Last year saw the highest recorded
number of children being referred to social services in England, a new report
from the NSPCC reveals today.
The charity’s helpline was also
‘inundated’ with 61,709 contacts from adults concerned about a child’s welfare
in 2014/15 – 21% more than in 2012/13, and more than double what it was five
‘How safe are our children’,
the NSPCC’s flagship report, illustrates how we have reached a ‘watershed
moment’ in child protection.
The report – which gives a
comprehensive overview of child protection in the UK – exposed a host of
disturbing figures that highlight the pressing need to tackle child
how 570,800 children were referred to social services in England in 2013/14, the
highest number since the data was first collected in 2010.
The report – which studies the extent
of abuse and neglect and was published at its annual ‘How Safe’ conference -
The number of children in the child
protection system in the UK has shot up by 80% since 2002.
The number of children who have been
re-registered onto child protection registers in the UK for at least a second
time has increased.
In modern Britain, neglect is the most
common reason for children to be in the child protection
The number of contacts by worried
adults to the NSPCC’s helpline about neglect in 2014/15 has risen by 228 per
cent in just five years, from 5,363 to 17,602.
In 2013/14, 1 in 15 10-15-year-olds in
England and Wales were the victim of a violent crime, with an estimated 445,000
violent offences experienced by children in that age group.
But despite this the charity believes
that for every child on a protection plan, another eight have suffered abuse,
and remain outside the view of local authorities.
Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC, said:
“These startling figures must not be ignored.
'As our report shows, the challenges
in keeping future generations safe are myriad and complex. From the leap in
young people being referred to social services, to the number of sexual offences
being recorded against children, it is clear that society and government needs
to ‘up the ante’ and ensure tackling child abuse is a top
‘We believe abuse can be prevented and
damaged lives repaired. But for that to happen it is crucial for every single
one of us to work together; only then can we prevent abuse by protecting those
who cannot protect themselves.’