Childhood vulnerability in numbers

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Latest data on the overall levels of vulnerability and need among children and young people in England.

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  • Children ‘invisible’ to children’s services

    829,000
    Children 'invisible' to children's services
    1 statistic View data
  • Children and young people receiving statutory support

    723,000
    Children receiving statutory support
    1 statistic View data
  • Children with complex family needs

    2,259,000
    Children with complex family needs
    1 statistic View data

Children at higher risk because of who they live with or where they live


  • Children at risk of forced marriage

    Children given advice or support by the Forced Marriage Unit
    1 statistic View data
  • Children in ‘troubled families’

    397,749
    Children in families receiving money from troubled families programme
    1 statistic View data
  • Children in families with poor inter-parental relationships

    1,263,690
    Children in two parent families reporting relationship distress (2017)
    +7 Other statistics View data
  • Children in households that report domestic abuse

    831,000
    Children living in households that report domestic abuse (2017, Age: 0-17, Area: England)
    +5 Other statistics View data
  • Children in low-income families

    593,000
    Children in material deprivation and severe low income (2018)
    +7 Other statistics View data
  • Children in single parent families

    Children in single parent families
    +1 Other statistic View data
  • Children in workless families

    Children living in long-term workless households
    +5 Other statistics View data
  • Children living in deprived areas

    Children living in the top 10 % most deprived areas
    +4 Other statistics View data
  • Children living in food poverty

    1,959,431
    Children experiencing moderate or severe food insecurity (2017)
    +1 Other statistic View data
  • Children living with friends or wider family

    Children living with friends or wider family (2017)
    +1 Other statistic View data
  • Children not meeting the threshold of social worker intervention

    178,254
    Children assessed and found not to be in need (2018)
    +3 Other statistics View data
  • Children of prisoners

    113,000
    Children who have a parent in prison at the end of 30 June 2018
    +1 Other statistic View data
  • Children receiving free school meals

    Children eligible for free school meals
    +1 Other statistic View data
  • Children who are homeless or who are in insecure/unstable housing

    Children and expected children living in temporary accommodation
    1 statistic View data
  • Children whose parents are addicted to substances

    472,000
    Children living with an adult who has reported to be dependent on alcohol or drugs (2017)
    +7 Other statistics View data
  • Children with mental ill-health in the family

    900,000
    Children whose resident carers report symptoms of anxiety or depression (2017)
    +5 Other statistics View data

Children caring for others


  • Teenage parents

    6,105
    Babies born to mothers and fathers aged 17 and under (2017)
    +7 Other statistics View data
  • Young carers

    102,000
    Young unpaid carers (2017)
    +4 Other statistics View data

Children in high-risk situations outside of the home


  • Children excluded from school

    Children who are permanently excluded from school (2016, GOR areas)
    +11 Other statistics View data
  • Children in alternative education

    40,694
    Children in local authority alternative provision or pupil referral units (2019)
    +22 Other statistics View data
  • Children in prison

    26,681
    Youth cautions or court sentences given to children, year ending 31 March (2018, Gender: All, Area: England and Wales, Country areas)
    +117 Other statistics View data
  • Children involved in gangs

    29,000
    Children aged between 10 and 17 who are members of a street gang (2018)
    +10 Other statistics View data
  • Children missing from mainstream education

    49,187
    Children reported as missing education during the year
    +1 Other statistic View data
  • Children not in education, employment or training

    Young people not in education, employment or training - quarterly
    +8 Other statistics View data
  • Children who are bullied

    805,738
    Children who have been bullied in the last 12 months (aged 12 -17)
    +1 Other statistic View data
  • Missing children

    55,807
    Children reported missing during the year
    +29 Other statistics View data

Children known to have experienced specific personal harm


  • Children who are victims of crime (other than abuse)

    391,000
    Children who have been victims of crime
    +9 Other statistics View data
  • Children who have been emotionally abused

    Children experiencing emotional abuse from a parent or guardian
    +2 Other statistics View data
  • Children who have been neglected

    Children experiencing parental neglect
    +2 Other statistics View data
  • Children who have been physically abused

    Children who are victims of severe physical maltreatment (2016)
    +2 Other statistics View data
  • Children who have been severely mistreated by a parent or guardian

    Children who are victims of severe maltreatment by a parent or guardian (2016)
    +3 Other statistics View data
  • Children who have been sexually abused/exploited

    Children who were the subject of a child protection plan by initial category of sexual abuse (2017, GOR areas)
    +17 Other statistics View data
  • Children who have been trafficked

