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Children in care

Children in care are far more likely to fail at school or end up in prison. The Labour government has devoted more money and attention to the care system, but a wave of children from drug and alcohol-abusing parents are providing new challenges

By Katharine Quarmby   November 2004

At any one time the state is parent to about 60,000 children in England. The vast majority enter care because of family problems, rather than because of their own behaviour. Children are taken away from their parents for their own protection. Sadly, once they are in care, the future for most of them is bleak.

Fewer than 10 per cent of children in care achieve five A-C GCSE grades, compared to half of all young people. In 2002, 59 per cent of care leavers finished school without any qualifications. Fewer than half were in education or employment at 19, compared…

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