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Children In Care

Volume 164: debated on Friday 12 January 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information he has of the number of children in the care of local authorities in (a) England and Wales and (b) the Basildon area, for each of the last five years.

Information is collected centrally on children in the care of local authorities with social services responsibilities. This is published in "Children in the Care of Local Authorities" and is available in the Library. Information is not available centrally for the Basildon area, but data on children in the care of Essex local authority are available; the most recent data relate to 31 March 1987. These figures and data for each of the last five years are given in the table.

Children in care at 31 March in Essex and England and Wales
EssexEngland and Wales
19831,59486,552
19841,43878,889
19851,22473,302
19861,18970,919
19871,23469,249

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the average time for which a child is kept in the care of a local authority.

Information is available centrally about episodes of care, that is, the continuous length of time a child is in care without a change in legal status. The length of care episodes for children leaving care is shown by time bands in the publication "Children in the Care of Local Authorities", which is available in the Library. This information is also shown by the legal status of the child, the reason the episode ceased and the age of the child.