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Information on assessment and safeguarding activity of local authority social services for April 2020 to March 2021.

A new Code of Practice in relation to the performance and improvement of social services in Wales was issued on 1 April 2020. This introduced a new performance and improvement framework for social services, which detailed a set of metrics under the ‘Measuring Activity and Performance’ section to be collected. This is the first time these performance metrics have been collected and published.

Some of the data captured in this new set of metrics have been collected previously through the Adults Receiving Care and Support, Adult Safeguarding and Children Receiving Care and Support (aggregate) collections; and were last published as part of the Social Services activity: April 2018 to March 2019 publication. The 2020-21 data is based on more detailed guidance underpinned by a definitions catalogue. However, the data can be considered broadly comparable with that published previously.

These statistics should be considered experimental statistics.

Main points

Adults

During the year 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021

  • 149,591 contacts were received by statutory social services for information, advice and assistance (IAA) services for adults.
  • 73,658 new assessments were completed for adults.
  • 20,629 reports of an adult suspected of being at risk were received. 23% were from the police and 22% were from a provider of care and support or support services to carers. 34% of reports alleged abuse under the category of neglect (more than one category may be suspected in a report).
  • 54% of reports of an adult suspected of being at risk resulted in enquiries being made. Of which, 39% determined that additional action should be taken.
  • 6,841 contacts were received by statutory social services from adult carers or professionals contacting the IAA service on their behalf(a).
  • 6,683 new assessments were completed for adult carers.

(a) One local authority was only able to provide data up until 23 November 2020 due to migration to a new ICT system.

At 31 March 2021

  • 46,585 adults had a care and support plan, of which 11% had a care and support plan supported using a Direct Payment(b).
  • 2,116 adult carers had a support plan(c).

(b) One local authority was unable to provide this data.
(c) Three local authorities were unable to provide this data.

Children and families

During the year 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021

  • 176,408 contacts were received by statutory social services for information, advice and assistance (IAA) services for children.
  • 47,950 new assessments were completed for children.
  • 3,868 children were placed on the child protection register. 41% were added under the category of emotional abuse. 4,065 children were removed from the child protection register.
  • 1,163 contacts were received by statutory social services from young carers or professionals contacting the IAA service on their behalf(d).
  • 806 new assessments were completed for young carers(e).

(d) Three local authorities were unable to provide this data.
(e) Two local authorities were unable to provide this data.

At 31 March 2021

  • 18,827 children with a care and support plan, of which 7% had a care and support plan supported using a Direct Payment(f).
  • 3,140 children were on the child protection register.

(f) Two local authorities were unable to provide this data.

Expenditure

£2.3 billion was spent on social services by local authorities in 2020-21. This is an increase of 12.7% since the previous year. For more information, see the local authority revenue and capital outturn expenditure: April 2020 to March 2021 release.

Quality statement

The Welsh Government worked with local authorities to collect statistics on the activities of social services through the new metrics. Local authorities were provided with a reference document including detailed definitions to aim to ensure coherence within and across organisations.

This is the first time data for the metrics have been collected and reported on. As this is a new collection, we have identified data quality issues that we expect to improve over time. Broadly, these relate to missing data and inconsistencies in the way that data is reported between local authorities.

Missing data mostly includes where data cannot be effectively captured or reported due to data system issues in local authorities. Where data was not provided for 2020-21, some assurances have been given that further system changes are being implemented to allow reporting for 2021-22. Inconsistencies in reporting are likely explained by differing interpretations in how data should be recorded. We will work with local authorities to improve consistency in future.

For adults (including adult carers), data for 21 out of 43 metrics have been published. Additional data items on safeguarding have also been published. For children (including young carers), data for 23 out of 69 metrics have been published. Data relating to children looked after has been published as part of the Children looked after (StatsWales) data.

Generally, the published data include coverage from all 22 local authorities. However, all local authorities were not able to provide data for some metrics, with 3 local authorities at most not providing data (86% coverage) for those metrics published. This data can only be used as an indication of the activity reported by the selected local authorities and do not represent the all Wales position.

Not included here but published on StatsWales is local authority level data, where quality has been deemed robust enough to report. There is variation across local authorities and differences are being investigated further with local authorities. We will continue to work with local authorities to improve data quality.

For metrics where data was not published, there is missing data in all instances.

We want your feedback

We welcome feedback on these statistics. Please use the accompanying feedback form to provide feedback.

Reports

Social Services activity, April 2020 to March 2021: feedback form , file type: DOCX, file size: 70 KB

DOCX
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Data

Datasets and interactive tools

Contact

Bethan Sherwood

Telephone: 0300 025 6735

Media

Telephone: 0300 025 8099