Children's social work statistics 2017-2018
The latest data on children and young people looked after, on the child protection register and in secure care.
This document is part of a collection
Secure Care Accommodation
Average number of residents increased by 5 to 81
The number of young people admitted to secure care decreased by 15% to 211
This section presents 2017-18 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 2018 (Table 3.1). Furthermore, there were an additional 7 beds available across these units for emergency and respite use - these would normally only be used if required and on a short-term basis.
Table 3.1: Secure care unit bed complement at 31 July 2018
|Unit||Number of secure care beds|
|Edinburgh Secure Services||6|
|St. Mary's Kenmure(1)||24|
(1) St. Mary's Kenmure provide a care service 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. These are referred to as short term beds in this report
Capacity and usage
Table 3.2 shows there were an average of 81 residents in secure care accommodation between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018, an increase from an average of 76 in the previous year. There was an 18% decline in the average number of residents from within Scotland and an increase of 89% in the average number of residents from outside Scotland, most of whom were from England.
The number of nights emergency and short term beds were used is estimated at 287 in 2017/18. This is an increase of 219% from 90 in the previous year. The number of residents using emergency and short term beds has also increased from 25 in 2016/17 to 49 in 2017/18.
Table 3.2: Secure care accommodation capacity(1) and usage, 2014-2018
|2014||2015||2016||2017||2018||% change 2017-18|
|Places at year end||90||90||90||84||84||0%|
|Admissions during the year||232||249||256||248||211||-15%|
|Discharges during the year||226||245||253||257||209||-19%|
|Average number of residents during the year||74||82||85||76||81||7%|
|Residents from within Scotland||67||76||72||56||46||-18%|
|Residents from outside Scotland||7||6||13||19||36||89%|
|Minimum number of residents during the year||60||71||77||67||75||12%|
|Maximum number of residents during the year(1)||84||89||90||87||86||-2%|
|Number of nights emergency and short term beds used during the year(2,3)||5||146||50||90||287||219%|
|Number of residents emergency and short term beds used for during the year(2,3)||3||13||11||25||49||96%|
(1) Capacity: Young people can be admitted and discharged more than once during the year.
(2) Four units reported having an emergency bed: Rossie School; Good Shepherd; Kibble; and St. Mary's Kenmure (see background notes for definition of an emergency bed). St Mary's Kenmure also has 3 short term beds which are not subject to the same regulations as emergency beds and are integrated with the main unit.
(3) Figures for emergency/short term bed usage have been estimated for St. Mary's Kenmure. More information is available in the background notes section.
On 31 July 2018, 53% of young people in secure care accommodation were female (Table 3.3). 34% were aged 16 or over and more than half (64%) were aged 15 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 2018, 51% 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".
Table 3.3: Young people in secure care accommodation at 31st July by gender, age at admission, disability and length of stay(1)
|2014||2015||2016||2017||% of 2017 total||2018||% of 2018 total|
|Gender of residents(3)|
|Age of Residents|
|13 years old or under||5||7||9||14||18%||13||15%|
|16 years or over||33||32||34||22||28%||29||34%|
|Residents with disability(2)|
|Length of stay of residents at year end|
|Less than 1 month||13||17||20||26||33%||*||*|
|1 month to under 2 months||14||16||14||13||16%||15||18%|
|2 months to under 3 months||14||13||14||12||15%||15||18%|
|3 months to under 6 months||23||26||24||25||31%||28||33%|
|6 months to under 1 year||9||*||10||*||*||13||15%|
|1 year or more||8||*||6||*||*||*||*|
(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 3.19 for more information.
(3) 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 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.
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||14||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.
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