Child protection cases rise by 7% in two years

The number of children in England subject to child protection plans rose by more than 7% between 2005-7, government figures out yesterday show.

There were 27,900 children on child protection registers as of 31 March 2007, the highest figure in seven years; 33,300 children were registered during 2006-7, while 31,800 were taken off registers, a net gain of 1,500.

Neglect and emotional abuse were the most common reasons for registration, accounting for 44% and 23% of cases respectively. Both have risen in prevalence since 2002-3, when neglect accounted for 39% of cases and emotional abuse for 18%. During the same period, cases of sexual abuse fell from 10% to 7% and physical abuse from 19% to 15%.

Children’s services performance on assessments improved markedly from 2003-7. In 2006-7, 78% of core assessments were completed within 35 working days of an initial assessment, compared to 56% in 2002-3. This is one of councils’ performance assessment framework targets, which contributes to their annual performance assessment rating for children’s services.

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