National statistics for fostering and adoption


This year in the UK, over 37,000 children and young people will enter the care system. 1 That’s 102 every day.

There are around 101,500 children in the UK who are looked after away from home. 2

Nearly 70,000 children live with almost 55,000 fostering households across the UK. 3

Wales has the highest rate of looked after children away from home in the UK at 114 per 10,000 under 18 population. Scotland is slightly lower at 104 per 10,000, while the rates in Northern Ireland and England are much lower at 77 per 10,000 and 67 per 10,000 respectively. 4

To filter our statistics please select from the categories below:



  • Approximately 44% of looked after children live with foster families (n=4,744). 22
  • 41% of looked after children live with kinship carers (n=4,456). 23
  • There are approximately 3,800 foster families in Scotland. 24


  • 70% of looked after children live with foster families (n=4,989). 34
  • There are approximately 3,700 foster families in Wales. 35


  • 79% of looked after children live with foster families, the same as last year (n=2664). 45
  • There are approximately 2,500 foster families in Northern Ireland. 46
  • 40% of children in foster care are in a kinship placement (n=1,346). 47


  • 72% of looked after children live with foster families (n=57,380). 9
    • In 2020, there were 44,500 fostering households. 10

    Connect locally

    I would like to find out what is
    going on in my area

    Connect Locally

    Keep up-to-date

    I would like to stay up-to-date with Home for Good's news and how
    I can give, pray and get involved to help vulnerable children.

    Home for Good will never pass on your details to third parties for marketing purposes and you can unsubscribe from our communications at anytime by emailing [email protected].

    reCAPTCHA helps prevent automated form spam.