Demographics of children known to Social Care 2007 – 2009

See here for an updated version of this post, covering the period from 01/04/2007 to 30/09/2011.

The demographic data presented below are all based on a series of snapshots taken at the end of each quarter, from 1st April 2007 to 31st Mar 2010, of all currently open Children in Need (CIN), Children with a Child Protection Plan (CPP) and Looked After Children (LAC). Children placed for adoption are not included in the LAC data in this report, as we do not have home addresses for them, and they are about to leave our population of children in need.

In the charts below, the years refer to the financial year start, i.e. 2008 = 1st April 2008 to 31st Mar 2009. Where year-end data is shown, this is based on the 4th quarter of each year, i.e. 2009 refers to 31st Mar 2010. Sometimes year-end data can appear to show a trend, but looking at all quarters reveals more scattered figures.

With the exception of Figure 1, all charts show the percentage breakdown of the population into the categories shown. However, the actual numbers each quarter/year are sufficiently similar for these to be interpreted as an indication of absolute numbers as well as proportions.

Overall numbers
Gender
Age
Disability
Ethnicity
Further reading
Return to Stay Safe page

Overall numbers

Figure 1 – No of CIN, CPP and LAC at the end of each quarter.

Source: Bristol City Council

Figure 1 shows the number of CIN, CPP & LAC at the end of each quarter for the past three years.

It can be seen that numbers of LAC are remarkably constant, and numbers of CPP reasonably constant. The number of CIN has climbed steadily for nearly two years then reached a plateau.

Figure 2 shows the same figures at each year end, along with the rate per 1000 population of under 18-year-olds.

Table 1 shows how Bristol compares with other cities. Note there is a high level of variation between the core cities. For instance the rate of looked after children per 1000 population varies from 5.6 in Sheffield to 14.7 in Newcastle. Results are not available for Liverpool’s CIN Census. In addition, the Department for Education has judged the core cities’ data to be very unreliable, so this has not been included for CIN.

In addition to the figures shown, there are about 110 respite-only LAC.

Figure 2 – CIN, CPP & LAC by population of under 18-year-olds

Source: Bristol City Council

Table 1 – 2009 Population Levels of CIN, CPP and LAC per 1000

Type Bristol England Core cities Statistical Neighbours
CIN 29.9 25.6 35.9
CPP 3.7 3.2 4.9* 4.1
LAC 7.8 5.5 8.9 7.1

* Excluding Liverpool

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Gender

As at 2009 Q4, 55% of CIN are boys. When looking at non-disabled children, the balance is more equal. This is due to a much higher proportion of boys being recorded as disabled. However it is known that disability amongst LAC and CIN is over-recorded, so this data is not reliable. Among those recorded as having autism/asperger’s 93% are boys.

CPP gender balance is roughly equal. When looking at non-disabled children, there are slightly more girls than boys.

LAC are consistently more boys than girls, though the gap has been narrowing over time.

Respite-only LAC are over two-thirds boys, most of whom are disabled.

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Age

Figure 3 – Age of CIN, CPP and LAC at end of year

Source: Bristol City Council

Figure 3 shows the age breakdown of children in each category open at the year end. CIN show no clear variation of age profile over time. There has been an increasing proportion of younger children with CP Plans, especially in the 1 ‑ 4 range. This is accompanied by a reduction in number of 10 ‑ 15 year olds. LAC may be showing an increasing proportion of children aged 16+.

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Disability

Disability data is incomplete and inaccurate before mid 2008 so is not included. There is a significant over-recording of impairment details on PARIS. While this has largely been corrected for CPP children, it remains an issue for LAC, with 33% being recorded as disabled. In view of this, it is not possible to draw any firm conclusions about disability at this time. Almost all respite-only LAC are recorded as disabled. This is likely to be quite accurate.

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Ethnicity

Figure 4 – Ethnic Group

Source: Bristol City Council

Figure 4 shows the ethnic group of children in each category open at the year end, along with data from the Schools Census for comparison.

Around a quarter of all schoolchildren are from BME backgrounds. This compares well with the proportions shown in the caseloads in Figure 4.

The actual numbers of LAC and CPP children in the minority groups are quite small, so apparent changes over time may not be significant. Black CPP children have increased from 13 in March 2008 to 36 in March 2010, but there do not appear to be any other significant changes over time.

Although numbers are small, there has been an increase in BME levels among respite-only LAC from 15% in 2007 to 22% in 2009.

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Further reading

Children in Care Population Analysis and Emerging Issues 2009-10.

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Return to Stay Safe page

This entry was posted in Child Protection Plans, Children in Care, Children in Need, Demographic, Stay Safe. Bookmark the permalink.

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