Monday, 8 February 2010

More data on child abuse related deaths?

There may be anomalies between the trends identified in Pritchard’s and Williams’ study, mentioned in the last post, and a recent report in the Times (“Child abuse deaths still rising despite action after Baby P” 1/2/10).  According to the Times article almost four children per week died or suffered serious injury through abuse or neglect in 2009, said to be a 23% rise on 2008 (186 cases of death or serious injury in England in 2009 compared with 144 in 2008).

It is not clear on what basis these figures, apparently from Ofsted, are compiled or what the long-term trends in this data are. It is, however, said that they were obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request, suggesting that they are not routinely published.

Regularly published, reliable statistics on child abuse related deaths and injuries are essential information for anyone concerned in providing or monitoring child protection services. If Ofsted is in possession of this type of data it should be made publicly available on a regular basis.