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
Secure Care Accommodation

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.

Bed complement

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.

Table 3.1: Secure care unit bed complement at 31 July 2020 (1)
Unit Number of secure care beds
Edinburgh Secure Services 6
Good Shepherd 18
Kibble 18
Rossie School 18
St. Mary's Kenmure(1) 24
All Units 84

(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.

Table 3.2: Secure care accommodation capacity (1) and usage, 2014-2020

 

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".

Table 3.3: Young people in secure care at 31st July 2020 by gender, age at admission, disability and length of stay (1,2)
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018(3) 2019 2020 % of 2020 total
Gender of residents(3)
Males 52 59 65 46 39 60 44 54%
Females 29 26 23 34 43 24 37 46%
Age of Residents
13 years old or under 5 7 9 14 12 * 5 6%
14 years 12 18 18 18 18 * 13 16%
15 years 31 28 27 26 25 21 26 32%
16 years or over 33 32 34 22 27 55 37 46%
Residents with disability
Yes - - 34 27 39 27 7 9%
No/unknown - - 54 53 43 57 74 91%
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%
Total 81 85 88 80 82 84 81 100%

(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.

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), 2014-2020
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
England Number of secure children's homes 16 14 14 14 14 14 13
Places approved 276 232 232 232 233 237 230
Children accommodated 211 194 192 184 189 162 171
Wales Number of secure children's homes 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Places approved 22 22 22 22 22 22 22
Children accommodated 18 11 18 19 15 10 13
Scotland(4) Number of secure care units 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
Places approved 90 90 90 84 84 84 84
Children accommodated 80 85 84 81 82 84 82

(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)


Contact

Email: childrens.statistics@gov.scot