Foster Care Statistics


The Fostering Network has a mandate to create a better future for everyone who is fostered.

They lobby for improved child welfare, education and training, and regulations regarding adoption and foster care. Statistics the Network provides show that over 65,000 children live with almost 55,000 foster families across the UK each day. This is nearly 80 per cent of the 83,000 children in care away from home on any one day in the UK.

During the course of 12 months up to 31 March 2020, about 30,000 children entered into care with similar numbers leaving the system. Those who leave do so for a variety of reasons. Some return to their own homes or go to live with a relative, some age out of the care system, some are subjected to a residence or special guardianship order, and some are adopted.

A Look at England’s Statistics

Statistical reports gathered and published by government departments and bodies for England provide statistics for the entire UK, breaking down the statistics into England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. On 31 March 2020, there were 57,380 children in England living with foster families compromising of 72% of the 80,080 children in care looked after away from home.

In the year leading up to 31 March 2020, there were a total of approximately 80,080 in care (this could be across fostering or residential settings). This is approximately 1% of all children in England under the age of 18 and an increase of 2% from the previous year. 59% of all foster care placements were made through local authorities with independent fostering agencies such as Capstone Foster Care making the remainder of the placements.

Currently there are about 44,500 foster families in England and an active need for over 7,000 more foster families.

Foster Care Analysis

Information from statistical reports from government entities for children in public care in England during the period ending 31 March 2020 provides insight into the support and resources available as well as the children’s needs for a safe family situation.

Looking at the 80,080 children in the care of local authorities on 31st March 2020, 56% were boys. The majority (39%) were between 10 and 15 years old, 24% were 16 or over and 18% were between 5 and 9 years old. Of the rest, 5% were under a year old and 13% were between 1 and 4 years old.

Ethnically, 74% were white, 10% were of mixed racial background, 8% were Black or Black British, 8% were from other ethnic groups.

72% of the children and young people were living with foster carers, 13% were living in secure units, children’s homes or hostels, and 7% were placed with their parents. 3% were placed for adoption and 3% living independently or in residential employment.

The brief statistical overview of part of the foster care system indicates that there is a national foster care crisis and a deep social need for people to consider foster care. If you are interested in fostering or have questions, contact Capstone Foster Care for further information on 0800 012 4004 or simply click here.

Thinking of fostering?

If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with Capstone, fill out the form below.
An experienced fostering advisor from your local area will then be in touch.

The information you provide will be used to respond to the enquiry you have submitted, for further information please refer to our privacy policy.

you may be also interested in


21st May, 2024

Our Foster Carers Favourite #fosteringmoments


15th May, 2024

Capstone Foster Care’s Favourite #FosteringMoments


30th April, 2024

Foster Carer, Chris, builds a legacy in fostering.

Find out more about fostering with Capstone.

Download our helpful guide to becoming a foster carer

Download Now

Ways to

Start the conversation today. Our team of friendly advisors are on hand to answer any foster care questions you may have. We can offer you honest and practical advice that can help you decide if becoming a foster carer is the right path for you. 

Request a
call back

Contact us by completing our online form and one of our fostering advisors will respond to your enquiry within 24 hours.

Call us

Contact us by phone and one of our friendly fostering experts will be on hand for any foster care advice and support you require.

Download a Brochure

Download our helpful guide to becoming a foster carer with Capstone Foster Care.