Number of children in care in England up 12 per cent

The number of children in care has risen by 12 per cent over four years, according to figures from the Audit Commission. This number includes 42,228 who had suffered neglect or abuse. The Commission found that councils in England spent £3.4billion in 2012-13 on children in care, who represent 0.6 per cent of all under-18s in England. Audit Commission chair Jenny Newman said there is “considerable variation between councils’ spending on looked after children in their care”, and called for higher spending councils to “consider whether they can secure more cost-effective placements without compromising on the quality of care”.