Publication - Statistics

Children's social work statistics: 2019 to 2020

Children's social work statistics for Scotland for 2019 to 2020, including data on children and young people looked after, on the child protection register and in secure care.

Contents
Children's social work statistics: 2019 to 2020
Introduction

Introduction

What do these statistics include?

We present information collected from local authorities and secure units on children and young people, who were formally looked after; under child protection measures; or in secure care at some point between 1 August 2019 and 31 July 2020.

How do children come to be counted in these figures?

There are a number of ways that a child may become looked after, on the child protection register or in secure care. Children may be referred to the Children's Reporter[1], become voluntarily looked after or come via the criminal justice system. The diagram below gives a high-level illustration of the main routes by which children would be included.

This diagram gives an illustration of the routes by which children would be included in these statistics.

Revisions of 2018-19 data

Each year, data for Children Looked After, Child Protection and Eligibility for Aftercare are collected for the period 1 August to 31 July from all local authorities in Scotland.

It is normal practice that, during the child protection data collection process, local authorities revise their data for the previous year. This report reflects those updates provided by all local authorities for 2018-19.

Also, in this year's report, figures on the number of young people eligible for aftercare services does not include those in continuing care. This revised method has also been applied to 2018-19 figures included in the supporting tables.

Child protection

The total number of children on the child protection register was previously reported to be 2,599 at the 31st July 2019. The revised figure in this report is 2,580.

Eligible for aftercare

The total number of young people eligible for aftercare services on 31st July 2019 was previously reported as 6,650. This figure has been revised to 6,492.

Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on these statistics

Statistics for the year 2019-20 in this report refer to the period from 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2020. Therefore, annual figures for 2019-20 are affected by any impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on social work practices, from March 2020.

Weekly data monitoring the impacts of the pandemic on vulnerable children and families, and how services were responding, have been collected and published[2] by Scottish Government since April 2020.

To illustrate the impact of the pandemic on these figures, this report includes time series charts showing patterns by month within each of the last two years, in:

  • children becoming looked after
  • children ceasing to be looked after
  • children registered on the child protection register
  • children deregistered from the child protection register

Contact

Email: childrens.statistics@gov.scot