Number of children in care up a quarter in Wales
12:20pm Tuesday 22nd October 2013 in Gwent news
ALMOST 6,000 children in Wales are currently in care, an increase of almost a quarter over the last five years, according to Welsh Government statistics for 2012/13.
As of March 31 this year, 5,743 children were classified as "looked after" in Wales, an increase of 0.3 per cent from last year and a 24 per cent increase over the previous five years.
The majority (4,440) were in foster care placements and 10 per cent of children had three or more placements during the year.
The most common reason for children to enter care in 2012, accounting for 60 per cent of cases, was neglect or abuse, and while overall educational attainment improved over the previous year, only 9 per cent of care leavers aged 16 or over obtained five or more GCSEs at grade A* to C.
Monmouthshire had the joint lowest number of looked-after children in Wales, at 75, compared to a high of 588 in Swansea.
Now, a new study commissioned by the Big Lottery Fund aims to develop new ways of "positively transforming" the life chances of children and young people in care in Wales over the next decade.
Working with experts from Cardiff and Swansea universities, the Children in Wales charity has been announced as the lead partner by the Big Lottery Fund to deliver the study.
From the study, the Big Lottery Fund is asking researchers to develop two options for a potential pilot project worth up to £5 million over 10 years which could dramatically improve the outcomes and associated life chances of children in care in Wales.
The study, to be submitted to the Big Lottery Fund at the end of the year, will gather evidence from across the UK and overseas to understand need and identify effective interventions and support.
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