Secure Care Accommodation
Average number of residents increased by 3 to 82 since 2019.
The number of young people admitted to secure care decreased by 11% from 217 to 194 since 2019.
This section presents 2019-20 data on secure care accommodation. Following the conventions in the rest of this publication, 2019-20 is referred to as 2020. Secure care is used for a small number of young people who present high risk to themselves or others. A placement to secure care can only be authorised following a decision through the Children's Hearing System or a Court, or as an emergency placement for up to 72 hours before attending a hearing or court.
There were 84 secure places available in five secure units in Scotland excluding emergency beds on 31 July 2020 (Table 3.1). Furthermore, there were an additional 7 beds available across these units for emergency and short-term use – these would normally only be used if required and on a short-term basis.
|Unit||Number of secure care beds|
|Edinburgh Secure Services||6|
|St. Mary's Kenmure(1)||24|
(1) Excluding emergency or short-term respite beds
Capacity and usage
Table 3.2 shows there were an average of 82 residents in secure care accommodation between 1 August 2019 and 31 July 2020, an increase from an average of 79 in the previous year. The average number of residents from within Scotland remained at 53, while the average from outside Scotland increased slightly from 26 to 28, all of whom were from England.
The number of nights emergency beds were used was 209 in 2020. This is a considerable decrease of 47% from 398 in the previous year. The number of residents using emergency beds decreased by 49%, from 55 in 2019 to 28 in 2020.
|2014||2015||2016||2017||2018||2019||2020||% change 2019-20|
|Places at year end||90||90||90||84||84||84||84||0%|
|Admissions during the year||232||249||256||248||210||217||194||-11%|
|Discharges during the year||226||245||253||257||213||210||194||-8%|
|Average number of residents during the year||74||82||85||76||80||79||82||4%|
|Residents from within Scotland||67||76||72||56||45||53||53||0%|
|Residents from outside Scotland||7||6||13||19||35||26||28||8%|
|Minimum number of residents during the year||60||71||77||67||73||71||75||6%|
|Maximum number of residents during the year(1)||84||89||90||87||86||88||88||0%|
|Number of nights emergency bed used during the year(2,3)||5||146||50||90||284||398||209||-47%|
|Number of residents emergency bed used for during the year(2,3)||*||13||11||25||41||55||28||-49%|
(1) Capacity: Young people can be admitted and discharged more than once during the year.
(2) Four units reported having an emergency bed: Rossie Secure Accommodation Services; Good Shepherd Centre; Kibble Education and Care Centre; and St. Mary's Kenmure. St Mary's Kenmure also have 3 short-term beds (see background notes for definition of an emergency or short-term bed).
(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 2020, 54% of young people in secure care accommodation were male and 46% were female (Table 3.3); 46% were aged 16 or over; and 78% were aged 15 or older.
On 31 July 2020, 9% 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".
|2014||2015||2016||2017||2018(3)||2019||2020||% of 2020 total|
|Gender of residents(3)|
|Age of Residents|
|13 years old or under||5||7||9||14||12||*||5||6%|
|16 years or over||33||32||34||22||27||55||37||46%|
|Residents with disability|
|Length of stay of residents at year end|
|Less than 1 month||13||17||20||26||10||21||17||21%|
|1 month to under 2 months||14||16||14||13||14||16||14||17%|
|2 months to under 3 months||14||13||14||12||13||9||6||7%|
|3 months to under 6 months||23||26||24||25||27||22||18||22%|
|6 months to under 1 year||9||*||10||*||14||11||16||20%|
|1 year or more||8||*||6||*||0||5||2||2%|
(1) As at 31 July of each year.
(2) Cells containing * represent numbers that are suppressed to maintain confidentiality.
(3) Trans, intersex and non-binary individuals are grouped with males for the purposes of maintaining confidentiality.
Cross-UK secure care accommodation comparisons
Table 3.4 shows secure children's homes/secure care accommodation units, places approved, and children and young people 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, the Scotland total includes a number of young people who are from elsewhere in 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.
|England||Number of secure children's homes||16||14||14||14||14||14||13|
|Wales||Number of secure children's homes||1||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|Scotland(4)||Number of secure care units||5||5||5||5||5||5||5|
(1) Sources: England and Wales - Statistics on secure children's homes: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-secure-children-s-homes; 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 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.
(3) The figures from outside Scotland include children placed on welfare grounds only.
(4) To allow for comparison with England and Wales, Scotland's data for all years is 'at 31 March' within this table only.
The data used to produce the charts and tables on secure care in the publication are available in the supporting files accompanying the publication. There are also additional tables available in the supporting files.
Children's social work statistics - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)