140,000 children face abuse or neglect risk

family law

As many as 140,000 children could miss out on support after being abused or neglected as a result of cuts to local authorities.

Many councils now do not have the financial resources to intervene every time they receive reports of vulnerable children from teachers, police or doctors, according to recently published figures. Charity Action for Children obtained this data through Freedom of Information requests to 152 local authorities across the country.

The group found that 184,500 cases where children were referred to social services were closed because they did not qualify for intervention from the council. However just one in four of the families involved in these cases were offered any kind of further support, such as domestic violence programmes or access to a children’s centre.  These services are important because abuse and neglect can get worse without outside help. Therefore children who have been referred to local authorities because someone was concerned about their wellbeing could be in danger even if, at their first assessment, they did not meet the threshold for help. The charity estimates that as many as 140,000 children could go without support and be potentially subjected to further harm as a result.

Talking to The Independent, Action for Children Chief Executive Tony Hawkhead explained that the some of these referrals are made as “teachers are noticing they’re hungry at school”. This could be a sign that there is abuse taking place in the child’s home but “in the definition of the threshold they aren’t seen to be sufficiently in need, meaning they don’t get help” he said.

Many of these children may be referred again if signs of trouble become more obvious but, Hawkhead continued, by then intervention would be far more expensive and difficult.

He added:

“All the evidence we have shows that the earlier we can provide support, the more valuable the help will be and the better it is for the family and wider society.”

Last week, the Local Government Association warned that council-run children’s services were at “breaking point” due to a rise in the number of children in need of help and a drop in funding. Nationwide, local authorities had overspent their budgets by £605 million.

Photo by Sarah-Rose via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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Dr manhattan - August 14, 2017 at 12:35pm

“Nationwide, local authorities had overspent their budgets by £605 million.”
Yes and why is that,
most likely because they are spending too much time and money dragging the wrong parents through the family courts where in some cases its stretching far longer than the specified 26wks. thousand are wasted on expert witnesses ( hired Guns) who are basically useless and live in cloud cuckoo land not to mention are totally LA biased. the fact is Social workers are Targeting parents who are genuinely not a risk to their children but they do it anyway if there are any cute babies or toddlers in the family ripe for Adoption. the over spend is directly related to this kind of corruption yet the Govt have done nothing about it.

CB - August 14, 2017 at 4:08pm

My Grandson has now reached 21yrs of age, yet has no information as to why he was placed for adoption, (whilst I birth family Grandmother, have Full [name removed] file as well as his birth certificate) also letter from James Cook University Hospital legal department stating they hold medical file in his birth certified name RJB but do not have medical file in the name of RBM( the illegally changed name for malicious persecusion, and cover-up of birth problems and diagnosis Cerebral Atrophy)
If true justice and transparency were to be observed every adopted person at the age of 21yrs should automatically receive the full Care & Adoption file, including their birth certificate if available, instead of, as we are, as a family if he knocks on the door, having to disclose the terrible truth of how insignificant his rights to birth family life was so insignificant in these so called family law cases
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Paul - August 14, 2017 at 8:18pm

Can’t understand this way of thinking at all. If a child is hungry at school it means there is evidence of POVERTY at home. Not ABUSE. It could be something as simple as the child not eating his breakfast because hes busy watching cartoons. The more I read these cases I feel like our child protection services are run by idiots. You are busy ‘protecting’ children in no real need. Criminalising people who have done jack all wrong then have no money left for the real few cases where intervention is badly needed.
Then you turn around to us and say you are putting the needs of the child first.
This is a dark chapter in history
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Dr manhattan - August 15, 2017 at 7:14pm

i totally agree with what you say Paul,
theres seems to be no distinction between poverty and abuse in the eyes of the SS. great loophole for them!
personally i dont think this is happening because the SS are idiots, quite the contrary. i think its so they can lift even more children from stable homes to supply the already huge fostering & Adoption industries.
to me it feels like its all planned.

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