Sharp rise in children on protection plans

There has been a 17% increase in the number of children on protection plans in England according to the latest statistics from the Department for Education. (Picture: Rex, posed by models)

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There has been a 17% increase in the number of children on protection plans in England according to the latest statistics from the Department for Education.

The figures show an extra 6,400 children were in need of protection while an extra 71,500 children in need were identified between March 2009 and March 2010. It brings the total number of children in need to 375,900.

In total there were 56,700 more referrals to children’s social care than the previous year, leading to an extra 46,300 initial assessments and 17,000 more core assessments.

Although social workers still managed to do 78% of core assessments within the 35-day timescale the impact of the increased referrals was seen in a drop in the number of initial assessments completed within seven days (67% compared with 72% the year before)

Of the 44,300 children on protection plans, 6,000 (13%) had been the subject of a plan two or more times before.

The most common reason for either being registered on a child protection plan was neglect (44%) followed by emotional abuse (28%) and physical abuse (14%).

Haringey had the highest numbers of children in need per head of population while Herefordshire had the lowest.

Neglect and abuse were also the most common reasons for children being identified as “in-need” (39%) followed by family dysfunction (16%).

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