Secure Care and Close Support
This section presents 2011-12 data on secure care and close support accommodation. It also presents revised data for 2010-11.
Secure care generally refers to accommodation for children and young people who pose a significant risk to either themselves and/or others and are likely to run away or abscond. Placement within secure accommodation can only be determined by the authority of a Children's Hearing or by the order of a court.
Close support is residential accommodation providing a safe structured nurturing environment. A young person can be placed in close support either as a route into secure accommodation or on the way out of secure to help with the transition back to their families or communities. Close support could also be used to prevent young people being admitted to secure accommodation. Close support included in this publication are those that are in the same building as the secure unit i.e. that are related directly to the secure unit. The reason for only including close support in the same physical location as the secure unit is because capital and overhead costs will be inherently linked.
While the numbers of looked after children or children on the child protection register have increased over the last ten years, the number of young people in secure care has decreased overall since 2010. This downward trend follows Scottish Government's aim to reduce the number of young people who need to be held in secure care accommodation.
The number of young people involved in secure care and close support is also much smaller - less than one per cent of the populations of looked after children and children on the child protection register.
There were 94 secure places available in six secure units excluding emergency beds on 31 July 2012 (Table 3.1). In addition, St. Mary's Kenmure had three short term/respite beds which could be used when their service was at capacity. Three units had an emergency bed available (Good Shepherd, Kibble and Rossie) and there were three units providing close support accommodation. The average cost per secure bed per week during 2011-12 was £5,160, with costs in individual units ranging from £5,060 to £5,410.
Table 3.1: Secure care and close support unit bed complement at 31 July 2012(1)
|Unit||Secure Care Bed Complement||Close Support Bed Complement|
|Edinburgh Secure Services||12||10|
|St. Mary's Kenmure(3)||24||0|
(1) St. Philip's closed on 5 August 2011.
(2) Rossie School increased the number of close support beds on 1 April 2012 from 8 to 10.
(3) St. Mary's Kenmure provide a care services to 24 children and young people in secure care accommodation. In addition the service have 3 short term / respite beds which can be used when the service is at capacity.
(4) The Elms Close Support section closed on 31 July 2011.
On 31 July 2012, there were 462 staff working across the secure estate, of who 14 were temporary. There were 15 vacancies, of which three had been vacant for more than three months. In close support, there were 101 staff, of who two were temporary. There were no vacancies. (Tables 3.2a and 3.2b).
Table 3.2a: Secure care accommodation staff at 31 July 2012
|Secure Care||Care staff||Teachers/Instructors||Other staff||Total|
|Full time||Part time||Full time||Part time||Full time||Part time|
|Total number of staff||259||21||44||8||99||31||462|
|…of which were long term(1)||1||0||0||0||1||1||3|
|Vacancies as a % of all posts||3.0%||8.7%||2.2%||0.0%||1.0%||8.8%||3.1%|
(1) Long-term vacancies are those lasting more than 3 months.
Table 3.2b: Close support accommodation staff(1) at 31 July 2012
|Close Support||Care staff||Total|
|Full time||Part time|
|Total number of staff||94||7||101|
|…of which were long term(2)||0||0||0|
|Vacancies as a % of all posts||0.0%||0.0%||0.0%|
(1) Staff figures in this table only include those providing close support care provided in dedicated close support units within the same building as the secure unit, and does not include any close support provided in alternative settings. (2) Long-term vacancies are those lasting more than 3 months.
Capacity and usage
There was an average of 85 residents in secure care accommodation throughout 2011-12, down two per cent from 87 residents in the previous year (Table 3.3). The number of young people in secure care accommodation throughout the year ranged from 74 to 93.
There were 237 admissions in secure care accommodation between 1 August 2011 and 31 July 2012. This was a decrease of 14 per cent compared with 2010-11. There were 243 discharges between 1 August 2011 and 31 July 2012 (a decrease of nine per cent from 2010-11). Admissions and discharges have been decreasing since 2009-10.
Use of the emergency bed during 2011-12 increased significantly (536%) as did the number of young people the emergency bed was used for (700%). However, this followed a large drop between 2009-10 and 2010-11.
For revisions to the secure care accommodation 2010-11 data, most changes were increases of under five per cent compared to the original 2010-11 data with the exception of the minimum number of residents during the year which increased by seven per cent (from 73 to 78). There were no changes to the number of places available or to emergency bed usage.
There was an average of 19 residents in close support accommodation throughout 2011-12, a decrease of 10 per cent in the previous year. The number of young people in close support accommodation throughout the year ranged from 14 to 25.
Table 3.3: Secure care and close support accommodation capacity(1) and usage, 2010-2012
|During the year ending(2)||% change|
|31 March||31 July|
|Places at year end||106||112||94||-16%|
|Admissions during the year||314||276||237||-14%|
|Discharges during the year||309||268||243||-9%|
|Average number of residents during the year||100||87||85||-2%|
|Minimum number of residents during the year||90||78||74||-5%|
|Maximum number of residents during the year||110||95||93||-2%|
|Number of nights emergency bed used during the year(4)||38||11||70||536%|
|Number of residents emergency bed used for during the year(4)||10||2||16||700%|
|Close Support Accommodation(5)|
|Places at year end||29||29||26||-10%|
|Admissions during the year||55||42||41||-2%|
|Discharges during the year||51||46||43||-7%|
|Average number of residents during the year||19||21||19||-10%|
|Minimum number of residents during the year||13||19||14||-26%|
|Maximum number of residents during the year||24||25||25||0%|
Young people can be admitted and discharged more than once during the year.
