Looked after children

Number of looked after children in scotland

At 31 July 2015, there were 15,404 looked after children in Scotland – a decrease of 196 (1%) from 2014. This is the third consecutive year the numbers have decreased following a peak of 16,248 in 2012; the numbers leaving care each year have been consistently more than number starting.

Scottish Government, March 2016, Children's Social Work Statistics Scotland 2014/15


Foster carers

There is a continued decreasing trend in children being looked after at home with this group accounting for only 25% of the total in 2015 compared to 32% in 2012. Increasing numbers of children are being looked after away from home in community settings, in particular with foster carers (36% of the total). 2014 was the fourth year running that there were more children looked after by foster carers/prospective adopters than looked after at home: there are now 39% more in these categories.

Scottish Government, March 2016, Children's Social Work Statistics Scotland 2014/15


Kinship care

The number of children in kinship care exceeds those looked after at home.

Scottish Government, March 2016, Children's Social Work Statistics Scotland 2014/15 http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/03/5133


Children no longer looked after

6.9% of those ceasing to be looked after in 2015 were adopted. More than half (61.4%) went home to their biological parents.

Scottish Government, March 2016, Children's Social Work Statistics Scotland 2014/15


Child protection register

The number of children on the child protection register has fluctuated regularly, but there is a general upwards trend. The total has increased by 34% between 2000 and 2015 (from 2,050 to 2,751).

Scottish Government, March 2016, Children's Social Work Statistics Scotland 2014/15


Secure care

An average of 82 young people were resident in secure care accommodation throughout 2014-15, an increase of 11% from 74 in the previous year and reversing the recent downward trend. The number of young people in secure care accommodation throughout the year ranged from 71 to 89.

Scottish Government, March 2016, Children's Social Work Statistics Scotland 2014/15