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
Child Protection

43 page PDF

1.5 MB

Child Protection

Child Protection

This section presents data on children on the child protection register from 1 August 2011 to 31 July 2012. Child protection means protecting a child from child abuse or neglect. This can either be in cases where abuse or neglect has taken place, or in cases where a likelihood of significant harm or neglect has been identified. The risk of harm or neglect will be considered at a Child Protection Case Conference. Where a child is believed to be at risk of significant harm, their name will be added to the child protection register (referred to as a child protection registration).

Chart 4: Children on the child protection register, by age, 2000-2012

Chart 4: Children on the child protection register, by age, 2000- 2012

As Chart 4 shows, the number of children on the child protection register has fluctuated but overall increased by 35 per cent between 2001 and 2012 (from 2,050 in 2000 to 2,706 in 2012). Over the last 12 years there has been an increase in the proportion of younger children on the child protection register and corresponding decrease in older children. In 2012, more than half of children on the child protection register (51%) were aged under five.

There is no strong gender pattern among children on the child protection register. Half were boys, 47 per cent were girls and the remaining 4 per cent were unborn children (these figures sum to more than 100% due to rounding). At 31 July 2012, there were 95 unborn children on the child protection register, an increase of 15 on 2011. Because there was a change in how unborn children were recorded by local authorities in 2010, only the 2011 and 2012 figures for unborn children are comparable.

Table 2.1: Number of children on the child protection register by gender, 2000, 2005, 2010-2012(1)

  2000 2005 2010 2011 2012 % of total 2012 Rate per 1,000 children 2012(2)
Boys 1,080 1,098 1,275 1,282 1,349 50% 2.9
Girls 970 1,059 1,199 1,209 1,262 47% 2.8
Unborns - - 44 80 95 4% -
All children 2,050 2,157 2,518 2,571 2,706 100% 3.0

(1) Until 2010-11 data was collected at 31 March. From 2011 data has been collected at 31 July. Full data by gender and age group for 2000-2012 is available in Table 2.1 of the excel version of the publication tables - http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Children/PubChildrenSocialWork
(2) Source: National Records of Scotland, 2011 mid-year population estimates.

Table 2.2 shows that, in Scotland in 2011-12, three children in every 1,000 children under 16 were on the child protection register. At local authority level the rate varied from less than one per 1,000 children (0.9 per 1,000 children) in Orkney to 7.5 per 1,000 children in Midlothian.

In 2011 Midlothian saw a substantial increase in the number of children on the child protection register due to a higher level of identification of abuse and neglect within Midlothian and an increase in public and professional awareness of child protection. Following this increase, the level in Midlothian in 2012 is still higher than the rest of Scotland.

Table 2.2: Number and rate(1) per 1,000 population aged 0-15 of children on the child protection register: 2007, 2009, 2011-2012(2), by local authority

