Kent care placements.
Five authorities – Gloucestershire, Lincolnshire, the Wirral, Devon, and the Isle of Wight – had the highest numbers of looked after children living within their own area: more than 85 per cent in each case.
In April, an Ofsted report revealed that around 12 per cent of children living in care homes are placed more than 20 miles from their home areas.