It has recently been reported that one in five children are now being referred to Social Services before school age following a series of high profile cases where serious child abuse was missed by Social Workers.

Researchers at the University of Central Lancashire reported that 22.5% of children born between 2009/2010 were referred to Social Services by 2015 which equates to one in every five children.

Researchers have said that whilst public and professional vigilance is welcome, the number of alerts received by Social Services has meant staff are wasting their time on innocent families, and making it harder to find the children who are actually at risk.

This apprehension amongst professionals is forcing Social Workers to investigate almost every complaint made to them creating an unmanageable case load as well as a strain on funding of services.

However, this does not only put a strain on those working within Social Services but also other professionals working with children such as in schools, hospitals/GP surgeries and the Police.  These professionals are often defending themselves making sure they raise the smallest concern or report of information to Children’s Services.  This has led to an 80% increase in investigations in the last five years.

Lead researcher Professor Andy Bilson commented that “many referrals lead to nothing” and “creating these huge numbers of referrals of concern is like creating a huge, extra big haystack in which we are trying to find the needle of the children who are really at risk”.

Children and families that really require the support from professionals are missing out.

Whilst everyone is committed to protecting vulnerable children, this can be a very stressful time for parents involved.

They can believe that they have everything under control and that they are able to deal with the professionals themselves. However, things can change very quickly and so having a legal team on your side is vital.

If you have been notified that Social services have raised concerns in relation to your children, then contact us immediately.  We want the best for both you and your child and we can work with you to ensure that this is achieved.

For further help and advice please contact the Family Team at any of our offices in Sleaford, Lincoln, Grantham, Spalding, Boston or Newark.

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