The Association of Directors of Children’s Services have warned that the Child Protection Services in England are under more pressure than ever. The Association has claimed that tight budgets and increasing demands and heightened media scrutiny of Social Workers puts phenomenal pressure on them. The Government has stated that Social Workers are responding to “major challenges and sheer hard work”.
The increase in demand on Child Protection Officials has come about since the death of Peter Connelly in North London in August 2007. Peter, more commonly known as Baby P, died with more than 50 injuries despite being on the Social Services “at risk” register. The number of looked after children under the care and supervision of the Local Authorities in England is now higher than it ever has been in the past 30 years.
A survey of 600 Child Protection Professionals suggests that 80% of them believe that threshold has increased over the past year due to Council budget cuts and rising numbers of referrals. 78% of those told have stated that this threshold needed to get help for a child suffering from neglect has increased and nearly a 1/3 say threshold are both physical and sexual abuse has risen as well.
The other findings suggest that 77% said the increase threshold was due to increase referrals, 71% blamed the Local Authority budget cuts and 73% said that they did not feel that they had enough support and resources to prevent a child at risk in their area from coming to serious harm.
At Ringrose Law we have a Specialist Team that would be able to assist any family that is involved with Children’s Services both pre and after issuing of proceedings. To find out more contact our Family team at our offices in Boston, Grantham, Lincoln, Sleaford, Spalding and Newark.