Publication of the statistical bulletin “Children in Care in Northern Ireland 2018-19"

Date published: 07 October 2020

The Department of Health has today published the “Children in Care in Northern Ireland 2018-19 Statistical Bulletin”.

This bulletin presents information on children and young people who had been looked after continuously for at least 12 months at 30 September 2019.

Key Findings

  • At 30 September 2019, 2,638 children and young people had been in care continuously for 12 months or longer in Northern Ireland;
  • Foster care was the most common placement for children in care, with 81% placed with foster carers.
  • Of the school aged children and young people included in this report, 49% attended Primary School the previous school year, 38% were at Non-Grammar School, 4% attended a Grammar School and 8% attended Special School.
  • Having a statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) continues to be more prevalent among the children in care of school age (24%) compared with the general school population (5.5%);


Notes to editors: 

  1. This publication is available on the Department's website
  2. About the data:

    The source of the data contained in this release is the Department of Health OC2 statistical return, collected from Health and Social Care Trusts as well as the Department of Education’s School Census.

    The content of the 2018-19 publication is reduced from previous years due to data collection issues, including industrial action and COVID-19 restrictions.

    This statistical bulletin was produced by Community Information Branch, DoH.
  3. Further information is available from:

    Community Information Branch
    Department of Health
    Room 11, Annexe 2,
    Castle Buildings
    Stormont Belfast BT4 3SQ

    Telephone: (028) 9052 2580

    Fax: (028) 90 523288


  4. For media enquiries please contact DoH Press Office by email:
  5. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt.
  6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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