Children brought up in care have far poorer life prospects
The number of children and young people in the care of local authorities in England stood at 81,000 in 2007, an increase of 18 per cent in a decade.
A host of data from the Department for Children, Schools and Families starkly illustrate the poorer life prospects of children brought up in the care system.
Children taken into care are two and a half times more likely to become teenage parents and 66 times more likely to have their own children taken into care.
Less than 23 per cent of children in care achieved level 5 at Key Stage 3 in Sats exams at the age of 14 compared with 69 per cent of all children. Only 13 per cent of children in care attained five good GCSEs compared with 62 per cent of all children. And only 57 per cent of cared for children remained in full time education after the age of 16 compared to 72 per cent of all children.
Just one per cent of care leavers go to university compared with 37 per cent of young people living with their birth parents. Around 10 per cent of children aged 10 and over who have been in care have been cautioned or convicted of an offence, three times the rate for all children of the same age.
Between a quarter and a third of people sleeping rough had been in care.
And at least one in seven young women leaving the care system is pregnant or already a mother.