National Care Service - children's social services: overview

Overview of social services provided to children and families in Scotland. It forms one of a collection of contextual papers about social care and related areas in Scotland, linking to the National Care Service consultation.

This document is part of a collection


Footnotes

1. "Social services" is a term used to describe social work and social care services:

Social work is a statutory role undertaken by qualified and registered social workers. Its role is to assess need, manage risk and promote the wellbeing of individuals and communities. It is the gateway through which most individuals access social care.

Social care is an umbrella term for services which support people to meet their personal outcomes. It is the direct provision of services based on the assessment of need by social work.

2. Services not covered by this report are: health services, additional support services, other youth justice services and whole family support services.

3. The Scottish Government have been monitoring the number of Inter-Agency Discussions as part of the Vulnerable Children COVID19 Monitoring Survey. These figures are not subject to the same quality assurance controls as Official Statistics and are therefore not presented here.

4. Part 2B: Approach to Multi-Agency Assessment in Child Protection - National guidance for child protection in Scotland 2021.

5. If not, assessment and support may still be offered.

6. Per 1,000 population aged 0-15 calculated using NRS mid-year 2020 population estimates.

7. Please note changes in terminology set out by the National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 – from 'Child Protection Case Conferences' to 'Child Protection Planning Meetings'. Here we refer to 'Case Conferences' to reflect terminology used within the most recent Children's Social Work Statistics publication.

8. Initial conference is for a child not currently on the Register (i.e., newly registered).

9. Pre-birth conferences are for an unborn child.

10. Per 1,000 population aged 0-15 calculated using NRS mid-year 2020 population estimates

11. A child may be referred more than once.

12. % of population aged under 16 years, based on mid-year estimates for 2020 from the National Records of Scotland.

13. Per 1,000 population aged under 16 years calculated using NRS mid-year 2020 population estimates.

14. Per 1,000 population aged under 16 years calculated using NRS mid-year 2020 population estimates.

15. % of population aged under 18 years, based on mid-year estimates for 2020 from the National Records of Scotland.

16. A care plan includes detailed information about the child's care, education and health needs, as well as the responsibilities of the local authority, the parents, and the child. A care plan is considered 'current' if it has been produced or reviewed in the past 12 months.

17. A young person receiving Continuing Care will no longer be defined as 'looked after' but will continue to receive the same support.

18. Since April 2015, aftercare eligibility was extended to cover all care leavers up to, and including, people aged 25 years (where it previously only covered up to their 21st birthday).

19. This is defined as having a mental or physical impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

20. GIRFEC is the national approach which supports families by making sure children and young people can receive the right help, at the right time, from the right people. The aim is to help them to grow up feeling loved, safe and respected so that they can realise their full potential. If children need extra help, GIRFEC is a way for families to work in partnership with people who can support them.

21. These services are care homes, special school accommodation services and secure accommodation services for children who are looked after away from home.

22. Local authority fieldwork staff usually based in local offices providing services to children and families. Staff will include qualified social workers. The Public Service Reform Scotland Act 2010 distinguishes between registered care services on one hand, and social work services (of which fieldwork services are the essential part) on the other.

23. In 2020, there were 8,650 staff working in residential child care services, however, more detailed breakdowns are not available for this figure. As such, 2019 data is reported here.

Contact

Email: SWStat@gov.scot

Back to top