The number of children on the child protection register in Wales has gone up by 9% – to 2,700 – since last year. In 2008 the number was 2,400.
Of the 2,700 children on the register in March 2010, 45% were under the age of five, including 20 newborn babies.
Many children (45%) were on the register because of neglect. However, 27% were on it because of emotional abuse, a category that jumped by a quarter in the past year and has overtaken physical abuse as a stand alone cause for being taken onto the register.
Swansea saw the greatest increase of all the regions with 75 children added to its register over the past year while Merthyr Tydfil had the greatest decrease with 46 children being taken off.
The proportion of those children in need of protection in relation to all children-in-need (including those in care) was the highest in Pembrokeshire (20%), whereas in Monmouthshire it accounted for only 5% of all cases.
However, Monmouthshire did have some of the highest figures for those who had been on the child protection register for more than a year, along with Wrexham, Bridgend and Merthyr Tydfil.
Wales also published an update on its child poverty strategy today with two new indicators added and the baselines of other targets revised. Of the 32 child poverty indicators, 10 have shown a clear improvement, 12 have shown little or no change, three have shown a clear deterioration and seven do not have sufficient data for a progress status to be allocated.
Improvements include fewer families living in temporary accommodation including bed and breakfasts, fewer children killed in road traffic accidents and more achieving adult and early years education. However, those indicators that have deteriorated include education achievements for 15-year-olds.
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