Child protection and children's social work

Performance - looked after children

Service information

For more information regarding child protection and children's social work services please follow the link below.

Performance information

Latest performance results are summarised below and a key showing the symbols below is included at the bottom of this page.

Social background reports

This indicator shows how well we are meeting national standards for submitting reports to the Scottish Children's Reporter Administration (SCRA).  The submission of social background reports on time ensures that the children's hearing can take place on time.  Any delay in a hearing delays the decision of the panel, which in turn delays any decision that will be made regarding what needs to be done in the best interests of the child.

IndicatorIdeal directionActual 2012/13Actual 2013/14Actual 2014/15Actual 2015/16Actual 2016/17Actual 2017/18Actual 2018/19Target 2017/18Progress status
% of children's social background reports, due to be returned, that were submitted within 20 daysPerformance arrow - up 77.8%77.7%82.1%85.2%83.7%85.2%88.2%87%Performance status - green
  • 608 children's hearing reports were requested by the SCRA this year, and 88.2% (536 reports) were submitted within time.  This is below target and a lower proportion to last year when we submitted 85.2% (658 out of 772) within time.

Supervision orders

The following indicator shows how well we are meeting the national target time for allocating a social worker (supervising officer) and arranging for a visit to take place for a child, or family. All children and young people placed on a supervision order by the SCRA should be seen within 15 days of the children's hearing.  It is important that social workers make contact with the child or young person after the supervision order is made to ensure that work can begin with them as quickly as possible.

IndicatorIdeal directionActual 2012/13Actual 2013/14Actual 2014/15Actual 2015/16Actual 2016/17Actual 2017/18Actual 2018/19Target 2017/18Progress status
% of looked after children seen by a supervising officer within 15 daysPerformance arrow - up 95.7%91.1%90.5%95.1%95.1%87.5%85.4%95%Performance status - red
  • During the year 85.4% (152 out of a total of 178 children) were seen by a supervising officer within 15 days of the supervision requirement being made.  This is a slightly lower figure compared to last year when we submitted 140 out of 160 reports (87.5%) within time.

Looked after children in a community setting

The following indicator shows the proportion of young people who are looked after in a community setting as opposed to a residential setting.   A community setting could be at home, with foster carers or prospective adopters, with friends or relatives and other community settings; whereas a residential setting could be residential care, a residential school, or secure accommodation.

IndicatorIdeal directionActual 2012/13Actual 2013/14Actual 2014/15Actual 2015/16Actual 2016/17Actual 2017/18Target 2017/18Progress status
% of looked after children in a community settingPerformance arrow - up 95.7%95.2%94.5%94.7%95.3%94.9%95%Performance status - green
  • During 2017/18, there were 94.9% (781 out of 823) young people looked after in a community setting.  While this is a slightly lower proportion than last year (95.3%), the volume of children has increased as 752 out of 789 (95.3%) were looked after in the community. 
  • It is preferable that children and young people are looked after outwith a residential setting, where possible, as this allows them to remain part of the community.

Further performance information can be obtained from the Chief Social Work Officer's annual report.

Cost of children looked after - residential

The following indicator measures the gross cost of children looked after in residential based services per child per week. Gross cost includes all accommodation based services for children/young people except respite care residential placements.  The number of children for this indicator refers to the total number of looked after children in residential based care facilities.

IndicatorActual 2010/11Actual 2011/12Actual 2012/13Actual 2013/14Actual 2014/15Actual 2015/16Actual 2016/17Actual 2017/18
gross costs of looked after children in residential setting (£000)£5,220£5,352£5,598£5,375£5,485£5,937£5,978£5,964
gross cost of children looked after in residential based services per child per week£2,448£2,709£2,990£3,040£2,705£2,928£3,025£2,797
Scotland comparisons£2,811£3,014£2,930£3,105£3,171£3,406£3,387£3,485
Family group comparisons£3,098£3,221£3,115£3,242£3,072£3,232£3,851£3,329
  • North Lanarkshire's costs for 2017/18 (£2,797) remain lower than the national average (£3,485) and the family group average (£3,329).

Cost of children looked after - community setting

The following indicator measures the gross cost of children looked after in a community setting per child per week. Gross community cost refers to the gross cost of looked after children in a community setting.  This includes all spend on respite and non respite fostering and family placements.  The number of children for this indicator refers to the total number of looked after children in a community setting.

IndicatorActual 2010/11Actual 2011/12Actual 2012/13Actual 2013/14Actual 2014/15Actual 2015/16Actual 2016/17Actual 2017/18
gross costs of looked after children in community setting (£000)£6,012£6,312£4,184£4,091£4,542£4,992£7,444£7,371
gross cost of children looked after in community setting per child per week£167£175£113£117£133£132£195£199
Scotland comparisons£205£221£250£264£278£292£316£328
Family group comparisons£180£200£221£230£246£260£319£304
  • North Lanarkshire's costs for 2017/18 (£199) remain lower than the national average (£328) and the family group average (£304), and are the second lowest out of all local authority areas in Scotland.

Balance of care

The following indicator measures the proportion of all children who are in the care of their local authority (looked after children) who are being looked after in a community setting rather than a residential setting.  Looked after children refers to the total number of children in the care of their local authority, including children within residential care facilities, children within a community setting, children who are looked after but remain within their home.

IndicatorActual 2010/11Actual 2011/12Actual 2012/13Actual 2013/14Actual 2014/15Actual 2015/16Actual 2016/17Actual 2017/18
balance of care for looked after children : % of looked after children being cared for in the community94.4%94.8%95.2%95.2%94.4%94.9%95.1%94.6%
Scotland comparisons91.0%91.2%90.9%90.6%90.1%90.4%89.9%89.7%
Family group comparisons90.6%90.3%90.0%89.9%89.2%90.0%89.8%78.4%
  • North Lanarkshire has maintained a consistently higher proportion of children looked after in a community setting compared to national and family group averages and ranks the second highest in this respect out of all 32 councils in Scotland.

The above information contains a subset of North Lanarkshire's performance in terms of our childrens social work services; this represents those performance measures that can be compared across all council areas in Scotland through the Local Government Benchmarking Framework (LGBF)

This makes reference to our family group, the council areas with whom our performance is most comparable in terms of where social context is known to influence key factors in performance.

Our family group comprises eight council areas that have the highest proportion of areas of deprivation (according to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD)).  These are are Dundee City Council, East Ayrshire Council, North Ayrshire Council, Inverclyde Council, West Dunbartonshire Council, Glasgow City Council, Western Isles Council, and North Lanarkshire Council.

What this being done to improve services

Work is ongoing to ensure the continued development of our services. 

How the public can get involved

  • For service specific matters, members of the public can provide feedback at most of our venues or through our comments and compliments web forms.
  • To contribute to the future of local services, residents can .

Further information

Local councils provide a wide range of services for their communities; the online data tool, My Local Council, provides further information and comparisons on these services to show how councils across Scotland are performing.

Key to symbols
Ideal directionProgress status
The ideal direction of an indicator is the way we aim to see performance results change over time.  The two options are as follows:We assess the progress of each of our indicators by comparing the latest performance results to target.  The traffic light system used to assess progress is noted below:
Performance arrow - up
  • high figures are good for this indicator
  • we aim to see an upward trend
Performance status - green
  • performance is on target and/or within the acceptable thresholds
Performance arrow - down
  • low figures are good for this indicator
  • we aim to see a downward trend
Performance status - red
  • performance does not meet the target set and is outwith the acceptable thresholds
  Performance status - blue
  • performance surpasses the target and exceeds expectations

For any queries, or further details regarding the performance information on this page, please contact the Business Solutions team.

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