The Stay Safe chapter examines a variety of areas that indicate levels of need in children. Where available, demographic and geographic details are examined to indicate any significant trends over time or areas of concern. There is a large amount of information about children known to social services, along with various details of childhood injuries, hospital admissions, domestic violence and parental drug & alcohol abuse.
For the most part, numbers are too small to see significant trends over time or geographical location, and the trends that are visible are mostly not surprising, with the most deprived wards showing the highest numbers of children in need, injuries, hospital admissions and domestic violence. However, the following are notable points of interest.
- Numbers of Looked after Children have been remarkably constant; children with CP plans have been reasonably constant; Children in Need have climbed to a plateau and remained steady for 1½ years.
- Increasing use of independent foster carers, which are much more expensive.
- Under-reporting of asylum-seeking children, leading to loss of Government funding.
- An increase in Domestic Violence as a reason for Child Protection Conferences.
Evidence from drug and alcohol treatment services that the transition for 18 ‑ 25 year olds from children’s services to adults’ is not satisfactory.