The Census of Children in Need is an annual statutory census for all local authorities. You must complete statutory censuses by law unless there is a good reason not to.
The census covers the fiscal year (April 1 to March 31).
It collects data on children referred to local authority social services because their health or development is at risk. This includes:
children in the care of local authorities (placed in a foster home, with a foster family or with relatives)
children who are cared for by the social services of their local authority
children who are subject to child protection plan
unborn children who will potentially need support from social services
opening of the census: Monday, April 3, 2023
deadline for loading data: Friday, June 30, 2023
deadline for data submission: Monday, July 31, 2023
Submit your data
You should :
register and login with DfE connection
use COLLECT to submit your data
Contact your school or local authority approver if:
you want to request a DfE login username or password so you can access COLLECT
‘census of children in need’ is not on the list of collections you can see in COLLECT
Get help using the DfE connection
If you don’t know who your approver is, use the DfE Connection Request Form.
If you forgot your password, use DfE connection to reset it. You will need to click on “Get started now”, then on the “I forgot my password” link.
We will only be able to change the status of your data submission to “authorized” once you have cleared all errors in the data in COLLECT.
These documents will help you complete the census:
Census Guides 2022 to 2023
Census Guides 2023 to 2024
Factors identified at the end of the assessment
This additional guidance on the factors identified at the end of the assessment (PDF, 231 KB, 16 pages) explains how to complete the factors identified at the end of the evaluation data.
Existing assessment factor definitions have been updated to improve clarity and better assist caseworkers in completing this valuable data element.
The guide includes information on the new Criminal Child Exploitation Assessment Factor, which was first collected during the 2021 to 2022 census.
Do you need help?
For complex questions, use the service request form. We aim to respond to your question within 5 working days.
Use the feedback form if you have any comments about our data collection service, including COLLECT and the help desk.
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