Publication - Statistics publication

Children's Social Work Statistics, 2011-12

Published: 19 Mar 2013
Part of:
Statistics
ISBN:
9781782564119

statistics on children looked after, child protection and secure care and close support accommodation

43 page PDF

1.5 MB

43 page PDF

1.5 MB

Contents
Children's Social Work Statistics, 2011-12
Children Looked After

43 page PDF

1.5 MB

Children Looked After

Children Looked After

This section presents 2011-12 data on children looked after during the period from 1 August 2011 to 31 July 2012. At the time of last year's 2010-11 publication Glasgow City Council was able provide individual-level data for children receiving aftercare and children on short term placements, but not for the main looked after children collection. This section also presents updated 2010-11 data which includes Glasgow's individual-level data plus updated data from other local authorities. Please see background note 4.4. for more information on this.

Local authorities have a responsibility to provide support to certain vulnerable young people, known as 'looked after children'. A young person may become looked after for a number of reasons, including neglect, abuse, complex disabilities which require specialist care, or involvement in the youth justice system.

There are several types of placements that looked after children or young people could be placed in, including at home (where a child is subject to a Supervision Requirement and continues to live in their normal place of residence), foster care, residential unit or school, a secure unit or a kinship placement (where they are placed with friends or relatives).

The number of looked after children has been increasing since 2001. The continuous increase in numbers of looked after children is due to more children being looked after away from home in community settings, in particular with foster carers/prospective adopters, with friends and relatives and other community settings. After previously increasing from 2001 to 2008, over the past five years there has been an overall decrease in the numbers of children looked after at home. Numbers of children looked after in residential care settings have been fairly static over recent years, but have seen a slight downward trend since 2007.

Between 2011 and 2012 the increase in total numbers looked after has slowed, with less than a one per cent increase from 16,231 in 2011 to 16,248 in 2012. The number of children being looked after by foster carers/prospective adopters or in other community placements remains at the highest level on record and, for the first time in 2012 there were more children looked after by foster carers/prospective adopters than looked after at home.

Chart 2: Children looked after per 1,000 children under 18 by type of accommodation, 1987-2012

Chart 2: Children looked after per 1,000 children under 18 by type of accommodation, 1987-2012

Table 1.1: Number of children looked after at 31 July 2011 and 2012 by type of accommodation(1)

Type of Accommodation 2011(2) 2012
In the community:-
At home with parents 5,476 5,153
With friends/relatives 3910 4,076
With Foster Carers provided by LA 3871 3,946
With Foster Carers purchased by LA 1197 1,333
With prospective adopters 267 262
In other community 49 45
Residential Accommodation:-
In local authority home 615 564
In voluntary home 88 90
In residential school 460 451
In secure accommodation 86 95
Crisis care 13 14
In other residential 199 219
Total looked after children 16,231 16,248

(1) Figures are provisional and may be revised in 2012-13. Information on the number of children looked after by accommodation type is available back to 1971 in Table 1.1a of the excel version of the publication tables: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Children/PubChildrenSocialWork
(2) 2011 figures are revised from original publication and overall number of looked after children has increased by 0.4%.

When children become looked after, a care plan should be produced. The care plan should include detailed information about the child's care, education and health needs, as well as the responsibilities of the local authority, the parents and the child. A care plan is considered 'current' if it has been produced or reviewed in the past 12 months.

Table 1.2: Children looked after at 31 July 2012 with and without a current care plan(1)

Looked after at home Looked after away from home Total
With a current care plan 5,066 10,725 15,791
Without a current care plan 87 370 457
Total 5,153 11,095 16,248

(1) Figures are provisional and may be revised in 2012-13

Table 1.2 shows that a large majority of the children being looked after at 31 July 2012 had a current care plan. Ninety-seven per cent of the 16,248 children who were being looked after at the end of July 2012 had a current care plan, an increase of 4 percentage points compared with 15,030 in 2011. There was little difference between children looked after at home and away from home - 98 per cent of children being looked after at home had a current care plan, compared with 97 per cent of those being looked after away from home.

