Adoptions of looked after children rose by 26% in year to March 2014
There were 5,050 looked after children adopted during the year ending 31 March 2014, an increase of 26% from 2013 and an increase of 58% from 2010. These figures were revealed in a statistical release by the Department for Education. Although the number of looked after children adopted fell between 2010 and 2011, the number of these adoptions has since increased and is now at its highest point since the start of the current collection in 1992.
Since that period, in November 2014, the National Adoption Leadership Board felt compelled to publish a "mythbuster" guide about recent court judgments on adoption, in particularly the judgment in Re B-S  EWCA Civ 1146, because, it noted, between 1 September 2013 and 30 June 2014:
Local authority decisions that children should be adopted fell by 47%, from 1,830 to 960;
Applications for placement orders by local authorities have fallen by 34%, from 1,340 to 880;
Placement orders granted by the courts have decreased by 54%, from 1,650 to 750.
The release also shows that there were 68,840 looked after children at 31 March 2014, an increase of 1% compared to 31 March 2013 and an increase of 7% compared to 31 March 2010. The numbers have increased steadily over the past 5 years.
There were 30,430 children who started to be looked after during the year ending 31 March 2014, an increase of 5% from 2013 and an increase of 8% from 2010.
There were also 30,430 children who ceased to be looked after during the year ending 31 March 2014, an increase of 6% from 2013 and an increase of 20% from 2010.
Diane Wills is Consultant Social Worker at WillisPalmer, responsible for quality assuring the forensic risk assessment reports.
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