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Children in Care: Greater London

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 28 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children were forcibly removed from their parents by social services in each London borough in each of the last five years. (145218)

It would not be possible for local authority social services departments forcibly to remove a child of any age into their care in circumstances where parents do not consent to this. While social services departments and the police have powers to obtain emergency orders so that they can act immediately to protect a child, the Children Act 1989 does not permit local authorities to remove children from the care of their parents without referring the matter to a Court.

The number of children who were taken into care during the years ending 31 March 2002 to 2006 is shown in the following table.

‘Children taken into care’ are children who started to be looked after under the following legal statuses: interim or full care orders, and police protection or emergency protection or child assessment orders. They exclude children freed for adoption or for whom a placement order was granted, they exclude children under voluntary accommodation and they also exclude children under youth justice legal statuses.

Looked after children taken into care during the years ending 31 March 2002 to 20061,2,3,4,5,6,7Number3200232003220042200522006England7,4008,1007,5007,7007,600London1,3101,7401,5401,5501,570Inner London660920860790810Camden8595856075City of London0000—Hackney2045706545Hammersmith and Fulham5070403545Haringey751201007090Islington5045554560Kensington and Chelsea3530453030Lambeth5045658065Lewisham4065858065Newham751408560100Southwark7060759085Tower Hamlets4540608575Wandsworth3070605035Westminster3595404045Outer London650820680770760Barking and Dagenham4580556040Barnet4580656055Bexley4015102525Brent4050655570Bromley3050553520Croydon2545305040Ealing4570557570Enfield4575406045Greenwich9575657085Harrow1020203015Havering520202035Hillingdon1520304055Hounslow4555605085Kingston Upon Thames105101510Merton4035153015Redbridge3530151520Richmond Upon Thames515101510Sutton1510103515Waltham Forest5070403050 1 Figures exclude children looked after under an agreed series of short term placements.2 Figures are taken from the SSDA903 return which in 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 covered all looked after children.3 Figures are taken from the SSDA903 one-third sample survey.4 Only the first occasion on which a child was taken into care in the year has been counted.5 "Children taken into care" are children who started to be looked after under the following legal statuses: interim or full care orders, and police protection or emergency protection or child assessment orders. They exclude children freed for adoption or for whom a placement order was granted, they exclude children under voluntary accommodation and they also exclude children under youth justice legal statuses.6 Historical figures may differ from older publications. This is mainly due to the implementation of amendments sent by some local authorities after the publication date of previous materials.7 To maintain the confidentiality of each individual child, data at national level are rounded to the nearest 100 if they exceed 1,000 or to the nearest 10 otherwise. At local authority level, data are rounded to the nearest 5 and at region level, to the nearest 10. Where the number was 5 or less (other than 0) this has been suppressed and replaced with a hyphen (-).