Secure Care and Close Support
|Closure of one unit has reduced secure care places available from 94 to 90|
|More than nine in ten young people in secure care were reported as having a non-medically diagnosed social, emotional or behavioural difficulty|
This section presents 2012-13 data on secure care and close support accommodation. 2011 and 2012 close support information has been revised from the previous publication to remove Edinburgh's information, as they did not meet the criteria for inclusion (see Background Notes and paragraph below for further information). Secure care generally refers to accommodation for children and young people who pose a significant risk to either themselves and/or others and are likely to run away or abscond. Placement within secure accommodation can only be determined by the authority of a Children's Hearing or by the order of a court.
Close support is residential accommodation providing a safe structured nurturing environment. A young person can be placed in close support either as a route into secure accommodation or on the way out of secure to help with the transition back to their families or communities. Close support could also be used to prevent young people being admitted to secure accommodation. Close support included in this publication are those that are in the same building as the secure unit i.e. that are related directly to the secure unit. The reason for only including close support in the same physical location as the secure unit is because capital and overhead costs will be inherently linked.
While there has been an increase in the numbers of looked after children and children on the child protection register that has recently plateaued, the number of young people in secure care has been decreasing since 2010. This downward trend follows Scottish Government's aim to reduce the number of young people who need to be held in secure care accommodation. The number of young people involved in secure care and close support is also smaller and continuing to fall accounting for less than one per cent of the populations of looked after children and children on the child protection register.
|Unit||Secure Care Bed Complement||Close Support Bed Complement(3)|
|Edinburgh Secure Services||12||0|
|St. Mary's Kenmure(2)||24||0|
(1) The Elms Secure Unit closed on 20 December 2012.
(2) St. Mary's Kenmure provide a care services to 24 children and young people in secure care accommodation. In addition the service have 3 short term / respite beds which can be used when the service is at capacity.
(3) Bed complement relates only to care provided in dedicated close support units, and does not include any close support provided in alternative settings. Edinburgh's close support beds are not included (see Background Notes for further information).
There were 90 secure places available in five secure units excluding emergency beds on 31 July 2013 (Table 3.1). In addition, St. Mary's Kenmure had three short term/respite beds which could be used when their service was at capacity. Three units had an emergency bed available (Good Shepherd, Kibble and Rossie) and there were two units providing close support accommodation (Good Shepherd and Rossie). The average cost per secure bed per week during 2012-13 (excluding the Elms) was £5,230, with costs in individual units ranging from £5,090 to £5,400.
|Care staff||Teachers/ Instructors||Other staff|
|Secure Care||Full time||Part time||Full time||Part time||Full time||Part time||Total|
|Total number of staff||229||30||41||12||102||23||437|
|…of which were long term(1)||1||0||2||1||1||1||6|
|Vacancies as a % of all posts||4%||9%||5%||8%||2%||4%||4%|
(1) Long-term vacancies are those lasting more than 3 months.
On 31 July 2013, there were 437 staff working across the secure estate, of who 11 were temporary. There were 19 vacancies, of which six had been vacant for more than three months. In close support, there were 49 staff, none of which were temporary. There were four vacancies. (Tables 3.2a and 3.2b).
|Close Support||Full time||Part time||Total|
|Total number of staff||49||0||49|
|…of which were long term(2)||0||0||0|
|Vacancies as a % of all posts||7.5%||0.0%||7.5%|
(1) Staff figures in this table only include those providing close support care provided in dedicated close support units within the same building as the secure unit, and does not include any close support provided in alternative settings.
(2) Long-term vacancies are those lasting more than 3 months.
Capacity and usage
There was an average of 78 residents in secure care accommodation throughout 2012-13, down eight per cent from 85 residents in the previous year (Table 3.3). The number of young people in secure care accommodation throughout the year ranged from 67 to 91 (although this was due to two dates of overcapacity - excluding these would reduce the maximum to 90).
There were 215 admissions in secure care accommodation between 1 August 2012 and 31 July 2013. This was a decrease of nine per cent compared with 2011-12. There were 224 discharges between 1 August 2012 and 31 July 2013 (a decrease of eight per cent from 2011-12). Admissions and discharges have been decreasing since 2009-10. Use of the emergency bed during 2012-13 decreased (by 31 per cent) as did the number of young people the emergency bed was used for (down by six per cent). However, this followed a significant increase in the previous year.
