At 31 July 2016, there were 15,317 looked after children – a decrease of 83 (or less than one per cent) from 2015. This is the fourth consecutive year the numbers have decreased following a peak of 16,248 in 2012, although this year’s decline is small, numbers in care are stabilising.
There were 2,723 children on the child protection register in 2016, a small decrease from last year, and the first time since 2005 that there have been two consecutive years of decline.
There were an average of 85 residents in secure care accommodation throughout 2015-16, an increase of four per cent from 82 residents in the previous year and reversing the recent downward trend (Table 3.2). However, this increase was driven by an increase in placements from the rest of the UK – there was a five per cent decline in residents from Scotland.