Looked after children

Glasgow had more than 3,500 looked after children as at 31st July 2010 - a number far higher than any other local authority in the country. This equates to 3% of the child population, the highest rate of any authority within Scotland and more than double the Scottish average of 1.4%.

Looked after children and young people are those under the supervision of Social Work Services, who are living at home with their parent(s) or living away from home in various settings. The Scottish Children's Reporters Administration (SCRA) is also involved in the supervision of many of these children & young people.

Placements of children & young people away from home may be within a community setting - with friends and relatives, foster carers, prospective adopters or other community placements, or they may be residential – in residential care, residential schools or secure care. Where children & young people are looked after away from home they are said to be looked after and accommodated.

Glasgow s Looked After Children by Looked After Reason  as at 31st July 2010(click graph to expand)

The chart above shows that just over a third of the 3,377 children and young people looked after by Glasgow City Council as at 31st July 2010 were looked after because of a lack of parental care (1,160). A further 24% (795) were looked after because of carer alcohol or drug misuse.

It should be noted however that many children for whom the reason for being looked after was other than 'carer drug or alcohol misuse' are also likely to have one or more parents with addiction problems. It is known that one or more parents of 64% of children looked after currently have (or have previously had) contact with Social Work Services related to addiction.

The “Other” category (from the chart) aggregates a number of other reasons including, “child offending behaviour”, “outwith parental control”, “deteriorating relationship” and “carer death or desertion”.