§ Ms. Mowlam
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will calculate the cost to the Exchequer of a child placed in the care of the state, from birth to the age of majority, at current prices.
§ Mr. Yeo
The information available represents the average weekly unit costs to local authorities for children of all ages for various placements. The latest average figures for English authorities, published in "Children in Care; England and Wales; year ending 31 March 1991", are £102 per week for a foster placement, £536 per week for a community home placement and £943 for a registered voluntary homes placement. These averages represent the gross "direct costs". The costs of field social work support are excluded as are the charges which local authorities may recover for children accommodated by them. Information is not currently available about the placement histories of children looked after since birth.