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Children’s Social Work Statistics Scotland, 2013-14

Children looked after trend
There was a 49 per cent rise in the number of children looked after between 2001 (the year of the lowest number of being looked after this century) and 2012 to a peak of 16,248, with numbers declining in the last two years to 15,580 in 2014. The trend is mostly driven by changes in children looked after in community placements (Chart 1). Children who are looked after by local authorities can be accommodated in a community placement (e.g. at home with parents, with family/friends or foster carers/prospective adopters) or a residential placement (e.g. in a local authority or voluntary home, in a residential school or secure care accommodation).

Child protection trend
Since 2000 there has also been a less steep but steady 41 per cent increase in the number of children on the child protection register, with 2014 seeing the largest year-on-year increase since 2009. Of the 2,882 children who were on the child protection register at 31 July 2014, almost one in three (29 per cent) were also looked after at that point, similar to last year.