1.1 The Children Looked After Statistics were collected at an individual level from 31 local authorities. Figures submitted by Glasgow City Council for children looked after are provisional and subject to revision, as they were only able to provide a summary set of aggregate figures in time for inclusion in the publication for 2010-11. Individual level data was submitted by all 32 local authorities on aftercare and short term placements. Statistics for years prior to 2008-09 used data supplied by local authorities aggregated at a local authority level. Since 2008-09, local authorities are reporting significant improvements in the quality of their data reporting as a result of the new individualised collection methodology. This should be borne in mind when performing cross-year comparisons.
1.2 The Child Protection Statistics were collected at an aggregate level from all local authorities.
1.3 The Secure Care and Close Support Case Accommodation Statistics were collected from 7 secure care units, 4 of which had dedicated close support units. Aggregate information was collected on the units themselves, and individual level information was collected on each of the young people in the dedicated secure care and close support accommodation units. The survey covered 1 April 2010 to 31 July 2011. The figures included in this publication cover the period 1 August 2010 to 31 July 2011 to enable comparisons with previous 12-month reporting periods.
2. Coverage and Timing
2.1 The looked after children data collected contains information on the characteristics of each child or young person that was looked after at any time during the reporting period. Statistics were collected on all children/ young people who had an open looked after episode between 1 August 2010 and 31 July 2011, on every episode which was open at some point in the reporting period, every placement that took place during these entire episodes and every (main) legal reason for which a child was looked after. Statistics were also collected at an individual level for eligible for aftercare and current planned series of short term placements sections. The survey forms, data specifications and guidance notes for the data presented in this publication (and previous years publications) can be seen at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Children/SurveyChildrenLookedAfter .
2.2 The Child Protection Statistics survey covered the period 1 April 2010 to 31 July 2011. However, the figures included in this publication cover the period 1 August 2010 to 31 July 2011 to enable comparisons with previous 12-month reporting periods.
2.3 The child protection survey collected information on the number of initial/pre-birth case conferences, the number of child protection registrations, number of de-registrations and number of children on child protection registers.
2.4 Information on Child Protection Referrals was also collected. However, as local authorities classify child protection referrals differently (for example, some local authorities start the referral process at a different point in the process) then these statistics have not been included in this publication.
2.5 Various breakdowns are collected in the Child Protection Survey, such as age group, gender, ethnicity, disability, religion, main category of abuse/risk and known/suspected abuser.
2.6 The Child Protection survey forms and guidance notes for the data presented in this publication (and previous years publications) can be seen at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Children/SurveyChildProtection.
2.7 The Secure Care and Close Support Case Accommodation Census covered 1 April 2010 to 31 July 2011. However, the figures included in this publication cover the period 1 August 2010 to 31 July 2011 to enable comparisons with previous 12-month reporting periods.
2.8 The secure care and close support accommodation data collected at the unit level covers the number of places, emergency bed usage, staffing, and average cost per week per bed. Individual level information was collected on the characteristics of the young person, admissions and discharges. For those in secure care accommodation information was also collected on medical care. The survey forms and guidance notes for the data presented in this publication (and previous years publications) can be seen at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Children/SurveySecureAccommodation
3. Definitions and Data Quality
Children Looked After (Tables 1.1 - 1.7)
3.1 Although all local authorities supplied data, Glasgow were only able to provide a provisional set of summary aggregate tables in time for inclusion in the looked after children section of this publication. Glasgow were also unable to provide information on legal reasons relating to children looked after. They were however able to provide individual level aftercare and short term placements data.
3.2 Data collected on children in a current planned series of short term placements was collected for those up to 21 years old for the first time in 2010-11. In previous years it was only collected for those up to 18 years. This change is intended to capture more complete information on the provision of short term placements by local authorities by including those who were receiving a service but were over 18 years old.
3.3 From 2011-12, local authorities are requested to supply information on all legal reasons for a child being looked after (i.e. a child may have more than one legal reasons at any given time). 2009-10 and 2010-11 are transitional years, and local authorities could either supply the main legal reason or all legal reasons for these reporting periods. Therefore, information on legal reasons is not contained within this publication (due to inconsistency in reporting across local authorities), but is available on request.
3.4 A list of the placement categories and classifications is shown in Annex A.
3.5 Work has been undertaken between the Scottish Government and administrations from England, Wales and Northern Ireland to document clearly the differences between each administration's Looked After Children Statistics and to scope out the feasibility and need for a comparable dataset. Further developments from this work have been published on the Scottish Government Children's Statistics web site at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Children/socialservicestats
Child Protection (Tables 2.1-2.5)
3.6 Since the late 1990s, the Scottish Government has been conducting an annual survey on Child Protection in Scotland. This survey requests statistical information be reported by local authorities to the Scottish Government.
3.7 On 13 December 2010, the Scottish Government published revised National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2010/12/09134441/0
3.8 To coincide with the launch of the revised National Guidance, the child protection survey underwent a review of what it should collect, how it should be collected and when it should be collected.
3.9 As a result, the child protection survey is in the process of migrating from an aggregate return to an individual level collection, starting from 2012/13. A link to the data specifications and guidance notes for past, present and future child protection surveys can be found in paragraph 2.6 above.
3.10 Work was commissioned by the Department of Education to document clearly the differences between each administration's Child Protection Statistics. Further developments from this work have been published on the Scottish Government Children's Statistics web site at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Children/socialservicestats
Secure Care and Close Support Accommodation
(Tables 3.1 - 3.4 and Chart 3)
3.7 The average number of young people in secure care accommodation over the year is calculated using the dates of admission and discharge for every child. Ages on admission, discharge during 2010-11 and age at 31 July 2011 are the actual ages for all young people.
3.8 Data was collected on ethnicity of young people in secure and close support accommodation, but we are unable to publish this due to some small numbers and data confidentiality issues.
3.9 Disability categories were based on ISD Health and Social Care Data Dictionary codes when the survey form was finalised in December 2007. Information was collected on types of disability for young people in close support units during 2010-11, but we are unable to publish a detailed breakdown of disability due to small numbers and data confidentiality issues.
3.10 The latest national statistics on Children Accommodated in Secure Children's Homes in England and Wales were released on 31 August 2011 and can be found at http://www.education.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s001027/index.shtml.
Information on secure accommodation in Northern Ireland can be found at: http://www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/statistics_and_research-cib_other_childrens.
4.1 If figures and percentages are shown as rounded figures, then breakdowns may consequently not sum to Scotland figures.
5.1 The report was edited by: Gary Sutton, Charlie Hogg and Denise Macleod.
5.2 All tables are available on the Scottish Government website at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Children/PubChildrenSocialWork
5.3 Additional information can be found through the following link: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Children/PubChildrenSocialWork
6.1 Please see back page for public enquiries (non-media) about the information contained in this bulletin.
6.2 Media enquiries about the information contained in this notice should be addressed to:
Children Looked After and Child Protection
Barry McPherson, Tel: 0131 244 4001
Secure Care and Close Support
Ross Clark, Tel: 0131 244 2656
29th February 2012
Email: Denise Macleod