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Foster Carers Written Answer, 05/09/11 [S]

Written Answer given in response to Jamie Hepburn's (SNP) question asking the Scottish Executive how many registered foster carers it estimates are required to match assessed care needs;how many children have been fostered outwith their local authority area in each of the last five years;how many fostered children have been returned to their parents in each of the last five years; and what percentage of fostered children has remained in the care system until 16 years of age in each of the last five years.

The Minister for Children and Young People, Angela Constance, replied that it is for local authorities to assess the care needs in each of their areas and recruit and register foster carers to match the need.

The Scottish Government is supporting local authorities by working with, and funding activities through The fostering network which support the recruitment and retention of foster carers.

The Scottish Government does not centrally collect information on the number of children who are fostered outwith their local authority area. This information would only be available by contacting individual local authorities.

Information on the number of looked after children whose last accommodation type immediately prior to leaving care was “in foster care” and whose initial destination on leaving care was “home with (biological) parents” is only available since 2008-09.

During 2008-09, there were 491 looked after children who last accommodation type immediately prior to ceasing being looked after was “in foster care” and their initial destination on leaving care was “home with (biological) parents”. The equivalent figure for 2009-10 was 388 looked after children.

Please note that these figures may include some multiple counting if a child ceased being looked after more than once during the respective reporting period, and their final accommodation type and initial destination on leaving care met the specified criteria.

Of all looked after children who were “in foster care” at the end of each reporting year, the percentage that were aged 16 years or older for each of the last five years was:
31 March 2006: 9.7%
31 March 2007: 9.4%
31 March 2008: 9.2%
31 March 2009: 8.3%
31 July 2010: 8.2%

Please note that figures for 2006, 2009 and 2010 include a very small number of young people aged over 21 years who were still being looked after, whereas figures for 2007 and 2008 only included young people being looked after up to and including the age of 21 year olds.

For the full answer to this and other questions see the Scottish Parliament Written Answer Report 5 September 2011 which is available from the Scottish Parliament website.

Further Information

Scottish Parliament Written Answer Report 5 September 2011