    Child in Need episodes with "trafficking" factor identified at the end of assessment
    +4 Other statistics View data
  • Children who have been victims of female genital mutilation

    Child in Need episodes with "female genital mutilation" factor identified at the end of assessment
    +1 Other statistic View data

Children receiving statutory care or support


  • Adopted children

    Children who are adopted from care (2017, GOR areas)
    +4 Other statistics View data
  • Children detained due to mental health

    Mental health detention episodes for children (2017)
    +1 Other statistic View data
  • Children in care

    Children in care at the end of the year (2017, GOR areas)
    +22 Other statistics View data
  • Children in care living in other placements in the community

    3,100
    Children in care living in other placements in the community (2018)
    +1 Other statistic View data
  • Children in care living in other residential settings

    1,360
    Children in care living in other residential settings or residential schools (2018)
    +1 Other statistic View data
  • Children in care living with their parents

    4,700
    Children in care who live with their parents (2018)
    +1 Other statistic View data
  • Children in foster care

    55,200
    Children in care living in foster placements (2018)
    +1 Other statistic View data
  • Children in immigration detention

    Children being held in immigration detention centres
    +3 Other statistics View data
  • Children in need

    404,710
    Children in need
    +49 Other statistics View data
  • Children in secure institutions, children’s homes and semi-independent living

    8,530
    Children in care living in secure insitutions, children's homes and semi-independent living (2018)
    +1 Other statistic View data
  • Children in secure welfare detention

    Children in secure children's homes (Gender: All)
    +5 Other statistics View data
  • Children living in secure welfare accomodation

    87
    Children living in secure children's homes due to welfare grounds (2018)
    +1 Other statistic View data
  • Children on special guardianship orders

    25,438
    Children who are currently subject to a special guardianship order (2018)
    +5 Other statistics View data
  • Children placed for adoption

    2,230
    Children in care who have been placed for adoption (2018)
    +1 Other statistic View data
  • Children who are subject to a child protection plan

    Children who were the the subject of a child protection plan at the end of the year
    +9 Other statistics View data
  • Children with special education need statements or Education Health and Care plans

    Children with statements or Education, Health and Care Plans
    +5 Other statistics View data
  • Former relevant or qualifying children

    Children in care for over 13 weeks between 14 and 16 years old (Gender: All)
    +5 Other statistics View data
  • Young offenders

    891
    Number of children in the secure estate (Gender: All, Area: England)
    +6 Other statistics View data

Children who are vulnerable because of their identity or nationality


  • Children believed to be radicalised

    110
    Children who received Channel Support (2018)
    +14 Other statistics View data
  • Children in families seeking asylum

    5,655
    Children in families seeking asylum aged 0-17 (2017)
    +4 Other statistics View data
  • Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children

    23,733
    Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children (2017)
    +2 Other statistics View data
  • LGBTQ+ children

    298,000
    Children who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual (2017)
    +5 Other statistics View data
  • Refugee children

    Children who were granted humanitarian protection on initial decision who applied as main applicants or dependants (UK)
    +1 Other statistic View data
  • Unaccompanied asylum seeking children

    Unaccompanied asylum seeking children in care (2017, GOR areas)
    +7 Other statistics View data
  • Undocumented children

    120,000
    Children who are irregular migrants
    1 statistic View data

Children with a disability, ill-health or developmental difficulties


  • Children receiving mental health treatment

    Children in contact with mental health services
    +2 Other statistics View data
  • Children receiving special educational needs support without statements or Education, Health and Care plans

    931,715
    Children with special educational needs without statements or Education, Health and Care Plans
    +5 Other statistics View data
  • Children with a limiting longstanding illness

    Children with a limiting longstanding illness (Gender: Male)
    +8 Other statistics View data
  • Children with a longstanding illness

    Children with a longstanding illness (Gender: Male)
    +8 Other statistics View data
  • Children with autism spectrum disorder

    27,737
    Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (2017)
    +1 Other statistic View data
  • Children with learning disabilities

    299,623
    Children with learning disabilities (2017)
    +1 Other statistic View data
  • Children with life-limiting illnesses

    37,974
    Children with a life-limiting illness (2017)
    +1 Other statistic View data
  • Children with self-reported emotional and mental health issues

    1,032,898
    Children with self-reported emotional and mental health issues (2017)
    +4 Other statistics View data
  • Children with speech or communication difficulties

    Number of pupils with speech, language and communication issues as their primary special educational need
    +1 Other statistic View data