The Scottish Government collects data annually from local authorities and secure units on children and young people who were: formally looked after; under child protection arrangements; or in secure care at some point in the preceding year.
Data sourced from administrative records held by local authorities and secure units are provided to the Scottish Government via the ProcXed system. This is the Scottish Government’s on-line validation software that supports local authorities in collecting and validating data. Automated data validation checks are undertaken at the point the data are submitted, and further validation checks are performed by the Children and Families Analysis team.
Each year, data collection begins on 1st August, reporting for the year ending on 31st July. Children’s Social Work Statistics are published the following March, and Education Outcomes for Looked After Children Statistics are published in June. Details on the latest Official Statistics can be found on the Scottish Government website.
The Scottish Government sought users' views on a range of possible developments to these statistics and data collections in an online national consultation, which took place between 11 September and 16 November 2020. The purpose of the consultation was to enable an assessment to be made of user needs in relation to Children’s Social Work Statistics. In particular, the consultation questionnaire prompted respondents to identify and justify any new data they would like to see collected, and, likewise, any current data which should be considered for removal from data collections. Views on the statistical products produced from these data collections were also gathered to inform developments on the presentation, content and format of future releases. The consultation questionnaire is included in Annex A of this document.
This report provides a factual description of consultation responses.
To ensure Children’s Social Work Statistics meet user needs, developments will be recommended, overseen and prioritised by a steering group led by the Children and Families Analysis team in the Scottish Government, comprising users of these statistics. The steering group will consider the findings of this report and other developments in the sector to recommend areas for improvement. The first meeting of the steering group will take place in Spring 2021.