Secure Care Accommodation
Average number of Scottish residents has continued to decrease
Emergency bed usage increased
This section presents 2016-17 data on secure care accommodation. Secure care is used for a small number of young people who present high risk to themselves or others and can only be authorised following a decision through the Children's Hearing System or a Court.
There were 84 secure places available in five secure units in Scotland excluding emergency beds on 31 July 2017 (Table 3.1). It should be noted that one unit permanently reduced capacity this year, resulting in a reduction of available beds. Furthermore, there were an additional 6 beds available across these units for emergency and respite use - these would normally only be used if required and on a very short-term basis. The average cost per week of a secure bed during 2016-17 was £5,672 up 1.6% from £5,579 in 2015-16.
Table 3.1: Secure care unit bed complement at 31 July 2017
|Unit||Number of secure care beds|
|Edinburgh Secure Services(1)||6|
|St. Mary's Kenmure(2)||24|
(1) Edinburgh Secure Services decreased bed numbers from 12 beds to 6 beds in November 2016
(2) St. Mary's Kenmure provide a care services to 24 children and young people in secure care accommodation. In addition the service has 3 short term / respite beds which can be used when the service is at capacity.
Capacity and usage
There were an average of 76 residents in secure care accommodation throughout 2017, a decrease of 11% per cent from 85 residents in the previous year. There was a 29% decline in residents from within Scotland and a reduction of the number of available secure places in Scotland from 90 to 84. There was an increase in the number of residents from outside Scotland, most of whom were from England.
Table 3.2: Secure care accommodation capacity(1) and usage
|2013||2014||2015||2016||2017||% change 2016-17|
|Places at year end||90||90||90||90||84||-7%|
|Admissions during the year||215||232||249||256||248||-3%|
|Discharges during the year||228||226||245||253||257||2%|
|Average number of residents during the year||77||74||82||85||76||-12%|
|Residents from within Scotland||76||67||76||72||56||-29%|
|Residents from outside Scotland||1||7||6||13||19||32%|
|Minimum number of residents during the year||66||60||71||77||67||0%|
|Maximum number of residents during the year(1)||90||84||89||90||87||0%|
|Number of nights emergency bed used during the year(2)||48||5||146||50||90||44%|
|Number of residents emergency bed used for during the year(2)||15||3||13||11||25||56%|
(1) Capacity: Young people can be admitted and discharged more than once during the year.
(2) Three units reported having an emergency bed: Rossie School, Good Shepherd & Kibble (see background notes for definition of an emergency bed).
Table 3.2 shows that the average number of young people in secure care accommodation during the year was 76. Following a four-year increase over 2013-2016, this has decreased in 2017. This year there was a downsizing of one secure care unit and a decline in the number of placements from Scottish Local Authorities.
The use of emergency beds has increased this year and is above the long-term average.
As can be seen in the additional tables (AT5.4), there has been a large increase in cross-border occupancy, with 30% of admissions in 2016-17 being from the rest of the UK, compared to 18% in 2015-16 and 6% in 2014-15.
On 31 July 2017, 58% of young people in secure care accommodation were male (Table 3.3). Just under 30% were aged 16 or over and around half (51%) were aged15 or older. Young people in secure care accommodation tend to be older than those looked after and on the child protection registers.
On 31 July 2017, 34% of young people in secure care accommodation had at least one disability, defined as "a mental or physical impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities". This definition introduced in 2016 is more clearly defined than in previous years, which were based on additional support needs, and the numbers in this category are consequently lower.
Table 3.3: Young people in secure care accommodation at 31st July 2017 by gender, age at admission, disability and length of stay(1)
|2013||2014||2015||2016||% of 2016 total||2017||% of 2017 total|
|Gender of residents(4)|
|Age of Residents|
|13 years old or under||10||5||7||9||10%||14||18%|
|16 years or over||39||33||32||34||39%||22||28%|
|Residents with disability(2)|
|Length of stay of residents at year end|
|Less than 1 month||18||13||17||20||23%||26||33%|
|1 month to under 2 months||8||14||16||14||16%||13||16%|
|2 months to under 3 months||12||14||13||14||16%||12||15%|
|3 months to under 6 months||18||23||26||24||27%||25||31%|
|6 months to under 1 year||10||9||9||10||11%||3||4%|
|1 year or more||8||8||4||6||7%||1||1%|
(1) As at 31 July of each year.
(2) The question was new in 2016, and asked: "does the young person have a mental or physical impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities?". This replaced 'additional support needs', which did not match the definition of disability from the Equalities Act. See background note 3.22 for more information.
(4) Trans, intersex and nonbinary young people are included in the category 'male' for data protection purposes.
Cross-UK secure care accommodation comparisons
Table 3.4: Number of secure children's homes/secure care accommodation units, places approved and children accommodated at year end across the United Kingdom(1),(2),(3),(4)
|England||Number of secure children's homes||16||16||14||14||14|
|Wales||Number of secure children's homes||1||1||1||1||1|
|Scotland(4)||Number of secure care units||5||5||5||5||5|
(1) Sources: England and Wales - Children accommodated in secure children's homes statistics; Scotland - Secure care accommodation census; Northern Ireland, official/national statistics are not produced on secure care accommodation. The legal routes into secure care can vary between the four UK countries.
(2) The figures from outside Scotland include children placed on welfare grounds only.
(3) As noted elsewhere, the Scotland total includes a number of children from the rest of the UK, so trends in each country based on the children's origin may be different.
(4) To allow for comparison with England and Wales, Scotland's data for all years is 'at 31 March' within this table only.
Table 3.4 shows secure children's homes/secure care accommodation units, places approved, and children accommodated across the United Kingdom. This shows that there is no clear trend in the number of children accommodated in England and Wales, as the numbers have fluctuated.
As noted earlier in this Secure Care Accommodation section, the Scotland total includes a number of children that are from the rest of the UK. The England and Wales totals may also include some children from other parts of the UK, but these numbers aren't published separately.