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Published, 26 March 2019

New 2017-18 Children's Social Work Statistics for Scotland

The Scottish Government has published its children’s social work statistics for 2017-18 today (26 March). The statistics were collected from local authorities and secure units on children who were looked after, on the child protection register, or in secure care accommodation between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018.

This year the statistics include Continuing Care figures for the first time. Continuing Care is the continued provision of the accommodation and other assistance that was being provided by the local authority immediately before the young person ceased to be looked after.

The most recent figures for Glasgow City were not yet available. As a result, data was estimated based on last year. In some cases, where Glasgow City’s data made up a significant proportion of the national count, it was temporarily excluded, as highlighted in the report.

Key findings include:

  • In total, 2% of all children in Scotland (16,751) were either on the child protection register or had the status of ‘looked after’ by local authorities.
  • 655 children were both looked after and on the child protection register.
  • The number of looked after children in 2018 fell by 1% compared to the previous year and has been declining for the past six years.
  • The number of children on the child protection register increased by 3% but didn’t exceed the most recent peak registered in 2014.
  • Foster care is still the most common type of placement for looked after children at 34%, followed by kinship care at 24%, with only 10% of children in residential care.
  • Excluding placements in Scottish units from the rest of the UK, the average number of Scottish young people in secure care accommodation was 18% lower than last year.  
  • 62% of an estimated 6,109 care leavers who were eligible for aftercare services on 31 July 2018 are recorded as receiving aftercare.
  • 208 young people are known to have been in Continuing Care in 2017-18.

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94 Cathedral St, Glasgow G4 0LG
0141 444 8500

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