The number of referrals to children’s services has increased by over ten per cent, according to official figures.
Data from the Department for Education (DfE) reveals that there were 657,800 referrals between 2013 and 2014. This represents an increase of 10.8 per cent over the previous year, when there were 593,900 referrals.
Nearly 24 per cent of referrals came from police, 14 per cent came from various health services and 13.1 per cent came from schools.
Once referred, the children are assessed in order to identify if they are in need of help. Between 2013 and 2014, there were 397,600 children classed as “in need” of services, such as help for children experiencing family difficulties, assistance for care leavers and adoption support. This is a five per cent rise from previous year’s 378,600 children in need.
Of the children in need, 47.2 per cent were primarily dealing with abuse or neglect. According to the figures, this was the most common primary need identified. Family dysfunction was identified as the primary need in 18.6 per cent of cases.
The DfE data revealed that 154,000 children were referred to services more than once within a year. While this is an increase from the previous year, as a percentage of the total number of referrals, “re-referrals” fell from 24.9 to 23.4 per cent.
To read the full DfE statistics, click here.