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Has the level of children in care increased for Manchester City Council for the last 5 years? How does this compare to National Trends?

At 31 March 2019, there were 1,290 children and young persons supported by Manchester City Council. This total has increased to 1,332 at 31 March 2023 across a 5-year period and showing a 3.2% percentage change. This is lower than the National average for England at 7.2%. The data sources being from DFE.

 

The highest percentage of care being provided is from fostering at 64% of the total at 31 March 2023, this is 6% lower than 2019, showing a fall in placements through foster carers directly. The National statistics show a shortage of over 7,000 fostering households, so it not a surprise of the challenge locally for Manchester.

 

For the wider population shown by the Census at 2021 (National Statistics) shows an increase to 552,000 people, up from 503,000 in 2011. This is a 9.7% increase, so this does put the above increases and movements into context. It could have been a higher increase in percentage terms for children in care.

 

The difficulty remains on property sizes and households to have a spare room overall. This is a local issue in Manchester and shared Nationally also.

 

Positive care leaver achievements

There are local positives in care leaver outcomes for young persons in education, employment and training. The total for age 17 to 18, is at 67% for 2023 compared to 59% for 2019. The improvement level is consistent for young persons aged 19 and 21 with the total up to 58% from 47%.

foster family pic
Children missing levels are higher

Safeguarding areas are a key priority for all children and young persons. For the number of missing incidents reported by Manchester, this has increased to 2,010 in the year to 31 March 2023, up from 983 in the year to 31 March 2019. This is showing a very high level, representing the local challenge and partly reflected in improved reporting.

 

It is important that foster carers focus on relevant safeguarding training, how to report missing children and contacting out of hours.

 

Unaccompanied asylum seeking children being supported in Manchester

The local authority and community are making a real difference here. From 2019 to 2023, the total UASC young persons are up by 104%, this is from 84 young persons at 31 March 2019 to 172 at 31 March 2023. Young persons are from different countries including, not limited to, Syria, Albania, Eretria, Iran and Sudan. Their journey and life experiences will have been impacted by war, trauma, being away from their families and other personal difficulties.

 

Through being a foster carer locally in Manchester, you can help make a difference and show the love and support for a child and young person.