During 2011-12, St. Mary's Kenmure provided a care services to 24 children and young people in secure accommodation. In addition the service had 3 short term / respite beds which could be used when the service is at capacity.
St. Philip's 'wound down' from 1 July 2011 and closed on 5 August 2011.
Rossie School increased the number of close support beds on 1 April 2012 from 8 to 10.
During 2011-12, Edinburgh Secure Services reported overcapacity by one young person for 2 periods. However, this is likely to be a recording error.
The Elms Close Support section closed on 31 July 2011.
St. Mary's Kenmure's bed capacity increased on 1 July 2011 to 24 (from 18).
During 2010-11, St. Mary's Kenmure reported overcapacity for 9 periods which was due to using their 'mothballed' unit.
During 2010-11, St. Philip's reported overcapacity for 9 periods which was most likely due to using their 'mothballed' unit.
In 2009-10, Good Shepherd reported over capacity by one child for 8 periods. However, this is likely to be a recording error.
(2) Change in reporting period from 2010-11 (from August to July). Previous years were from April to March.
(3) Data revised for 2010-11.
(4) Information on emergency bed usage was collected for the first time in 2010. Three units reported having an emergency bed: Rossie School, Good Shepherd & Kibble in 2011-12 (see background notes for definition of an emergency bed)
(5) Information on close support accommodation was collected for the first time in 2010. Reported usage relates only to close support care provided in dedicated close support units, and does not include any close support provided in alternative settings. Average, minimum and maximum number of residents during 2009-10 corrected for close support accommodation.
For close support accommodation, there were 41 admissions and 43 discharges between 1 August 2011 and 31 July 2012. This was a decrease of admissions of two per cent and a decrease of discharges of seven per cent on 2010-11.
For revisions to the close support accommodation 2010-11 data, the only change to the original 2010-11 data was to the number of discharges which increased by 10 per cent (from 42 to 46).
Chart 6 shows that total occupancy reached its highest capacity of 93 residents in secure care accommodation during four dates/periods (25 and 28 September 2011, 3 October 2011 and between 7 and 9 October 2011).
Chart 6: Daily occupancy of secure care accommodation: 1 August 2011-31 July 2012(1)
(1) Please refer to footnote 1 in Table 3.3 for information on centres that have opened and closed during 2011-12.
Table 3.4 shows that the number of young people in secure care accommodation on 31 July 2012 was 84. This has been decreasing over the past two years.
Sixty eight per cent of young people in secure care accommodation on 31 July 2012 were male and 42 per cent were aged 16 years and over. Young people in secure care accommodation tend to be older than those looked after and on the child protection registers - no young children would be in secure care accommodation. In comparison, the majority of children on the child protection register at 31 July 2012 were under five years old.
Table 3.4: Young people in secure care accommodation, 2010-2012(1) by gender, age, additional support needs and length of stay(2)
|As at…||Percentage of 2012 total|
|31 March||31 July|
|Gender of residents|
|Age of Residents(4)|
|13 years old or under||8||9||8||10%|
|16 years or over||34||38||35||42%|
|Residents with additional support needs(5)|
|Any known additional support needs||81||87||78||93%|
|Additional support needs, where known|
|Medically diagnosed social, emotional & behavioural difficulties||25||35||31||37%|
|Other social, emotional & behavioural difficulties||78||80||76||90%|
|Specific learning difficulties||*||11||12||14%|
|Mental health problems||9||13||23||27%|
|Language and communication disorder||*||9||12||14%|
|Physical or motor impairment||0||*||*||-|
|Combined sight and hearing loss||0||*||0||0%|
|Length of stay of residents at year end|
|Less than 1 month||17||34||11||13%|
|1 month to under 2 months||15||14||15||18%|
|2 months to under 3 months||11||10||16||19%|
|3 months to under 6 months||28||12||22||26%|
|6 months to under 1 year||24||11||10||12%|
|1 year or more||5||8||10||12%|
(1) From 2010 to 2012 Centres have opened and closed and total capacity has changed. Please refer to footnote 1 in Table 3.3 for more information on this. There was a change in reporting period from 2010-11 (from August to July). Previous years ran from April to March.
(2) Length of stay is truncated at the 31st July from 2011 and 31st March for previous years.
(3) Data revised for 2010-11.
(4) Actual age is reported from 2010 (see background notes).
(5) Until 2012 the additional support needs category was presented as 'disability'. This has been amended because the information collected does not meet the definition of 'disability' outlined in the Equality Act 2010 Due to small numbers, some additional support needs categories have been included in the 'Other' category. These include 'autistic spectrum disorder', 'hearing impairment', 'learning disability' and 'other chronic illness/disability'. Note that a young person can have multiple additional support needs.
Cells containing * represent numbers that are suppressed to maintain confidentiality.
Ninety three per cent of young people in secure care accommodation on 31 July 2012 had at least one additional support need and by far the most common category of additional support need was "other social, emotional and behavioural difficulties", which 90 per cent of all young people in secure care were reported as having.
For revisions to the secure care accommodation 2010-11 data, there was a decrease of one per cent compared to the original 2010-11 data (from 90 to 89 young people).
Cross-UK secure care and close support accommodation comparisons
There are additional tables on secure care and close support accommodation available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Children/PubChildrenSocialWork
These additional tables include a table on secure children's homes/secure care accommodation units, places approved and children accommodated across the United Kingdom. In 2012, England had 16 secure children's homes, Wales had one secure children's home, Northern Ireland had one secure unit and Scotland had six secure units.
Email: Denise Macleod
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