Statistics: Scotland

The figures presented below are taken from statistical reports gathered and published by government departments and bodies. Details of sources are provided at the foot of this page.

On this page:

> Children in public care
> Placements
> Adoption
> Sources

Children in public care

Note that the figures for children in public care in Scotland include children looked after at home, and so are not directly comparable with figures for the rest of the UK. 

  • 15,404 children were in the care of local authorities on 31st July 2015 ( a 1% decrease since 2014)
  • Of these, 25% (3,927) were looked after at home and 36% (5,478) were looked after by foster carers
  • 4,198 children started to be looked after during the year ending 31st July 2015
  • 4,367 children ceased to be looked after during the year ending 31st July 2015
  • The rates of looked after children per 10,000 under 18 years is 176.

Gender

53% (8,285) of children looked after on 31st July 2014 were boys and 47% (7,295) were girls.

Age

  • 3% (434) of children looked after on 31st July 2014 were under 1 year old 
  • 18% (2,821) were aged between 1 and 4 years old
  • 37% (5,818) were aged between 5 and 11 years old
  • 30% (4,629) were aged between 12 and 15 years old
  • 11% (1,647) were aged 16 or 17
  • 1.5% (231) were aged between 18 and 21 years old.

Ethnicity

  • 89.5% (13,950) of children looked after on 31st July 2014 were white
  • 1.5% (235) were of mixed ethnicity
  • 0.5% (81) were Asian, Asian Scottish or Asian British
  • 0.6% (95) were Black, Black Scottish or Black British
  • 0.5% (73) were from other ethnic groups
  • 7.4% (1,146) were of unknown ethnic origin.

Placements

  • 27% (4,144) of children looked after on 31st July 2014 were living at home. 
  • 36% (5,533) were living with foster carers
  • 1% (201) were living with prospective adopters
  • 27% (4,232) were living in an other community placement, which includes 'with friends/family'.
  • 9% (1,470) were living in residential accommodation.

Adoptions from Care

  • 337 children who ceased to be looked after in the year ending July 2014 were adopted

Registered Adoptions

  • 373 adoptions of children by non-relatives were registered during 2013*
  • 504 adoptions of children were registered in 2015.
  • 74% (364) of adoptions registered in 2013 were by couples and 26% (125) by single adopters
  • 3% (14) of all adoptions registered in 2013 were by same sex couples

*Statistics on adoptions in Scotland are provided by the Registrar General for Scotland, which registers adoptions under the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007 (previously the Adoption of Children (Scotland) Act 1930).

Sources:

Children's Social Work Statistics 2014-2015 (Scotland but some data in additional tables covers all countries)
www.scotland.gov.uk

Vital Events Reference Tables 2013: Section 2: Adoptions and Re-registrations
www.gro-scotland.gov.uk