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The Stability Index is an annual measure of the stability of the lives of children in care. It was first launched by the Children’s Commissioner in 2017 to shine a light on the issue of stability, provide data that allows stability to be monitored over time, and ultimately drive improvements in stability for children in care.

This report provides the national overview of the latest data analysis (relating to 2017/18) and findings. An accompanying technical report provides the full detail and methodology.

For this year’s report, we have continued to improve our data on social worker stability, which now covers nearly all local authorities in England. This year we are also publishing the underlying data for each local authority on our website.

We have also spoken to children in care (or who have been in care in the past) about their experiences of instability while in care, to understand what effect it had on their lives and what might have made it easier to deal with. The full findings of that work are available in a separate ‘Children’s Voices’ report.

Key statistics

1 in 10
children in care experienced two or more home moves during 2017/18
+ 21%
the increase of teenagers aged over 13 in care between 2012/13 and 2017/18
experienced at least one change of social worker in 2017/18
of children in care experience at least one home move over a three-year period