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Number of children at risk of abuse soars 80%

Date:17 JUN 2015
Third slide
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 years ago.

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 abuse.
It revealed 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 - also shows:
  • 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 system.
  • 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 priority.
‘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.’

The full report, How safe are your children, is available to download here.