Secure Care Accommodation
Average number of residents has increased this year, reversing recent declines
Emergency bed usage is at highest recorded level
This section presents 2014-15 data on secure care accommodation. Secure care normally refers to accommodation for vulnerable young people who are likely to abscond and they are at risk of harm to themselves or others. They are usually placed in secure care on welfare grounds by the Children's Hearing System. Children can also be placed on offence grounds by the Hearings System or the Criminal Justice System.
As secure care accommodation is in place for a very specific group of individuals, numbers will be much smaller than for those who are looked after or on the child protection register. There is no apparent connection between trends - while increases have been seen for children on the child protection register over recent years, decreases have been experienced by those who are looked after or in secure care accommodation. It can be seen this year that trends in child protection and secure have both reversed.
There were 90 secure places available in five secure units excluding emergency beds on 31 July 2015 (Table 3.1). It should be noted that two units operated at reduced capacity for part of the year. There were an additional 6 beds available across these units for emergency and respite use - these would normally only be used if required and on a very short-term basis. The average cost per week of a secure bed during 2014-15 was £5,495.
|Edinburgh Secure Services||12|
|St. Mary's Kenmure||24|
(1) St Mary's' capacity was reduced to 21 beds from June 2014 - April 2015 and Rossie's capacity was reduced to 14 from April 2014 - April 2015.
There was an average of 82 residents in secure care accommodation throughout 2014-15, an increase of 11 per cent from 74 residents in the previous year and reversing the recent downward trend (Table 3.2). The number of young people in secure care accommodation throughout the year ranged from 71 to 89.
Capacity and usage
|2013||2014||2015||% change 2014-15|
|Places at year end||90||90||90||0%|
|Admissions during the year||215||232||248||7%|
|Discharges during the year||228||226||245||8%|
|Average number of residents during the year||77||74||82||11%|
|Minimum number of residents during the year||66||60||71||18%|
|Maximum number of residents during the year||90||84||89||6%|
|Number of nights emergency bed used during the year||48||5||146||2,820%|
|Number of residents emergency bed used for during the year||15||3||13||333%|
(1) Young people can be admitted and discharged more than once during the year.
Table 3.3 shows that the number of young people in secure care accommodation on 31 July 2015 was 84. Following a three year decrease from 2009-10, this has increased in the last two years, most recently by four per cent.
Sixty-nine per cent of young people in secure care accommodation on 31 July 2015 were male and just under 40 per cent 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. The data shows the majority (70 per cent) of young people in secure care accommodation are 15 years or older. This is a very different pattern from what is seen in the child protection and looked after children data where the majority of children are under five and 11 respectively.
Ninety-three per cent of young people in secure care accommodation on 31 July 2015 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" (89 per cent). This is much higher than the proportions reported for children who are looked after or on the child protection register.
|2013||2014||2015||% of 2015 total|
|Gender of residents|
|Age of Residents|
|13 years old or under||10||5||7||8%|
|16 years or over||39||33||32||38%|
|Residents with additional support needs(2)|
|Any known additional support needs||73||76||78||93%|
|Additional support needs, where known|
|Medically diagnosed social, emotional & behavioural difficulties||42||32||27||32%|
|Other social, emotional & behavioural difficulties||68||64||75||89%|
|Specific learning difficulties||11||5||1||1%|
|Mental health problems||26||31||28||33%|
|Language and communication disorder||6||10||8||10%|
|Length of stay of residents at year end|
|Less than 1 month||18||13||16||19%|
|1 month to under 2 months||8||14||16||19%|
|2 months to under 3 months||12||14||13||15%|
|3 months to under 6 months||18||23||26||31%|
|6 months to under 1 year||10||9||9||11%|
|1 year or more||8||8||4||5%|
(1) As 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 3.2 for more information on this.
(2) 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 accommodation comparisons
|England||Number of secure children's homes||16||16||14|
|Wales||Number of secure children's homes||1||1||1|
|Scotland(2)||Number of secure care units||5||5||5|
(1) Sources: England and Wales - Children accommodated in secure children's homes statistics; 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) To allow for comparison with England and Wales, Scotland's data for all years is 'at 31 March' within this table only.
Table 3.4 secure children's homes/secure care accommodation units, places approved and children accommodated across the United Kingdom. This shows a downward trend in places approved and children accommodated in Wales and England since 2014 - this is the opposite to the trend in Scotland.
Email: Ian Volante