Wednesday, 24 November 2010

A system under pressure

Ofsted’s Annual Report 2009 – 2010 (
has just been published.

It tells us that, between March 2009 and March 2010:
  • Referrals to children’s social care services increased by 11%
  • The number of initial assessments undertaken increased by 12%
  • The number of core assessments increased by 17%
  • The number of children subject to child protection plans increased by nearly 5%
  • There was a marked increase in the complexity of referrals
  • There was a 34% increase in the number of public law care cases
By any standards these are staggering statistics. Combined with chronic shortages of social workers and foster carers they point to a system which is under extreme pressure. Urgent steps need to be taken to allocate more resources to increase capacity. Failure to do so will result in more and more children not being adequately protected.