The latest figures have been published by the Department for Education on children referred to and assessed by children’s social services for the year ending 31 March 2022.

The figures state there are 404,310 children in need in England. This is the highest number since 2018 and is up 4.1 per cent from 2021 and up 3.9 per cent from 2020.

The statistical release provides information on:

  • referrals to children’s social care services

    • assessments carried out on children referred to children’s social care services

    • children subject to child protection plans.

There were 50,920 child protection plans, up 1.8 per cent from 2021 but down 1.1 per cent from 2020. Referrals numbered 650,270, up 8.8 per cent from 2021 and up 1.1 per cent from 2020. This is the highest number since 2019.

Responding to the figures, Cllr Louise Gittins, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:

“These deeply concerning figures show that the number of children in need of support from councils is now at its highest level since before the pandemic.

“It is absolutely vital that the Autumn Statement ensures that children’s services are adequately funded so councils can meet this rising demand and ensure children and their families get the support they need, as soon as they need it.

“The Government must stand by its commitment to respond to the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care by the end of this year so that we can get on with the job of reforming the system without further delay. This must be accompanied by truly transformational investment by the Treasury in the services that give all children the best start in life.”

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