The number of children in care has risen at its fastest rate in five years while the number of children being adopted continues to fall, official figures have revealed. Department for Education statistics released today show that for the year ending 31 March 2017 the number of looked after children rose by 3.2 per cent in the space of 12 months. The figures show there were 72,670 children in care in the 12 months to the end of March 2017, compared with 70,440 the year before and 69,480 in 2015. The 3.2 per cent increase is the largest in five years, since the figure jumped from 65,510 in 2011 to 67,070 in 2012, a rise of 4.1 per cent. In addition, the proportion of children in care has risen to the highest level on record. Currently, 62 out of every 10,000 children are in care. The figure had remained at 60 since 2013. The lowest figure in recent history was in 2008, when 54 out of every 10,000 children were in care. Read more.