Statistics published by the Department for Education at the beginning of the month show that the upward trend from the last decade of children on protection plans has continued between April 2016 and March 2017.
An increase of 1.5% children on the plans from 50,310 to 51,080 was recorded, although the number of children in need has decreased by almost 5,000. However, the DfE have warned that the “overall trend remains stable” with almost 400,000 children still under this umbrella.
To put these figures into perspective, for every 100 children, between 3 and 4 are currently classed as children in need. 31.2% of children going through what are known as “episodes” are aged between 10 and 15. 24.8% of children in need are in the 5-9 years old bracket.
Worrying statistics show that 21.9% of referrals made last year were within 12 months of a previous referral. 646,120 referrals were made last year and 45% of those were either by the police or schools.
Abuse and/or neglect is the most common factor between 2016-17, with 52.3% of cases identified under this bracket during assessment. Almost 50% of children in need have been subject to or witnessed domestic violence within the home, whilst mental health issues have attributed to almost 40% of referrals.
With so many children subject to these problems in their everyday life, never has it been more critical for young people to access a support network to offload their concerns and seek advice. Over 50 schools across the country currently employ Evolve Health Mentors to provide the time that teachers simply cannot offer to mentor the most vulnerable children within the school environment.
Evolve’s National Health Mentor of the Year, Brian Padden, commented: “Building rapport with a vulnerable child is absolutely essential. They will already feel that they have been let down, so trust can be a major barrier – but earning that hard-earned trust can be the difference in them opening up and speaking about their problems or continuing to face them alone.”
Further data can be accessed on the Government website through this link.