Friday, 31 October 2014

Up, up, up – England’s child protection statistics, October 2014

They have improved the presentation of the Characteristics of children in need in England statistics. They now have helpful graphs that show the trends. They are nearly all upward trends.

The highlights of increases from the previous year are:

The number of referrals to children’s social care in 2013-14 – an increase of 11%

The number of children in need (of whom 47% of whom are identified as abused or neglected) – an increase of 5%

The number of section 47 enquiries (into alleged abuse or neglect) carried out - an increase of 12%

The number of children who were the subject of a child protection plan at 31 March 2014 - an increase of 12% (this figure has increased 23.5% since 31 March 2010)

The graphs show that generally these increases are part of a sustained year on year upward trend in all child protection work since 2010. But the statistics DO NOT show anything at all about trends in resourcing.

In terms of the impact on the work of children’s social workers – of whom there is a national shortage – the figures  translate more or less directly into more than a 10% annual increase in work. If anybody knows how that sort of swingeing increase is being absorbed I’d be very interested to know -