Annex C: Children’s Social Work Statistics 2016-17: Revision of data on time from registration for all deregistrations
An issue was identified with the statistics on length of time on the child protection register for the deregistrations reported for years 2013 to 2017. The revised figures are reported in table 2.3 and chart 5 in this publication.
The method used to calculate the time between going on the child protection register and being deregistered was incorrect. The process of identifying the date of the initial registration, was in some cases using the date of a review case conference, and in other cases using the date from a previous period on the child protection register. Using the date of a review case conference, resulted in an underestimate of the length of the time on the register, and using the date of a previous time on the register resulted in an overestimate of the time on the register.
To produce the corrected data, review case conferences were eliminated from the analysis. Where a deregistration conference was present on a child's record, the time since the most recent registration event was calculated.
Scale of change
The issue affects the years between 2013 and 2017. Figures for years prior to this were based on summary figures reported by local authorities.
An example of the impact of the revision on the statistics is illustrated in the charts A1 and A2, with details of the changes in table A1. For example, in 2017 the correct number of children deregistered in the period 1st August 2016 to 31st July 2017 who were on the child protection register for less than 6 months is 2,139 (49% of those deregistered in 2016-17), previously reported as 2,470 (57%).
Chart A1: Comparison of Percentage of Children on the child protection register for 2 years or more
The correct number of children deregistered in the period 1st August 2016 to 31st July 2017 who were on the child protection register for 2 years of more is 53 (1%), rather than 282 (6%) as previously reported.
Chart A2: Comparison of Percentage of Children on the child protection register for 2 years or more
Process followed in making correction
The response to the issue identified with the processing of this data followed the Scottish Government revisions and corrections policy. https://www.gov.srevisionscot/Resource/0045/00457524.pdf
The material was corrected on the website, and a note included alongside the publication to make it clear that this was done.
Users were notified of the correction through the Scotstat mailing list and the Local Authority Social work (LASWS) children and families group.
The processes used to produce the statistics were reviewed and instructions and code rewritten to incorporate a revised method for calculating the time from registration. In future, local authorities will be invited to check summary tables as part of the quality assurance process.
Table A1: Impact of correction on Table 2.3 (Number of de-registrations from the child protection register by length of time on register) 2013-2017