- 18 Mar 2020
The children’s social work statistics are based on three data annual data collections, from on local authority administrative systems covering looked after children and the child protection process. Data is also collected from secure units in Scotland. Background to these collections are provided below.
The looked after children data is collected at an individual level from local authorities. Data is collected annually on all children/young people who were looked after between 1 August and 31 July the following year, on every episode of being looked after which occurred at some point in the reporting period, every placement that took place during these episodes, and every legal reason for which a child was looked after. Statistics are also collected at an individual-level for those eligible for aftercare. Data has been collected at an individual level since 2008. Prior to this, data was collected as aggregate summarise data.
The child protection information is collected at an individual level from local authorities. Data is collected annually on all children/young people who were looked after between 1 August and 31 July the following year. Information is submitted for each investigation and case conference held as well as demographic information for each child. Detailed individual data has been collected since 2011-12 starting on 31 July 2012. Prior to this, data was collected as aggregate summarised data.
The secure care data is collected from secure care units which are open during the collection period 1 August and 31 July the following year. The data collected at the unit level covers the number of places. Individual-level information is collected on the characteristics of the young person, medical care, admissions and discharges in secure care accommodation.
Current and forthcoming publications
An archived copy of the children and young people section of the old Scottish Government website is available. This includes archived copies of publications and historical collections which are no longer in place.
The Scottish Government also maintains an official list of forthcoming publications.
The Local Authority Social Work Statistics (LASWS) group meets to discuss issues relating to Children's Social Work Statistics. You can access further information on this group through the link below:
We sought users' views on a range of possible developments to Children’s Social Work Statistics and data collections in a questionnaire which closed on 16 November 2020. Findings were published on 16 February 2021 here.
Survey guidance, data specification and forms