This report was prepared by CELCIS in collaboration with local authorities and stakeholders in Scotland to inform the Scottish Government Children and Families Collective Leadership Group's consideration of the impact of COVID-19 on children and families.
The weekly SOLACE data return provided by local authorities since April 2020 continues to be a key data source in helping to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Scotland's children and young people in need of care and protection. The data has been widely used by Ministers and to inform the Children and Families Leadership Group and local planning.
In analysing the national data, a notable finding is that an apparent increase in need and demand – reflected by increases in child protection referrals and inter-agency referral discussions (IRDs) – is not reflected in increased activity in later child protection stages (e.g. child protection registrations) or in children becoming looked after.