Local authority area At 31 March At 31 July
2009 2010 2011 2012
Number Rate per 1,000 Number Rate per 1,000 Number Rate per 1,000 Number Rate per 1,000
Aberdeen City 182 5.5 119 3.6 96 2.8 87 2.5
Aberdeenshire 81 1.7 51 1.1 68 1.5 73 1.6
Angus 82 4.1 92 4.7 66 3.4 59 3.0
Argyll & Bute 32 2.1 43 2.9 39 2.7 48 3.4
Clackmannanshire 58 6.0 56 5.9 39 4.1 55 5.8
Dumfries & Galloway 79 3.1 100 4.0 101 4.1 94 3.9
Dundee City 95 4.0 70 2.9 90 3.8 82 3.4
East Ayrshire 75 3.5 42 2.0 65 3.1 74 3.5
East Dunbartonshire 27 1.4 28 1.5 26 1.4 23 1.2
East Lothian 84 4.5 70 3.7 60 3.2 62 3.3
East Renfrewshire 29 1.6 31 1.7 24 1.4 34 1.9
Edinburgh, City of 287 4.1 256 3.6 244 3.4 227 3.1
Eilean Siar 23 5.1 6 1.3 4 0.9 11 2.5
Falkirk 93 3.3 73 2.6 56 2.0 79 2.8
Fife 191 2.9 220 3.4 187 2.9 206 3.2
Glasgow City 299 3.1 286 3.0 351 3.6 436 4.4
Highland 69 1.8 99 2.5 97 2.5 116 3.0
Inverclyde 42 3.0 35 2.5 29 2.1 33 2.4
Midlothian 90 5.9 96 6.2 158 10.2 117 7.5
Moray 66 4.2 44 2.8 48 3.1 45 3.0
North Ayrshire 56 2.3 60 2.4 77 3.2 74 3.1
North Lanarkshire 74 1.2 63 1.0 87 1.4 79 1.3
Orkney Isles 4 1.1 1 0.3 4 1.2 3 0.9
Perth & Kinross 43 1.7 49 2.0 62 2.5 37 1.5
Renfrewshire 126 4.1 119 3.9 102 3.4 86 2.8
Scottish Borders 47 2.3 32 1.6 34 1.7 37 1.9
Shetland 11 2.6 10 2.4 6 1.4 7 1.6
South Ayrshire 31 1.7 43 2.4 49 2.7 64 3.5
South Lanarkshire 117 2.1 135 2.4 141 2.5 165 2.9
Stirling 50 3.1 43 2.7 47 2.9 40 2.5
West Dunbartonshire 31 1.9 27 1.7 20 1.2 35 2.2
West Lothian 108 3.1 119 3.4 94 2.7 118 3.4
Scotland 2,682 2.9 2,518 2.8 2,571 2.8 2,706 3.0

(1) Source: National Records of Scotland, 2008-2011 mid-year population estimates.
(2) Information for all years from 2007 is included in the publication tables and a map of the 2012 rates is presented in the additional tables: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Children/PubChildrenSocialWork

Revised National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland was published by the Scottish Government in December 2010 which allows local authorities to record multiple risks/concerns (rather than just the main category of abuse) and expands the list of potential concerns. Because in 2012 multiple concerns can be recorded per child for the first time, the total number of concerns is larger than the total number of registrations. The changes in recording mean that the 2012 figures on concerns identified are not comparable to previous data on category of abuse/risk.

Table 2.3 shows that for the 2,706 children on the child protection register at 31 July 2012 there were 5,705 concerns at the case conferences at which they were registered - an average of 2.1 concerns per conference. The most common concerns identified were emotional abuse (38%), neglect (37%) and parental substance misuse (34%).

Table 2.3 Concerns identified(1) at the case conferences of children who were on the child protection register at 31 July 2012

Concerns identified at case conferences % of children registered at 31 July 2012
2012
Neglect 1,006 37%
Parental substance misuse 918 34%
Parental Mental Health Problems 516 19%
Non-engaging family 453 17%
Domestic abuse 758 28%
Sexual abuse 229 8%
Physical abuse 471 17%
Emotional abuse 1,016 38%
Child Placing themselves at risk 46 2%
Child Exploitation 9 0%
Other concerns 283 10%
Total concerns 5,705 211%

(1) The 2012 data should not be compared to previous years' data on category of abuse/risk. The Scottish Government published revised National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland in December 2010 which expanded the categories for abuse/concerns identified at case conferences. As a result, many of the categories in 2012 may have been included in other categories previously or would not have been counted as they have no equivalent in previous years.

Child protection registrations and de-registrations

The number of both registrations to the child protection register and de-registrations from the child protection register have both increased over the last five years. Table 2.4 shows that 16 per cent of children who were placed on the child protection register during 2011-12 had been on a child protection register before. This figure has fluctuated over the past five years, but is consistently between 13% and 16%.