The close support has been revised to remove Edinburgh's data because they did not meet the criteria of being directly related to the secure unit. This has reduced the previously published number of close support places by around half from 2010 onwards. There was an average of 9 residents in close support accommodation throughout 2012-13, a decrease of 18 per cent in the previous year. The number of young people in close support accommodation throughout the year ranged from 4 to 13. For close support accommodation, there were 37 admissions and 33 discharges between 1 August 2012 and 31 July 2013. This was an increase of admissions of 23 per cent and a decrease of discharges of three per cent on 2011-12.
|2011||2012||2013||% change 2012-13|
|Places at year end||112||94||90||-4%|
|Admissions during the year||276||237||215||-9%|
|Discharges during the year||268||243||224||-8%|
|Average number of residents during the year||87||85||78||-8%|
|Minimum number of residents during the year||78||74||67||-9%|
|Maximum number of residents during the year||95||93||91||-2%|
|Number of nights emergency bed used during the year(2)||11||70||48||-31%|
|Number of residents emergency bed used for during the year(2)||2||16||15||-6%|
|Close Support Accommodation(3)|
|Places at year end||14||16||16||0%|
|Admissions during the year||30||30||37||23%|
|Discharges during the year||31||34||33||-3%|
|Average number of residents during the year||13||11||9||-18%|
|Minimum number of residents during the year||10||5||4||-20%|
|Maximum number of residents during the year||17||16||13||-19%|
(1) Capacity: Young people can be admitted and discharged more than once during the year.
Rossie School increased the number of close support beds on 1 April 2012 from 8 to 10.
During 2010/11, St. Mary's Kenmure reported overcapacity for 9 periods which was due to using their 'mothballed' unit.
During 2010/11, St. Philip's reported overcapacity for 9 periods which was most likely due to using their 'mothballed' unit.
St. Philip's 'wound down' from 1 July 2011 and closed on 5 August 2011.
From 2011/12, St. Mary's Kenmure provide a care services to 24 children and young people in secure accommodation. In addition the service had 3 short term / respite beds which could be used when the service is at capacity.
The Elms Secure Unit closed on 20 December 2012.
During 2012/13, Rossie School reported 2 periods of overcapacity which was due to use of the emergency bed because of internal reorganisation rather than a new person coming into the unit. If excluded, the maximum number of residents during the year would be 90.
(2) Three units reported having an emergency bed: Rossie School, Good Shepherd & Kibble (see background notes for definition of an emergency bed).
(3) Reported usage relates only to close support care provided in dedicated close support units, and does not include any close support provided in alternative settings. 2011 and 2012 close support information has been revised from the previous publication as Edinburgh's close support has been removed.
Chart 8 shows that total occupancy reached its highest capacity of 91 residents in secure care accommodation during two dates in November. However, this includes the two dates of overcapacity for Rossie. If excluded, the maximum number of residents during the year would be 90. See footnote 1 in Table 3.3 for information on centres that have opened and closed in 2012-13.
Table 3.4 shows that the number of young people in secure care accommodation on 31 July 2013 was 78. This has been decreasing over the past three years.
Sixty five per cent of young people in secure care accommodation on 31 July 2013 were male and just over half were aged 16 years and over. Young people in secure care accommodation tend to be older than those looked after and on the child protection registers. In comparison, the majority of children on the child protection register at 31 July 2013 were under five years old.
Nearly 100 per cent of young people in secure care accommodation on 31 July 2013 had at least one additional support need and by far the most common category of additional support need was "other social, emotional and behavioural difficulties", which 92 per cent of all young people in secure care were reported as having.
|2011||2012||2013||% of 2013 total|
|Gender of residents|
|Age of Residents|
|13 years old or under||9||8||10||13%|
|16 years or over||38||35||40||51%|
|Residents with additional support needs(2)|
|Any known additional support needs||87||78||77||99%|
|Additional support needs, where known|
|Medically diagnosed social, emotional & behavioural difficulties||35||31||45||58%|
|Other social, emotional & behavioural difficulties||80||76||72||92%|
|Specific learning difficulties||11||12||11||14%|
|Mental health problems||13||23||26||33%|
|Language and communication disorder||9||12||6||8%|
|Physical or motor impairment||*||*||*||-|
|Combined sight and hearing loss||*||0||*||-|
|Length of stay of residents at year end|
|Less than 1 month||34||11||18||23%|
|1 month to under 2 months||14||15||10||13%|
|2 months to under 3 months||10||16||12||15%|
|3 months to under 6 months||12||22||19||24%|
|6 months to under 1 year||11||10||10||13%|
|1 year or more||8||10||9||12%|
(1) At 31 July of each year. From 2011 centres have opened and closed and total capacity has changed. Please refer to footnote 1 in Table 3.3 for more information on this.
(2) Since 2012 the disability category has been renamed additional support needs because the information collected does not meet the definition of 'disability' outlined in the Equality Act 2010.
Due to small numbers, some additional support needs categories have been included in the 'Other' category. These include 'autistic spectrum disorder', 'hearing impairment', 'learning disability' and 'other chronic illness/disability'. Note that a young person can have multiple additional support needs.
Cells containing * represent numbers that are suppressed to maintain confidentiality.
Cross-UK secure care and close support accommodation comparisons
The additional tables on secure care and close support accommodation include a table on secure children's homes/secure care accommodation units, places approved and children accommodated across the United Kingdom. These are available at:
Email: Carrie Graham