25 April 2023

Children's social work statistics for Scotland published

The Scottish Government has today (25 April 2023) published the latest official annual Children's Social Work Statistics for Scotland. Information was collected from local authorities and secure units about children and young people, who were formally 'looked after', under child protection measures, in continuing care, eligible for aftercare, and in secure care, at some point between 1 August 2021 and 31 July 2022.

The figures show that a total of 12,596 children were ‘looked after’, a 5% decrease since 31 July 2021. The number of children new to being ‘looked after’ was up 1% on 2020-2021.

The number of children on the child protection register has decreased by 4% to 2,031, with the most common causes for concern being domestic abuse, neglect, parental substance misuse, and parental mental health problems.

The number of young people in continuing care increased by 24% compared to the previous year, though the number of young people entering continuing care decreased by 2% on 2020-21.

The number of young people eligible for aftercare services increased by 10% and the number of young people receiving aftercare services increased by 2%.

The average number of young people in secure care decreased by 3% to an average of 74.

Read the full statistical information