Ninety chil­dren taken into care each day in UK

Iran Daily - - Society -

Ninety chil­dren are be­ing taken into care ev­ery day in Eng­land and Wales and it’s claimed so­cial work­ers are ‘fire­fight­ing’ the most se­ri­ous cases late into the night.

Pro­fes­sor Ray Jones, who works in so­cial ser­vices im­prove­ment, said staff fear chil­dren slip through the net as they try to keep up with ris­ing pres­sures, BBC re­ported.

Lat­est gov­ern­ment fig­ures show 32,810 chil­dren were taken into care in 2017.

Min­is­ters said ex­tra money was be­ing tar­geted to­wards im­prov­ing ser­vices.

The to­tal num­ber of chil­dren in care is a record 72,670 — up three per­cent on 2016.

Coun­cil bosses, who are re­spon­si­ble for child pro­tec­tion ser­vices, said it’s the big­gest rise in seven years.

The Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion, which is tak­ing part in a con­fer­ence on care ser­vices in Bournemouth, said it comes as chil­dren’s ser­vices face a £2 bil­lion a year fund­ing gap by 2020.

Pro­fes­sor Jones said: “What I am hear­ing from so­cial work­ers is that they are hav­ing to spend most of the time ‘fire­fight­ing’ with the most se­ri­ous con­cerns that get pre­sented to them.

“They are spend­ing a lot of time, in­clud­ing late into the night and at week­ends, pre­par­ing for court pro­ceed­ings.

“They are also hav­ing to close down work very quickly where the child is not an im­me­di­ate con­cern.

“The con­se­quence of that is the con­sid­er­able stress they feel over con­cerns that they may be miss­ing some­thing.”

He added: “Se­condly, some­thing that so­cial work­ers are telling me is that they are clos­ing down cases very quickly or even turn­ing them away.

“And they are not able to work through po­ten­tial cases where chil­dren are un­happy and dis­tressed, be­cause they are hav­ing to con­cen­trate on cases where there is an im­me­di­ate dan­ger.”

But the fig­ures con­tinue a longer trend of ris­ing num­bers of chil­dren fac­ing se­vere need in terms of child pro­tec­tion.

Richard Watts, chair­man of the LGA’S chil­dren and young peo­ple board, said: “Chil­dren’s ser­vices are at a tip­ping point with grow­ing de­mand for sup­port com­bin­ing with on­go­ing coun­cil fund­ing pres­sures to be­come un­sus­tain­able.

“Last year saw the big­gest rise in the num­ber of chil­dren in care for seven years.

“With 90 chil­dren com­ing into care ev­ery day, our calls for ur­gent fund­ing to sup­port these chil­dren and in­vest in chil­dren and their fam­i­lies are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly ur­gent.”

Robert Good­will, min­is­ter for chil­dren and fam­i­lies, said coun­cils would re­ceive more than £200 bil­lion for lo­cal ser­vices, in­clud­ing chil­dren’s so­cial care, up to 2020.

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