Children starting and ceasing to be looked after

The levelling off of numbers being looked after is reflected in the narrowing of the difference between numbers starting and ceasing to be looked after. Table 1.3 shows the number of children who started being looked after between 2001-02 and 2011-12. A child will be counted more than once if they started being looked after more than once during the reporting year. There were 4,811 children who started to be looked after during 1 August 2011 and 31 July 2012 a one per cent increase from the revised 2010-11 figure (4,746). The figures seen in 2010-2012 are similar after a decrease from higher levels (of around 5,200) seen in 2007-2009.

Over the last 9 years children have started to be looked after at younger ages. In 2003, twenty-five per cent of children starting to be looked after were aged under five, by 2012 this had risen to 38 per cent.

Table 1.3: Number of children starting to be looked after 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010-2012, by age and gender(1)

Year ended 31st March Year ended 31 July Percentage of 2012 total(3)
2003 2005 2007 2009 2010 2011(2) 2012
Male Under 1 146 218 207 323 335 383 387 15
1-4 457 433 593 580 596 568 591 23
5-11 783 666 864 830 792 764 811 32
12-15 1,021 949 1,043 995 816 689 714 28
16-17 163 100 164 33 32 32 30 1
18-21(4) 7 3 0 0 0 0
Not known 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 2,570 2,367 2,878 2,764 2,571 2,436 2,533 100
Female Under 1 123 182 205 318 315 318 366 16
1-4 393 424 564 558 550 559 507 22
5-11 568 589 649 733 671 721 698 31
12-15 753 695 835 805 739 700 696 31
16-17 108 74 110 22 13 12 10 0
18-21(4) 4 1 0 0 1 0
Not known 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 1,943 1,965 2,367 2,437 2,288 2,310 2,278 100
All people Under 1 268 400 412 641 650 701 753 16
1-4 850 857 1,157 1,138 1,146 1,127 1,098 23
5-11 1,350 1,255 1,513 1,563 1,463 1,485 1,509 31
12-15 1,773 1,644 1,878 1,800 1,555 1,389 1,410 29
16-17 271 175 274 55 45 44 40 1
18-21(4) 11 4 0 0 1 0
Not known 2 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 4,513 4,333 5,245 5,201 4,859 4,746 4,811 100

(1) Table excludes planned series of short term placements. Figures for 2011-12 are provisional and may be revised Falkirk did not provide information on children starting to be looked after in 2007-08. Prior to 2008, table includes rounded estimates wherever local authorities were not able to provide information. Prior to 2005 'unknowns' were allocated to a category rather than being reported as unknown. The number of looked after children aged 18+ was not asked for prior to 2006. A child may start to be looked after more than once in a year and so may be counted more than once. Changes between 2003-04 and 2004-05 are partly due to improved recording.
(2) Previously published figures for 2011 have been revised. Please see background note 4.4. for more information.
(3) Due to rounding, the percentage totals may not equal the sum of their parts
(4) The 18-21 category in this table may include a small number of looked after young people who were over 21yrs

Table 1.4 shows the number of children who ceased being looked after between 2002-03 and 2011-12. A child will be counted more than once if they ceased being looked after more than once during the reporting year. There were 4,768 children who ceased being looked after between 1 August 2011 and 31 July 2012, an increase of three per cent from the revised 2011 figure (4,611) and an overall increase of 34 per cent since 2005.

Table 1.4: Number of children ceasing to be looked after, by length of time looked after and age, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011-2012(1)

