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Accuracy and reliability

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Welfare and Health, Social Statistics.
Bente Ottosen
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Children and young persons placed outside own home

Data is reported from the municipalities' administrative systems, which are used for case processing. There may be errors or omissions in the reports, or reports may be missing altogether. The municipalities approve an annual status prior to publication of the statistics. In this context, municipalities are requested to correct any errors and deficiencies.

Changes in placements are generally underestimated because the changes are only indirectly approved by the municipalities based on the reported placement status.

Overall accuracy

Errors and inconstancies are corrected as far as possible by the yearly process of data validation. Ultimately, the municipalities approve the reported data as being a true representation of their activity in the field. Relocations and changes in the legal basis of the decisions are not part of the validation process. It is therefore assessed that relocations and legal changes are not necessarily always reported by the municipalities.

Upon the latest revision of the statistics for the period 2011-2023, the revised figures deviated with up to 50 placements out of 13.400-15.000 placements in total. The deviation percentage can be larger with regard to smaller categories/groups (< 200).

Sampling error

Not relevant for these statistics.

Non-sampling error

The municipalities' administrative systems are designed in accordance with legislation to ensure that relevant information is submitted automatically. However, since information is entered manually, there is a risk of typographical errors during reporting.

Reports with missing information are included in the register as long as essential information is provided. Reports with invalid social security numbers (or personal IDs for foreigners) or missing event dates are excluded. Dates for events in out-of-home placement processes may vary by up to a month.

Data is corrected based on the assumption that out-of-home placement processes adhere to legislation. It is assumed that a placement for a child or young person begins with the initiation of the process and ends within their 18th year. For 18-22-year-olds, the residential stay can be maintained and terminated no later than their 23rd year. When forming the status register, a provisional decision is assumed to be replaced by a placement in out-of-home care without consent within 7 days if there has been no reported change in the legal basis of the case by the end of the relevant year.

The municipalities annually approve the aggregated number of placed individuals, as well as initiated placements. They strive to correct any errors and deficiencies before approving the data. Only validated and approved data from the municipalities are published. However, not all events and variables undergo the approval process, leading to potential uncertainty at more detailed levels, such as reasons for placement, reasons for return home, changes in placements, and the post-placement whereabouts of the child/young person.

Copenhagen municipality transitioned to a new administrative system in 2020, resulting in incomplete data for implementations in 2019 regarding consent and reasons for placements. Reporting on aftercare in Lejre municipality was incomplete from 2016 to 2020, though the exact extent of the incompleteness is not precisely known.

Quality management

Statistics Denmark follows the recommendations on organisation and management of quality given in the Code of Practice for European Statistics (CoP) and the implementation guidelines given in the Quality Assurance Framework of the European Statistical System (QAF). A Working Group on Quality and a central quality assurance function have been established to continuously carry through control of products and processes.

Quality assurance

Statistics Denmark follows the principles in the Code of Practice for European Statistics (CoP) and uses the Quality Assurance Framework of the European Statistical System (QAF) for the implementation of the principles. This involves continuous decentralized and central control of products and processes based on documentation following international standards. The central quality assurance function reports to the Working Group on Quality. Reports include suggestions for improvement that are assessed, decided and subsequently implemented.

Quality assessment

All 98 municipalities have received a validation report with key figures. In subsequent dialogue and investigation, a number of municipalities have received further information. The municipalities themselves assess the quality and approve the reported data.

Data revision - policy

Statistics Denmark revises published figures in accordance with the Revision Policy for Statistics Denmark. The common procedures and principles of the Revision Policy are for some statistics supplemented by a specific revision practice.

Data revision practice

Revisions for previous years are incorporated when compiling data for a new reference year. As the register is a process register, revisions may extend several years back in time.

Respondents have the opportunity to correct previously reported data or add new information daily. These changes and additions will be included in the next publication. However, only a few revisions are expected for earlier years. Data published in StatBank Denmark are revised back to 2011.

Upon the latest revision of the statistics for the period 2011-2023, the revised figures deviated by up to 950 placements out of a total of 13,400-15,000 placements. The deviation percentage may be higher for smaller categories or groups (< 200).