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

The statistics contain yearly estimates of the municipalities’ initiated placements and placements of children and young persons in out-of-home care. The figures are classified by provinces, municipalities, type of measure, place of accommodation, cause of placement in out-of-home care, cause of change in the placement of out-of-home care, sex, and age groups. The statistics are published in StatBank Denmark and in a NYT article authored in Danish by Statistics Denmark.

The municipalities have not indicated that data regarding placements of children in out-of-home care for the period 2020-2021 are affected by the special circumstances that arose due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Data description

These statistics contain information about incidents, events, and the status of placements in out-of-home care. The status is as of December 31st of a given reference year. The statistics are calculated at the municipal level and by province, depending on discretion needs.

The statistics are based on individuals aged 0-22 years old who are registered in Statistics Denmark’s accumulated register of placements for children and young people in out-of-home care. They are compiled according to the reporting municipality (administrative municipality), type of measure (legal basis of the measure, including consent criteria), place of accommodation, cause of placement in out-of-home care, sex, and age. Age is calculated at year-end.

Municipalities are obligated to report each time a decision is made that a child or young person is to be placed in out-of-home care. This also applies in the case of reinstatement in out-of-home care after repatriation/termination. Municipalities often cite several reasons for placing a child in out-of-home care.

The statistics are published annually as 12 separate statistical tables, 3 registers, and a NYT article. Statistical tables contain information on the number of initiations and placements in out-of-home care classified by province/municipality, type of measure, place of accommodation, age, and sex. The registers contain the above-mentioned information on an individual level. Furthermore, the registers contain information on changes in placements in out-of-home care, the cause of termination of out-of-home care, and the location of a child/young person after the termination of foster care.

Between July 1st, 2019, and December 31st, 2020, there has been a change in the categorization of foster families. These have been changed to common, reinforced, and specialized foster families. This information has been retrieved from the Danish Ministry of Social Affairs, Housing, and Senior Citizens.

Classification system

These statistics are grouped geographically by municipalities and provinces. In addition, the children and young persons placed outside own home are grouped by age, sex and by:


  • Decision by the administration with consent
  • Committee for children and young people without requirement of consent
  • Foreigners under the age of 15 years (Aliens Acts §36 and 37)
  • Provisional decision (the chairman of the committee for children and young people)
  • Sentence (juvenile sanction)
  • Sentence (imprisonment)
  • Surrogate custody
  • The Social Appeals Board's own initiative/ruling
  • Decision/ruling by the Board for Juvenile Delinquency with consent
  • Decision/ruling by the Board for Juvenile Delinquency without requirement for consent
  • Provisional decision, (the chairman of the committee for children and young people, juvenile delinquency)
  • Not stated

Place of accommodation

  • Foster family from the family network
  • Ordinary foster family
  • Municipal foster family
  • Common foster family
  • Reinforced foster family
  • Specialized foster family
  • Foster family according to section 76a (functionally impaired adolescents)
  • Residential institution, general ward
  • Partly closed residential institution or partly locked ward in open residential institution
  • Residential institution, locked ward
  • Residence for children and young persons
  • Boarding school and/or continuation school
  • Own room, student residence, facility similar to student residence
  • Not stated

Cause of placement in out-of-home care

  • Addictive behavior in a child/young person
  • Criminal behavior of a child/young person
  • School problems with a child/young person, e.g. absence
  • Other behavior of a child/young person causing concern, e.g. aggressive behavior
  • Considerably or permanent reduced physical or mental capacity in a child/young person
  • Health conditions of a child/young person
  • Molestation of a child/young person, e.g. sexual or violent
  • Other types of neglect of a child/young person
  • Addictive behavior on parents
  • Criminal behavior in parents
  • Other behavior of parents causing concern
  • Considerably or permanently reduced physical or mental capacity in parents
  • High level of conflict or violence in the home between adults
  • Inadequate parental care and control
  • Enforcement proceedings or eviction
  • Other
  • Not stated

Sector coverage

Not relevant for these statistics.

Statistical concepts and definitions

Placement measure: Placement of a child or a young person outside the home, with or without the consent of the parent/s.

Administrative municipality: The municipality, which is obligated to provide assistance or support according to regulations on special support for children and youth pursuant to the Consolidation Act on Social Services.

Statistical unit

Occurrences, stock of people (0-22 years) per 31.12 and sequences.

Statistical population

Children and young adults under 23 years of age.

Reference area


Time coverage

The statistics cover the time period from 2011 and onwards.

Base period

Not relevant for these statistics.

Unit of measure


Reference period

Calendar year.

Frequency of dissemination


Legal acts and other agreements

Data about municipal authorities’ placements of children and young persons outside the home (sections 52, 58, 75 and 76 of the Act on Social Services, section 74 of the Criminal Code, section 78 of the Penal Code Enforcement Act, sections 765 of the Administration of Justice Act, section 36 of the Aliens Act and section 14 of the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act) are collected with the warrant in current Executive Order on Data Transmission in the Social Policy Area. The Executive Order and the requirements to report the data are based upon sections 82 and 84 of the Consolidation Act on Legal Protection and Administration in Social Matters and Section 6 of the Act on Statistics Denmark.

The statistics are not subjected to EU regulations.

Cost and burden

These statistics are primarily based on administrative data which stem from the administrative IT-systems of the municipalities. There is thus no direct response burden in relation to the compilation of the statistics. Different digital administrative systems, used by the municipalities to administer and report the data, are subjected to regulations stated in the Executive Order on Data Transmission in the Social Policy Area. This is the case for approx.. 90 of the municipalities. Those municipalities, that supplement with manual reporting, do have a non-specific report burden. The statistic does include a process of municipal approval of the reported data. The reporting burden of the municipalities in connection to this is not estimated.


Further information can be found at the webpage of the statistics, Disadvantaged children and young people, and the information webpage, or by contacting Statistics Denmark directly.