Year ending Percentage of 2012 totals
31 March 31 July
2003 2005 2007 2009 2011(2) 2012
Under 1
Under 6 weeks 26 56 55 63 35 40 29
6 weeks to under 6 months 26 28 29 42 52 72 52
6 months to under 1 year 17 9 13 30 29 27 19
Total 70 93 97 135 116 139 100
1-4
Under 6 weeks 86 126 87 102 86 76 8
6 weeks to under 6 months 56 56 80 70 66 85 9
6 months to under 1 year 133 93 136 115 153 168 18
1 year to under 3 years 244 195 254 395 442 467 51
3 years to under 5 years 54 26 54 82 120 116 13
Total 573 496 611 764 867 912 100
5-11
Under 6 weeks 144 145 105 132 94 103 8
6 weeks to under 6 months 92 80 112 68 87 123 9
6 months to under 1 year 190 161 185 182 192 249 18
1 year to under 3 years 385 317 351 382 486 489 36
3 years to under 5 years 143 114 190 212 261 238 18
5 years and over 61 71 86 103 152 155 11
Total 1,015 888 1,029 1,079 1,272 1,357 100
12-15
Under 6 weeks 151 182 130 103 73 83 8
6 weeks to under 6 months 155 143 146 98 104 104 10
6 months to under 1 year 217 170 204 244 209 193 19
1 year to under 3 years 430 285 304 379 419 377 37
3 years to under 5 years 109 86 82 108 110 130 13
5 years and over 40 41 58 84 86 121 12
Total 1,102 907 924 1,016 1,001 1,008 100
16+
Under 6 weeks 33 68 21 9 11 7 1
6 weeks to under 6 months 92 83 104 55 39 23 2
6 months to under 1 year 175 184 267 196 134 137 10
1 year to under 3 years 613 510 606 562 533 517 38
3 years to under 5 years 198 169 243 250 257 270 20
5 years and over 163 166 242 328 381 398 29
Total 1,274 1,180 1,483 1,400 1,355 1,352 100
TOTAL
Under 6 weeks 440 578 398 409 299 309 6
6 weeks to under 6 months 421 390 471 333 348 407 9
6 months to under 1 year 732 617 805 767 717 774 16
1 year to under 3 years 1,672 1,308 1,515 1,718 1,880 1,850 39
3 years to under 5 years 504 395 569 652 748 754 16
5 years and over 264 278 386 515 619 674 14
Total 4,034 3,566 4,144 4,394 4,611 4,768 100

(1) Table excludes children who are on a planned series of short term placements. Figures for 2011-12 are provisional and may be revised in 2012-13. Prior to 2008, table includes estimates wherever local authorities were not able to provide data. A child may cease to be looked after more than once during the year and will be counted once for each episode of care ending. Some totals do not exactly equal the sum of their component parts due to the effects of rounding.
(2) Previously published figures for 2011 have been revised, but the revised figures are known to overcount and should be treated as an estimate. Please see background note 4.4. for more information

Just as children are starting to be looked after at a younger age, children are also ceasing to be looked after at younger ages. The number of children ceasing to be looked after who were under the age of 12 increased by 45 per cent in 2011-12 compared with 2002-03.

Local authorities are required to carry out a pathway assessment for aftercare services on young people who are over school leaving age but are still looked after. These young people should be provided with a pathway co-ordinator who assesses their needs and a pathway plan which outlines how the local authority plans to meet the needs of the young person. Table 1.5 shows the number of children who were beyond their minimum school leaving age on the date they ceased to be looked after during 2011-12. A child will be counted more than once if they ceased to be looked after more than once during the reporting year.

Table 1.5: Pathway plans and nominated pathway co-ordinators of young people who ceased to be looked after during 2011-12(1) who were beyond minimum school-leaving age on the date they ceased to be looked after

Looked after at home Looked after away from home Total
Number
With a pathway plan 402 572 974
Without a pathway plan 200 162 362
With a nominated pathway co-ordinator 405 569 974
Without a nominated pathway co-ordinator 197 165 362
Total 602 734 1,336
Percentage
With a pathway plan 67 78 73
Without a pathway plan 33 22 27
With a nominated pathway co-ordinator 67 78 73
Without a nominated pathway co-ordinator 33 22 27
Total 100 100 100

(1) Figures are provisional and may be revised in 2012-13. Figures include all episodes of ceasing to be looked after beyond minimum school leaving age (i.e. a child may be counted more than once).

Seventy three per cent of young people who had reached their minimum school leaving age at the time they ceased to be looked after during 1 August 2011 to 31 July 2012 had a pathway plan. This is a 16 percentage point increase from 2010-11. Seventy three per cent had a pathway co‑ordinator, an increase of two percentage points from the previous year.

Where a young person's final placement type was 'at home' they were less likely to have a pathway plan or a pathway co-ordinator than if the final placement type was 'away from home'. Of children whose last placement was at home, 67 per cent had a pathway plan or a pathway coordinator, compared with 78 per cent of those whose final placement type was 'away from home'.

Aftercare services

Local Authorities have duty to provide advice, guidance and assistance for young people who - at the point they leave care - have reached minimum school leaving age, referred to as 'aftercare services'. Table 1.6 shows the number of young people eligible for aftercare services on 31 July 2012 by age and their economic activity. 'Economic activity' refers to whether a young person was in education, employment or training.

