The social work indicators reveal a slight increase in the proportion of qualified staff employed in residential homes, for example, and the third rise in a row in the numbers of people receiving respite care.
Just over one in three of the staff in council residential homes for children are now qualified, with a figure of one in five in homes for the elderly.
Other findings include:
Two out of three councils met the standard of two inspections per year for residential homes, up from one in three two years earlier.
The number of people receiving home care declined again to 71,600, continuing a marked trend since 1994's figure of 92,000. The commission noted that councils are providing a more hours to a less people with the greatest needs.