Number of children in care in Bolton soars to record level
THE numbers of children in care in Bolton has hit a record high.
The borough has among the largest number of children being looked after in the 10 Greater Manchester authorities — but it does have among the best adoption rates in the country.
Statistics show there were 540 youngsters were being looked after in the borough, an increase of 25 on the previous year, when there had been a fall in the numbers of children in care for the first time in recent years.
The number is the joint highest in Greater Manchester, with the city having the largest numbers of children — 1,300 — in care, and Salford and Bolton having 540.
Figures published by the Department for Education show that there were 435 children in care in 2009, and this increased year-on-year until 2012, when numbers fell until when they rose again this year.
The rise has been put down to fewer children being discharged from care.
A Bolton Council spokesman said: “The number of children being admitted to care has remained fairly consistent over the past few years and the average is between 170 and 176 children each year.
“The number of children being discharged from care, however, has been less than those admitted, which has resulted in an overall increase in the number of children in care.
“High profile cases can result in more cases being reported, but social workers and other professionals in Bolton are always vigilant and try to work effectively together to ensure that children are safeguarded and that they can, wherever possible, live with their family.”
Bolton has among the highest adoption rates in the country, with 28 per cent of children — the same as last year — placed with new permanent families last year, which is double the national average of just 14 per cent and higher than the North West average of 16 per cent.
This means there were 45 children adopted this year, which was a slight drop on the 50 children in 2012.
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