Children involved in domestic violence cases were said to be missing out on support. One social worker said a four-year-old child was at significant risk of physical and emotional abuse due to witnessing ongoing domestic violence. “There was pressure not to recommend a child protection plan in my initial child protection conference report and to vote against a child protection plan at the conference,” they said.
Almost two-thirds of those who had experienced pressure to reclassify cases described themselves as scared about the risks they carried in taking the decision; 84% of them said reclassifications were typically against children’s best interests.
In addition, more than 40% reported having additional pressure placed on them to return children in care back to their birth families, with most of them feeling this was done only to save money and reduce the number of children in care.