The Scottish Government has today (30 March 2021) 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, or in secure care at some point between 1 August 2019 and 31 July 2020. The figures for 2019-2020 therefore may be affected by the impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency on social work practices and emergency legislation from March 2020.
The figures show a total of 14,458 children and young people were looked after, a 1% increase on the previous year, and the first increase after seven years of a decline. The number of children new to being 'looked after' under these measures has decreased by 9% compared with the previous year.
The number of children on the child protection register has risen by 3% to 16,530, with the most common causes for concern being emotional and domestic abuse, parental substance misuse, and neglect.
The average number of young people in secure care rose by 3 to 82.