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Adoptions, outcomes and placements for children looked after by local authorities

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UK comparability of children’s social services statistics

Statistics on social services for children are collected and published by the following government departments.
  • The UK Government’s Department for Education (for England)
  • The Scottish Government’s Education Analytical Services Division
  • The Welsh Government’s Knowledge and Analytical Services
  • The Northern Ireland Executive’s Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety

In each area of social services, there are similarities between the collections in the different countries, but also differences. These may be due to different legislation, the differing history of data collections and differences in the requirements for monitoring policy.

However, some users of the statistics look for data for all countries. One area of statistics where interest has been shown concerns those children who are looked after by local authorities.

Children looked after (CLA) by local authorities

The UK Statistics Authority assessed the statistics on looked after children produced by each of the UK administrations in 2009. A requirement of continuing designation as National Statistics was that the administrations should work together to document clearly the differences between each administration’s CLA statistics and scope out the feasibility and need for a comparable data subset.

The assessment reports can be found on the UK Statistics Authority website (external link).

As a first step, a report has been prepared comparing the legislative provisions in each country, describing the range of statistics produced and providing a set of statistics for English regions, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Safeguarding Children Statistics

A research report commissioned by the Department for Education from the Childhood Wellbeing Centre entitled 'Safeguarding children statistics: the availability and comparability of data in the UK' presents findings from preliminary work to explore the current availability and comparability of safeguarding and child protection data in the UK.

Department for Education website: Safeguarding children statistics (external link)

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