In Southampton, nearly 4 times more children came into care services than foster families over the last 4 years.
According to most recent data, the number of children in care grew constantly.
Over the last 4 years, 195 more children needed to be looked after in Southampton. The numbers of new families joining and staying in the services fell behind.
Currently, Southampton City Council works with 274 approved households who can take in and foster children. Some of them will offer support for respite, some long term or short term. There are families who will accommodate all three options.
One in four children in private care
As highlighted by Daniel Tong, Senior Communications Officer for Southampton City Council, private companies offer support to about a quarter of the children in need for care. Daniel says:
“This is low when compared to other local authorities with a similar size population”
Over the last 4 years, 106 new foster families joined the services with the local authority in Southampton.
Bigger rise than Portsmouth
Alongside Hampshire, Southampton is the local authority in the South East with the highest rise in the number of children looked after. In Portsmouth, where many jobs were lost with the shipyard closure 2 years ago, the increase has been far less: only 5 more children than in 2011.
Oher authorities in the region, such as Reading and East Sussex, have less children in need. In West Sussex, 105 less children needed foster families or adoption in 2015 compared with 2011.
South East England comes third
The South East of England falls on the third place, according to most recent data, with the increase in numbers of children looked after. Almost a quarter of this number came from Southampton.
West Midlands region counted the biggest increase in looked after children in care over the same period of time. Out of all local authorities included here, with a similar population, Wolverhampton had almost 100 more children coming into the services than Southampton.