Our data collection on local authority spend does not differentiate between spend on care homes and residential care.
Total local authority spend on residential care for children looked after from 2013-14 to 2015-16 is shown below. These figures are published as part of the Department’s Section 251 collection.
Local authority spend on residential care, £ million (gross rounded)
The section 251 return collects local authority spend on the following items specifically for looked after children: residential care, fostering services, adoption services, special guardianship support, short breaks (respite) for looked after disabled children, children placed with family and friends, education of looked after children, leaving care support services, asylum seeker services – children.
The Department publishes estimates of the weekly unit costs of residential care in the Local Authority Interactive Tool (LAIT), which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-authority-interactive-tool-lait.
To access the relevant information, select ‘All LAs level’, then Topic ‘Children’s Service Finance’ then Indicator ‘Residential Care’. The 2015-16 figures are provisional estimates based on a proxy (2014-15 care days). The unit costs will be recalculated once 2015-16 care day figures are available.