Figures recently published in the Prison Reform Trust's Bromley Briefings Prison Factfile report, show 71% of children in custody have either been involved with social services, or in care, before entering custody, while 75% of children in custody have lived with someone other than a parent at some time in their life.
Every child in care is capable of success in learning and in life, yet in 2008 just 14% of these children achieved 5 A* - C grade GCSEs, the level which is increasingly seen as the basic threshold for employability.
A number of agencies were involved in helping the two girls, but did not work together to build a comprehensive picture of them. One girl was looked after by Derby city council from April 2009 and the other from October 2008. But as their behaviour spiralled out of control, staff did not realise there were signs of abuse and dealt with them as "rebellious adolescents".
Looked-after young people are at greater risk of teenage pregnancy and are 2.5 times more likely to become pregnant than other teenagers.