I think everyone has had their spotlight on the spiralling costs of adult care whilst perhaps neglecting to realise the phenomenon described below

The care system in England is struggling to cope with rising demand from teenagers, the children’s commissioner has said.

New research produced by the commissioner’s office found the number of children in care aged 13 or over rose by 21% between 2013 and 2018, while the number aged five or under fell by 15%.

The study showed there were 25% more over-16s entering care during 2017/18 than 2013/14, a bigger increase than for any other age group. As a result, nearly a quarter of children in care (23%) are now over 16. A further two-fifths (39%) are aged 10 to 15.

Anne Longfield, who was appointed children’s commissioner for England in 2015, warned that services were struggling to cope with the growth of teenagers in the care system because they were more likely to have vulnerabilities that required specialist support.

Compared with under-13s, teenagers in care are significantly more likely to be vulnerable to sexual exploitation, running away from home, gangs, trafficking and drug misuse.

 “There are an increasing number of teenage children in the care system and too many of them are ‘pinballing’ around the system, changing home and family, school and social worker,” she said.

“Often they have the most complex and expensive needs. In one local authority, 20% of the entire children’s services budget is being spent on just 10 children. This is completely unsustainable.”

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