Children’s homes, secure units and residential centres for under 16s: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/201900000080  
Date received: 8 January 2019 
Date responded: 25 January 2019
Information requested
1. How much money has the Scottish Government spent in the year 2018 to 2019 on staff/materials/offices/Education/Social work and medical procedures and advice on gender reassignment for young people of 16 years old and under?

2. How many people in Scotland of 16 years old and under, were being held in children’s homes/secure units in the year 2018 to 2019?

3. How many people in Scotland of 16 years old and under, were currently being cared for in “looked after”/adopted/fostered homes, (away from natural parents) over the course of one year i.e. Jan 2018 to Jan 2019 or similar, annual span – e.g. April 2017 to April 2018, etc.

4. How many children’s homes/residential Centres were currently in use in Scotland in 2018 and how are they distributed around the country?
I will respond to each in turn.
1. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested in Q1 above because we do not hold it centrally.
This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.
NHS National Services Scotland may have some, or all of the information you are looking for. NHS National Services Scotland are fully part of Scotland’s NHS, and one of their divisions is the National Services Division. You will find contact details on their website at
To the extent that your request relates to the existing process for legal gender recognition, I would advise that under the existing arrangements in the Gender Recognition Act 2004 applicants must be aged 18 and over.
Information is available from the Scottish Government consultation on the Gender Recognition Act 2004, including how the current process operates, the Scottish Government’s proposals for reform and the numbers of people born in Scotland who obtain a gender recognition certificate under that Act. The consultation and draft impact assessments are available at
We have published information about the estimated total costs of preparing, publishing and analysing that consultation at:
Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you.
2. The number of looked after children aged under 17 who had a placement in either a local authority home, voluntary home, residential school, secure accommodation or other residential accommodation was 1,981 between 1 August 2016 and 31 July 2017.
Information on the number of young people in secure care is available on the SAN website
which is updated each day. All of Scotland’s secure units are subject to FOI and can be contacted directly for information.
3. The number of looked after children aged under 17 who had a placement with either foster carers, prospective adopters or in other community was 6,851 between 1 August 2016 and 31 July 2017.
The figures include both those who were currently looked after when the data was provided as at 31 July 2017 and those who had been looked after at any point between 1 August 2016 and 31 July 2017, but also ended their placement during this time.
The figures include children who were aged under 17 at 31 July 2016; children who turned 17 between 1 August 2016 and 31 July 2017 are included in the figures.
4. The information you have requested in Q4 above is already freely available via the Care Inspectorate’s datastore which is on their website here:
I recommend a careful read of the notes, and the definitions document. The most useful version will be the file called:
Datastore (as at 31 December 2018) Excel with Pivots [MDSF_data_31 December 18.xlsx]
If you have any problems doing this, you can contact the Care Inspectorate via the “contact us” section on their website.
About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit 
Phone: 0300 244 4000 

The Scottish Government 
St Andrew's House 
Regent Road 

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