Publication - Research and analysis

Coronavirus (COVID-19): children, young people and families - evidence and intelligence report

Overview of the latest evidence and intelligence about the impact of COVID-19 and the response on children, young people and families, in particular, those experiencing the greatest challenges.

37 page PDF

693.1 kB

37 page PDF

693.1 kB

Contents
Coronavirus (COVID-19): children, young people and families - evidence and intelligence report
A. Trends in data on vulnerable children

37 page PDF

693.1 kB

A. Trends in data on vulnerable children

i) Child protection and looked after children

In the 13 weeks since Easter up to 17 July, it is clear there has been significantly reduced activity, compared with the same period last year. However, on most measures, there has been an increase in activity in the last four weeks compared with the same four weeks a year ago:

  • 3% reduction in child wellbeing concerns being generated by Police Scotland over the last thirteen week. Over the last four weeks, however, there has been an increase of 6% compared with the same four weeks last year.
  • 12% reduction in child protection concerns being generated by Police Scotland over the last thirteen weeks, whereas for the last four weeks there has been a 4% increase compared with the same period last year.
  • 6% reduction in cases where Health, Police and Social Work have identified sufficient evidence to consider planning a child protection investigation in the last thirteen weeks. In the last four weeks, there has been a 16% increase compared with last year.
  • 11% reduction in the number of children identified as needing child protection plans over the last thirteen weeks compared with the same period last year, and a 7% increase over the last four weeks. The size of the reduction for domestic abuse being a significant factor in children being identified as needing child protection plans was 7% over the last thirteen weeks and the increase over the last four weeks was 7%. This means that, proportionally, domestic abuse has been identified as a factor in more cases in 2020 compared with 2019.
  • 51% reduction in the number of children becoming 'looked after' over the last thirteen weeks, narrowing slightly to 48% over the last four weeks. The reduction was larger among children becoming looked after at home (74% over the last thirteen weeks, and 65% over the last four weeks) compared to those becoming looked after away from home (36% and 40% respectively)[10].

ii) Attendance at learning hubs and uptake of free school lunches

The last evidence and intelligence report provided data up until 13 May. Over the nine weeks since then, there was a steady increase in the numbers of children and young people attending school hubs up until the school holidays started. Since the initial large drop in the first two weeks of the school holidays, numbers have been fairly stable. It has been a similar pattern for numbers of vulnerable children, with week on week increases up until the school holidays with numbers being stable since then. Free school meal figures increased slightly between 11 May and the school holidays and have since fallen as some local authorities adjusted their eligibility criteria for the holiday period and fewer pupils attended hubs to receive a free school meal. Figures show:

  • 58% increase in number of children and young people attending hubs between 13 May and 24 June.
  • 35% decrease in number of children and young people attending hubs between 24 June and 15 July.
  • 60% increase in number of vulnerable children and young people attending hubs between 13 May and 24 June (compared to a 41% increase among children and young people of key workers).
  • 53% decrease in number of vulnerable children and young people attending hubs between 24 June and 15 July (compared to a 33% decrease among children and young people of key workers).
  • 2% increase in total number of free school meals taken in a hub, vouchers, direct payments or home deliveries provided by local authorities between 13 May and 24 June.
  • 9% decrease in total number of free school meals taken in a hub, vouchers, direct payments or home deliveries provided by local authorities between 24 June and 15 July[11].

Contact

Email: CandFVulnerabilitiesNarrative@gov.scot