Official Statistics

Characteristics of children in need: 2016 to 2017

Children referred to and assessed by children's social services for the year ending 31 March 2017.

Documents

Main text: SFR61/2017

Main tables: SFR61/2017

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Methodology document: SFR61/2017

Data quality and uses: SFR61/2017

Underlying data: SFR61/2017

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Details

This statistical first release (SFR) includes information on:

  • children in need of social services
  • children referred to social services
  • assessments undertaken and primary need at first assessment
  • section 47 enquiries (a local authority carries out one of these if they suspect a child is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm) and initial child protection conferences
  • children who were the subject of a child protection plan

It is based on child-level data collected via the children in need census.

These statistics were previously designated National Statistics. However an inconsistency was identified within the derivation of the ‘in need at any point during the year’ and the ‘ended an episode of need’ flags. The inconsistency relates to how particular cases that remain open across census periods are dealt with. The headline measures of the number of children in need at the end of the year are unaffected.

As a result, and in agreement with the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA), these statistics have been de-designated as National Statistics while we review the methodology. Correspondence between the department and UKSA on the matter is available on the UKSA website:

Please refer to the data quality and uses document for further information and the scale of the impact.

Children’s services statistics team