Friday, 27 November 2015

Subscriptions  |  evouchers  |  Jobs  |  Property  |  Motors  |  Travel  |  Dating  |  Family Notices

More than 360 Cumbrian children on at-risk register

More than 360 Cumbrian children are on the at-risk register – almost half because of neglect.

The statistics were released as a national charity confirmed that the county has seen a worrying rise in neglect compared to other parts of the UK – though one children’s charity praised the county council for continuing to fund children’s centres.

The national charity Action for Children said the rising levels of neglect across the UK have coincided with the economic downturn.

Its research suggests nine out of 10 teachers, police officers and social workers now regularly come into contact with children they suspect are suffering from neglect.

The latest figures from Cumbria County Council show 365 children were on the at-risk register at the end of last month, almost half (160) because of neglect.

The number of children on the register at the same time last year was 350.

Of this year’s total, 75 were being monitored for emotional abuse, 27 for physical abuse, 21 for possible sexual abuse.

John Egan, operational director with Action for Children in  Cumbria, which works at children’s centres in west Cumbria, said: “Research bears out that there’s a historical correlation between neglect and austerity.

“Sometimes neglect can result from what people see as economic necessity rather than in a wilful way, with children left to fend for themselves as parents hold down a number of jobs.

“It can be down to lifestyle choices, perhaps drugs or alcohol abuse. There can be many reasons.

“But Cumbria is fortunate that the county council does see the bigger picture and there’s a real sense of support for services which can affect children and families.”

The latest report from the county’s Safeguarding Children Board gives some hint of the scale of the challenge facing those battling to protect vulnerable children.

It said there are currently 15,000 children in the county living in poverty – 16 per cent of the total.

Action for Children said there is evidence children in the north west have suffered a greater rise in neglect than elsewhere in the UK. Launching its report, The State of Child Neglect in the UK, the charity said studies suggest up to one in 10 UK children face the daily reality of neglect.

Carol Iddon, UK North director of children’s services at Action for Children, said: “It is of grave concern that one in every 10 children could be suffering neglect.

“We know that early help has the potential to transform the lives of children and families, yet today’s report tells us that the public aren’t being given the know-how they need and professionals’ best efforts are being hindered by stretched budgets and a lack of resources.

“With more and more families struggling, vulnerable children are falling through the cracks of a child protection system that is failing some of those who need it most – sometimes with tragic consequences.”

Key findings of the report include:

  • 14 per cent of professionals reported a rise in suspected child neglect over the past 12 months;
  • Of these, many believe deterioration in parenting skills (70 per cent), greater poverty (66 per cent) and more family breakdowns (55 per cent) are contributing factors.

Co-chair of the College of Social Work, Professor Corinne May-Chahal, said: “This report reaffirms the need for adequately funded early help services to support parents in crisis who may be struggling to care for their children.”


News & Star What's On search


Is The Autumn Statement good news for Cumbria?

Yes - the enterprise zone jobs and airport flights are a fantastic boost

It's more positive than expected but could have been better

I agree with Jamie Reed, it is all smoke and mirrors

Show Result

Hot jobs
Scan for our iPhone and Android apps
Search for: