Statistics relating to children in care and care leavers are published by a number of organisations. The key publisher is the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPSNI).

Children in care at 31 March 2016

• 2890 looked after children in Northern Ireland - 53% were males and 47% were females;

• 77% were in foster care placements, 13.5% were placed 'at home with parents', 5.8% were in residential care, 2.9% were in 'other' placements and 1.3% were placed for adoption;

• 35% were aged 5 – 11 years old;

• The majority (29%) were looked after for one year but less than three years; 7% had been in care for 10 or more years.

(Source: Delegated Statutory Functions, Annual Corporate Parenting Report, Statistical Report 1 April 2015 – 31 March 2016)

Care leavers year ending 31 March 2016

565 young people aged 16 – 19 left care between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016

Care leavers aged 16 - 18 (313 care leavers) 

82% left care aged 18, 18% left care aged 16 or 17 years old;

• 15% had a disability – of these 48% had a learning disability, 35% were on the autistic spectrum and 15% had a mental health condition;

• 26% left care with no qualifications compared to 1% of general school leavers; 21% obtained 5 GCSEs (A*-C) or higher compared to 81% of school leavers as a whole;

• 20% had a statement of special educational need;

• 63% were in education or training, 10% were working and 27% were unemployed or ecomonically inactive.

Care leavers aged 19 (252 care leavers)

• 14% had a disability – of these 58% had a learning disability;

• 19% were parents with 25% of female care leavers aged 19 becoming mothers on or before their 19th birthday;

• 61% were in education, training or employment.

(Source: Northern Ireland Care Leavers 2015-16, DHSSPSNI, published 12 January 2017)

 

Visit our virtual library, Library in the Sky, to view all statistics relating to the children in care and care leavers.