Social work interventions in Scotland

One in four of all children in Scotland are referred to children’s social care before their fifth birthday and 1 in 17 investigated.

My study of social work interventions in Scotland was published in the British Journal of Social Work and can be downloaded with this free access link and the pre-publication version is below.

The data showed that 13,784 children had been notified to children’s social work before their fifth birthday because of concerns about their welfare, a rate of 26.5% of children born in 2012 in the 27 local authorities providing this data.

One in every 17 children, a rate of 6.0%, had been subject of a child protection investigation which triggers when there are concerns that they are suffering or likely to suffer significant harm.  And one in 26, a rate of 3.8% of all children, had been placed on the Child Protection Register before their fifth birthday.

Channel 5 News Coverage from 22/02/23

Major difference in a child’s chances of social work intervention depending on where children live.

The likelihood of being investigated for abuse ranged from almost one in five in Clackmannanshire (18.5%) to just over one in fifty (2.1%) in Aberdeenshire.

Children in Dundee were much more likely to have been taken into care or adopted than other local authorities, with 2.0% of all children adopted before the age of five – a rate more than two times higher than the second ranked authority (East Ayshire).