asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many young offenders are currently being fostered in private families; and how many children who would otherwise have been placed in care were fostered in 1977 and 1978.
We estimate that on 31 March 1977 about 500 young offenders in the care of local authorities in England were boarded out in foster homes. This estimate is based on information which was not available when I replied to my hon. Friend's Question on 1 December 1978.—[Vol. 959, c. 413–4.] We have also provisionally estimated that on 31 March 1977 6,100 privately fostered children were being supervised by local authorities in England under the child protection provisions of the Children Act 1958. Figures are not yet available for 1978.