Children Looked After Statistics 2007-08


Scotland's Chief Statistician today published Children Looked After Statistics 2007-08. This publication presents new statistics obtained from the children looked after survey which was completed by all local authorities in Scotland. This year, for the first time, six local authorities completed an individual-level, rather than aggregate, return. This has not changed the format of the publication. In 2008-09 all data will be collected at an individual level and will enable more flexible analyses to be carried out in future.

The main findings are:

  • At March 31, 2008 there were 14,886 children looked after by local authorities, an increase of six per cent since 2007. The number of children looked after has increased every year since 2001, and is at its highest since 1983.
  • At March 31, 2008, forty three per cent of children looked after were placed at home with parents, and sixteen per cent were looked after by friends or relatives. Twenty nine per cent were looked after by foster carers. Eleven per cent were in residential accommodation.
  • There were 5,158 children who started to be looked after during 2007-08, a decrease of two per cent compared with 2006-07. The number ceasing to be looked after increased by nine per cent, to 4,513.
  • Fifty five per cent of young people ceasing to be looked after above school leaving age during 2007-08 had a pathway plan on the date they were discharged, and fifty seven per cent had a pathway coordinator.
  • There were 3,765 young people reported to be eligible for aftercare services on March 31, 2008. Forty two per cent of those with known economic activity were in education, training or employment, an increase of 4 percentage points on 2007.
  • At 31st March 2008 there were 1,891 children being looked after on a series of short term placements. Just over half of all these were looked after in residential establishments.