Table 2.5 shows that there were 4,155 de-registrations from the child protection in the year to 31 July 2012, 332 more than in 2010-11. More than eight in ten de-registrations (83 per cent) in 2011-12 were for children who had been registered for less than a year. The most common reason for de-registration in 2011-12 (in 42 per cent of cases) was that the home situation had improved.

Table 2.4: Number of registrations following an initial, pre-birth or transfer case conference, 2007, 2009, 2011-2012(1) - by length of time since previous de-registration

  Year Ended 31 March Year Ended 31 July % of total
Time since last de-registration 2007 2009 2011 2012 2012
Never been registered before 2,565 3,103 3,277 3,408 82%
Registered before but time unknown 8 0 3 10 0%
Less than 6 months 92 68 98 89 2%
6 months - < 1 year 68 78 107 99 2%
1 year - < 18 months 46 94 74 83 2%
18 months - < 2 years 43 54 61 79 2%
2 years or more 120 231 262 304 7%
Not known if been registered before 206 0 2 83 2%
Proportion of registrations to children who had been registered before(2) 13% 14% 16% 16%  
Total 3,148 3,628 3,884 4,155 100%

(1) Information back to 2007 is included in the excel version of the publication tables: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Children/PubChildrenSocialWork
(2) This is calculated as a proportion of registrations excluding cases where it is not known if a child had been registered before. Excludes cases where it is not known if a child had been registered before

Table 2.5: Number of de-registrations from the child protection register, 2007, 2009, 2011-2012, by length of time on register and reason for de-registration(1)

  Year Ended 31 March Year Ended 31 July % of total 2012 % change
2007 2009 2011 2012 2011-2012
Length of time registered
Less than 6 months 1,329 1,498 1,713 1,929 46% 13%
6 months to under 1 year 1,092 1,178 1,477 1,535 37% 4%
1 year to under 18 months 362 447 419 516 12% 23%
18 months to under 2 years 158 197 139 117 3% -16%
2 years or more 143 179 75 58 1% -23%
Reason for de-registration(2)
Child taken into care & risk reduced - 536 501 582 14% 16%
Child with other carers - 295 278 295 7% 6%
Child died - 6 6 9 0% 50%
Removal of perpetrator - 82 56 70 2% 25%
Improved home situation - 1,195 1,186 1,742 42% 47%
Child automatically de-registered because of age - 16 14 6 0% -57%
Child moved away - no continued risk - 33 32 20 0% -38%
Child transferred to another local authority - 135 130 175 4% 35%
Other reason(3) - 1,201 1,620 1,256 30% -22%
Total 3,084 3,499 3,823 4,155 100% 9%

(1) This table previously included breakdowns on the category of abuse/risk, which is not available from 2012. Information for all years back to 2007 is included in the excel version of the publication tables: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Children/PubChildrenSocialWork
(2) Information on the reason for de-registration is not available prior to 2007-08.
(3) This category was called reduced risk (other) prior to 2012.

Cross-UK child protection comparisons

Child protection systems across the United Kingdom vary but are generally comparable. While Scotland has seen an increase in the rate of registrations to the child protection register over the last decade, it is not as steep as the increase in England and Wales over the same period. Northern Ireland has seen a different pattern to the other three UK countries over the same period, with a very sharp increase in the rates of child protection registrations until 2009 and a relative decline in registrations since then. Between 2011 and 2012 the rate of registrations in England and Wales has stayed the same and in Northern Ireland has decreased. This has slightly narrowed the difference in rate of registrations to the child protection register between Scotland and the other countries in the UK.

Chart 5: Cross-UK comparison of rate of children on the child protection register per 10,000 under 18s, 2004-2012

Chart 5: Cross-UK comparison of rate of children on the child protection register per 10,000 under 18s, 2004-2012

There is more information on the differences between the collection of child protection 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 child protection available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Children/PubChildrenSocialWork


Contact

Email: Denise Macleod