This data comes from a statutory return is submitted to the Welsh Government in May-June each year by each Welsh Local Authority.  The return comprises of individual level episode and demographic data for every child looked after during the year to 31st March. 

Data Owner Welsh Government 
Earliest Data Reflecting the year to 31st March 2003 
Frequency of Updates Annual
Lag in Updates Becoming Available Approx 4 months after the local authority returns have been completed and verified

Meta Data 

ADR UK Catalogue
Health Data Gateway
Data ResourceAllnatt, G., Lee, A., Scourfield, J., Elliott, M., Broadhurst, K., and Griffiths, L. (2022) “Data resource profile: children looked after administrative records in Wales”, International Journal of Population Data Science, 7(1). doi: 10.23889/ijpds.v7i1.1752
Data InsightAllnatt, G., Elliott, M., Cowley, L., Lee, A., North, L., Broadhurst, K., and Griffiths, L. (2023) Data Explained: Children Looked After Datasets.  Available from: 
Other useful publicationsAllnatt, G., Elliott, M., Scourfield, J., Lee, A., Griffiths, L (2022) Use of Looked Administrative Children’s Social Care Data for Research: A scoping Review of Existing UK Studies British Journal of Social Work 00, p.p. 1-22. 

Other useful information 

Due to the anonymization process, not all data fields referred to in the local authority guidance are available for use by researchers.  However, this resource provides a useful starting point for understanding what is collected and the legal framework that sits behind some of the codes used. 

Aggregate data from 2003 onwards can be found on the Stats Wales website:   

Each year the Welsh Government produces a summary of the data.  Copies of this from 2017 onwards can be found: