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Publication of the statistical bulletin ‘Children in Care in Northern Ireland 2011/12’

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety has today published the ‘Children in Care in Northern Ireland 2010/11 Statistical Bulletin’. 

This statistical bulletin presents information on children and young people looked after continuously for at least 12 months at 30 September 2012, gathered from Health & Social Care Trusts. It details findings from the OC2 collection of information on the educational achievements of these young people at Key Stage Assessments and GCSE/GNVQ. It also includes information on their age and gender, religion, disability, placement type, health assessments completed and offences and convictions.

Key Findings

  • At 30 September 2012, 1,878 children and young people had been looked after continuously for 12 months or longer, 40 more than in 2010/11 (1,838). Of these, 52% were boys and 48% were girls; 95% were white, and 14% were disabled, all similar proportions to that in 2010/11;
  • The majority of the children were in foster care placements at 30 September 2012 (74%). Just over one-fifth (22%) had experienced a placement change during the previous 12 months with children in kinship foster care seeing the greatest stability with only 9% experiencing a placement change;
  • Three quarters (74%) of children were of school age, 25% of whom had a statement of Special Educational Need (4% for the general school population), 1% had a permanent exclusion from school, 8% had been suspended from school, and 9% had missed at least 25 school days within the relevant school year;
  • The proportion of eligible looked after children attaining Key Stage 1 Level 2 or above in English was 71% and was 74% in Maths. During 2011/12, equivalent figures for the general school population were 94% and 95% for English and Maths respectively;
  • For Key Stage 2 assessments, 45% of eligible children attained Level 4 or above in both English and Maths during 2011/12. General school population figures for 2011/12 were 83% for English and 84% for Maths;
  • At Key Stage 3, one third of children eligible to be tested achieved Level 5 or above in English (34%) and 32% achieved this in Maths. The equivalent figures for the general school population were 79% and 77%;
  • In 2011/12, 58% of looked after children attained at least one GCSE/GNVQ at grades A* to G; this compared with 100% of the general school population;
  • Just below one in ten (9%) children aged 10 or over had been cautioned or convicted of an offence whilst in care during the year ending 30 September 2012. This figure was 7% for looked after children in England in 2011/12.

Notes to editors:

1. This publication is available on line at:  http://www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/stats_and_research_cib_children_in_care

2. About the data: The source of the data contained in this release is the Departmental OC2 statistical return, collected from Health and Social Services Trusts during the period 1 October 2012 to 31 January 2013.

3. This statistical bulletin was produced by Community Information Branch, DHSSPS.

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