Sir Tony Hawkhead, chief executive of Action for Children said: “Today’s figures confirm what Action for Children has feared, that something is going very wrong for our most vulnerable children. Those who have experienced the most traumatic early lives, the children who were neglected, beaten up and left for dead or dragged into criminality, are being failed by the state.
“Whether they need a safe home, mental health care or just a person they can consistently rely on to feel loved and valued, these young people are falling between the gaps in our complicated and over-stretched care system.
“It’s clear to see that a huge amount of time, energy and money is being put into these children’s lives, but we need a big rethink because children are still being failed.
“From our own experience it is crucial that we really understand why a child has come into care in the first place and that we work with them as early as possible to give them love and the chance to heal. This is crucial in giving them back their childhoods and a brighter future.”