This is an update of a previous ADR Scotland report that compared rates of children under one year of age becoming looked after by Local Authorities (LAs) in Scotland and in England. Statistical data on Looked after Children is collected by LA social work departments in Scotland and England, who submit returns to the relevant Government Departments. We will refer to these data sources as Children Looked After in Scotland (CLA-S) and Children Looked after in England (CLA_E) data.

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The CLA-S data we have analysed for this report is made available to researchers as individual child records. The dataset was created by Scottish Government and the accompanying user guide and metadata provide details of the contents and how the dataset was produced. The data used in this report includes all children who were looked after in Scotland and started care between 1/4/2008 and 31/7/21, as well as full care histories for children who started care before 1/4/2008 but were in care on 1/4/2008.

The focus of this report is on children starting care under one year (infants), who make up a large proportion of children in care. As well as updating the trends we found in our previous report, we have used the longitudinal data to map the pathways of individual children who started care as infants and characterise different types of care history. The full data set has the potential to extend such analyses to those entering care at older ages.

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