26 March 2024

Latest children's social work statistics for Scotland published: Child Protection

The Scottish Government has today (26 March 2024) published the latest official annual Children's Social Work Statistics for Scotland. This uses data collected from all 32 local authorities in Scotland on child protection processes from 1 August 2022 to 31 July 2023.

The figures show that a total of 2,094 children were on the Child Protection Register on 31 July 2023, an increase of 4% since 2022. 5% of children on the Register were not yet born, and the proportion of children on the Register under the age of five years was 47%.

During 2022-23, there were 3,231 children registered onto the Child Protection Register, a decrease of 2% since 2021-22.

A Case Conference, an inter-agency meeting, is convened when there are concerns that a child is or may be at risk of significant harm. This meeting works to ensure relevant information is shared to carry out a collective assessment of risk, and to agree a plan to minimise risk of harm to the child.

The most common concerns identified at Case Conferences of children registered during the year 2022-23 were recorded as: domestic abuse (16%), neglect (15%), parental mental health problems (15%), parental substance misuse (15%), and emotional abuse (12%).

For statistics from 2023 onwards, statistics relating to children requiring the support of Secure Care, the needs of all ‘Looked After’ children and those eligible for Aftercare are being published separately from the child protection statistics.

Read the report