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Children in Care

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much was spent on children in care in (a) secure units, homes and hostels, (b) other residential settings and (c) residential schools in each year since 1997. (258649)

The total amount spent on children looked after in England who are placed in (i) children’s homes, (ii) secure accommodation (welfare), (iii) fostering services, (iv) other children’s services as well as the amount spent in all of these categories for all children looked after is shown in table 1 as follows. Data prior to 2000-01 were not collected on the same basis and is therefore not comparable. The expenditure by residential schools is not separately identifiable from existing data sources.

Table 1: Net current expenditure on children looked after, 2000-01 to 2007-081, 2, 3, England£000 Children looked after 2000-012001-022002-032003-042004-052005-062006-072007-08Children’s homes4691,245713,332785,152850,271917,694942,176926,969901,356Secure accommodation (welfare)516,19116,80914,44720,72429,03929,43324,02624,746Fostering services6549,077619,765695,219800,684880,681962,7021,047,4761,110,116Other children looked after services751,90772,18767,43785,46198,545114,058120,974144,816Total children looked after1,308,4211,422,092 1,562,2551,757,1401,925,9582,048,3692,119,4462,181,033 1 Source: Personal Social Services Expenditure (PSSEX1 return) and Unit Costs: England 2007-08 publication available at The PSSEX1 return was first collected in 2000-01 by the Department for Health. Since 2004-05 the return has been the responsibility of the Information Centre for health and social care. 3 Includes the costs of looking after children for continuous periods of more than 24 hours. 4 Children’s homes includes residential care in Voluntary Children’s and Registered Children’s Homes as defined in Children Act 1989. It includes: community homes, associated independent visitor costs and relevant contact payments under sections 20/34 of the Children Act 1989, homes where education is provided, but does not attract education department funds, and boarding schools. Includes the social services share of the costs of community homes with education provision and the social services element of accommodating children with special education needs in schools where the education element is met by the education department. Note: the funding of the children’s education is recorded in the Education SEA. Excludes mother and baby homes (these are included in ‘other children looked after services’ category) and secure units attached to community homes (these are included in the ‘secure accommodation (Welfare)’ category). Also excludes respite care for those children not meeting the definition of children looked after. 5 Includes the costs of providing or purchasing secure accommodation for children who pose a risk to themselves, to others or have a secure accommodation requirement for welfare, rather than youth justice reasons, under the Children Act 1989. 6 Includes all fees and allowances paid to foster parents and the costs of social worker and other support staff who support foster carers. Including: mainstay placements, link placements, permanence placements, temporary/respite fostering, placements with relatives/friends, other than a parent, under foster care arrangements (see other children looked after services as follows), placed pending adoption under S13 (1) Adoption Act 1976, associated independent visitor costs and relevant contact payments under sections 20/34 of the Children Act 1989. Excludes remand fostering and social work costs related directly to the fostered children. 7 Includes support to looked after young people: in NHS/other establishments providing nursing/medical care, residential, respite and emergency nights in residential beds at family centres, in lodgings or hostels, in mother and baby homes, living independently in flats, bed and breakfast establishments or with friends, in residential employment, placed with their parent or person with parental responsibility, independent visitor costs and relevant contact payments under sections 20/34 of the Children Act 1989 not included under children’s homes or fostering services aforementioned.