Information on the characteristics and attributes of children receiving care and support as at 31 March 2021.
This is the latest release in the series: Wales Children Receiving Care and Support Census
The number of children receiving care and support includes only those children (aged under 18) who had a care and support plan in place for three months or more at the census date of 31 March, i.e. the care and support plan was in place on or before 1 January 2021 and remained in place at 31 March 2021.
- 17,004 children were receiving care and support, an increase of 259 (2%) compared with 31 March 2020. The overall number of children included in the Children Receiving Care and Support (CRCS) Census has increased each year since data began being collected in 2016-17.
- 270 children per 10,000 children aged under 18 years were receiving care and support. This is higher than the rate in 2020 (266 children per 10,000 children).
- 7,188 children (42%) were looked after by a local authority and 2,469 children (15%) were on the Child Protection Register. There were 143 children who were looked after and on the Child Protection Register (included in the children looked after total). The remaining 7,347 children (43%) were not looked after and not on the Child Protection Register.
- From 2016-17 to 2019-20, there had been a year-on-year increase in the proportion of children receiving care and support who were looked after, and a decrease in the proportion of children who were not looked after and not on the Child Protection Register. Trends have remained similar since 2020.
- Over half (52%) of all children started receiving care and support primarily due to the risk of or actual abuse or neglect. This is a slightly lower proportion than at 31 March 2020.
- Parental mental ill health was recorded as a parenting capacity factor present for 42% of children receiving care and support. This proportion has increased each year since data began being collected in 2016-17. Increases were seen for all parenting capacity issues present compared to previous years.
- 55% of children receiving care and support were male and 45% were female.
- Children who were on the Child Protection Register were generally younger than other children receiving care and support. Whilst a higher proportion of children who were looked after were aged 16 and over.
- 21% of children receiving care and support were disabled. Lack of perception of the risk of physical danger was recorded for almost three-quarters (71%) of these children.
- Where ethnicity was known, 92% of children receiving care and support were White, 3% were mixed ethnicity, 2% were Asian / Asian British, 2% were Black / African / Caribbean / Black British, and 1% were from other ethnic groups.
- For children receiving care and support aged 5 to 15 matching to the National Pupil Database, 54% were entitled to Free School Meals, 35% were receiving School Action or School Action Plus, and 26% had a Statement of Special Educational Needs. These proportions varied depending on whether children were looked after or not and were higher than for all pupils of statutory school age (23%, 19% and 3% respectively).
Further data, including local authority level breakdowns, are available on StatsWales.
These figures reflect the 2020-21 reporting year and the position at 31 March 2021. Quality assurance was undertaken with local authorities. Not all local authorities provided complete returns. Two local authorities were unable to provide data for health checks, with others missing data for some children. One local authority was unable to provide data for immunisations, with others missing data for some children. Furthermore, some local authorities were unable to provide data for all children for dental checks, mental health problems, substance misuse problems and parenting capacity.
Some information on education has not been updated. With the rollout of the new Curriculum for Wales from September 2022 onwards the collection of teacher assessments at the end of the Foundation Phase and KS2 has come to an end. The collection KS3 teacher assessments was suspended in both 2020 and 2021 due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic; the data collection will resume in summer 2022. Due to the cancellation of the normal examination period in both 2019/20 and 2020/21 and the ongoing disruption to schools as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic performance measures were not calculated for both Year 11 and sixth form cohorts. National Statistics on attendance are not available in 2019, 2020 or 2021.
No full statistical release has been published for 31 March 2021.
Information on quality can be found in the 31 March 2019 statistical release.
Due to an extensive quality assurance exercise prior to publication, several figures for previous years have been revised.
Datasets and interactive tools
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