How safe are our children?
- the child homicide rate is in decline and fewer children are dying as a result of assault or suicide in England, Wales or Scotland but still more than one child a week dies because of maltreatment
- one in five children today have experienced serious physical abuse, sexual abuse or severe physical or emotional neglect at some point in their lifetime
- new threats are emerging, particularly with the increasing amount of time children spend in the digital world
- the public is becoming more vigilant; in the past three years there has been a 40 per cent increase in the number of people coming forward to report concerns about abuse and neglect to the NSPCC
- children who are referred to social services are more likely to receive an assessment or be subject to some further action compared with five years ago
- "drift" in decision-making seems to be lessening as shown by a decrease in the proportion of children subject to child protection plans or registers for more than two years
- more children are coming off child protection plans or registers after shorter periods of time and not being re-registered, suggesting that risk is being reasonably assessed
- the proportion of looked-after children who have had more than three placements has decreased in England and Wales, suggesting an improvement in placement stability.