The number of children who are looked after has continually grown since 2003 with inconsistencies across authorities even ones next to each other. We have highlighted this as one of the three key priority areas of work. This is one of the three key areas of improvement identified for Social Care Wales to take forward this year.

Figures for 2013-14 show that:
  • over the last decade the number of children who are looked after in Wales has increased by 37%
  • numbers went from 4,194 in 2002-03 to 5,756 as at 31 March 2014
  • Wales' rate is 91 per 10,000 population aged under 18
  • England's rate is 60 per 10,000 population aged under 18
  • England hasn’t seen their numbers rise in the same way as Wales.
We need to put greater focus on:
  • helping support families to stay together, when appropriate
  • improving early intervention and preventative action with families before problems become worse.

Evidence shows the working culture needs to change. We need a culture of repairing families rather than rescuing children. We also need to consistently improve outcomes for children in care.

Our role in regards to children who are looked after and their families is being developed.

We will look at sharing and interpreting evidence about strength based models of care.

We will consider other aspects of care such as improving access to mental health support.

We will add more information here as it develops.