Domestic violence, mental health problems and substance abuse amongst parents now account for between 60 and 80 per cent of all interventions by social workers, a new report has claimed.
The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) conducted research amongst 132 local authorities, in the fifth phase of a research project which originally began in 2007. A new report highlights the influence of this so-called ‘toxic trio’.
Domestic abuse alone accounted for around half of all interventions by child protection services the ADCS found, with many authorities claiming it has reached “epidemic levels” in some areas.
Investigations into possible risks to children have increased by nearly five per cent in a single year, the report reveals, while the number of formal child protection plans drawn up by social workers has increased by more than three per cent in two years.
Meanwhile the number of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children has more than doubled in two years (to 4,210 in March), and the number of youngsters are risk of sexual exploitation has now reached estimated 20,000.
ADCS President Dave Hill said:
“Worryingly, the growing prevalence and the impact of the ‘toxic trio’ continues to be a major concern for our members and their teams. Without addressing the root causes of some of these issues we will never see the sort of reductions we would like to see in terms of fewer children coming into care allowing us to do even better for those who are already in our care.”
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