Table 1.6: Young people eligible for aftercare services on 31 July 2012, by age and economic activity(1),(2)

Economic activity on 31 July 2012 Age on 31 July 2012 Total Percentage of all young people eligible for aftercare Percentage of young people receiving aftercare with known economic activity
15-16 17 18 19-21(3)
In education, training or employment
In higher education 15 24 20 52 111 3 5
In education other than HE 42 44 83 118 287 7 13
In training or employment 73 107 148 207 535 14 24
Not in education, training or employment
- due to short term illness * * * 6 13 0 1
- due to long term illness or disability * * 16 43 63 2 3
- due to looking after family * 19 * 77 134 3 6
- due to other circumstances 92 247 334 430 1,103 29 49
Not known 51 72 77 96 296 8
Not receiving aftercare 191 332 513 292 1,328 34
Total 470 849 1,230 1,321 3,870 100 100
Percentage in employment, education or training
As percentage of all young people eligible for aftercare 28 21 20 29 24
As percentage of young people receiving aftercare with known economic activity 57 39 39 40 42

(1) Figures are provisional and may be revised in 2012-13 (2) Cells containing * represent numbers that are suppressed to maintain confidentiality. Due to rounding, the totals for percentages may not equal the sum of their parts (3) The 19-21 category in this table includes a small number of young people over the age of 21 who were receiving aftercare.

There were 3,870 young people reported to be eligible for aftercare services on 31 July 2012, of whom 66 per cent were receiving aftercare. Forty two per cent of those receiving aftercare and who had a known economic activity were in education, training or employment. This is a 6 percentage point increase on 2011.

For the young people receiving aftercare where their education/employment status was known, 15-16 year olds were most likely to be in education, training or employment, at 57 per cent. The age groups least likely to be in education, training or employment was 17 and 18 year olds at 39 per cent.

Short-term placements

If a child is subject to a planned series of short-term placements where, for the purposes of respite, they stay away from home for more than 24 hours continuously, they are categorised as being looked after by the local authority for that period. The statistics for these young people are not included in the main looked after children statistics. Table 1.7 shows the number of children with a current planned series of short-term placements at 31 July 2012, by type of placement.

At 31 July 2012 there were 2,029 children being looked after on a current planned series of short-term placements. The number of children under 18 years was 1,819, an increase of 12 per cent from 2011. Sixty per cent of these children were looked after in residential establishments, whilst 11 per cent of these children were looked after in foster placements.

Table 1.7: All children with a current planned series of short-term placements at 31 July 2012(1), by type of placement(2)

Type of placement Number of children Percentage(3)
Residential establishment 1,218 60
Hospital 7 0
Foster placement 231 11
Other placement 573 28
Total 2,029 100

(1) Figures are provisional and may be revised in 2012-13.
(2) Due to rounding, the totals for percentages may not equal the sum of their parts
(3)Figures include any child who was aged under 21 years on 31 July and who has a current plan, even if they were not actually accommodated on 31 July, and who have not got an open LAC episode on 31 July, or are reported as being eligible for aftercare

Cross-UK looked after comparisons

The definition of "looked after children" varies across the countries within the UK. In Scotland children looked after at home are included in the definition and in the statistics. In the England and Wales statistics children looked after at home are usually excluded. As a result, simply comparing the rate of children looked after gives figures for Scotland which are much higher than the rest of the UK.

Chart 3 gives the Scottish figure both including and excluding children looked after at home. When children looked after at home are excluded from the Scottish figures the rate is still higher and increasing more steeply than any of the other UK countries. There has been a similar, but less steep, increase in the rate of looked after children in Wales since 2006. Although England and Northern Ireland have seen small increases in the rates in recent years, the rate per 10,000 under 18 years population has remained more static.

Chart 3: Cross-UK comparison of rate of looked after children per 10,000 children, 2004-2012

Chart 3: Cross-UK comparison of rate of looked after children per 10,000 children, 2004-2012

There is more information on the differences between the collection of looked after children data in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland and how this affects the comparability here: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Children/socialservicestats

There are additional tables on looked after children available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Children/PubChildrenSocialWork


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