Saturday 12 October 2013

How Safe Are Our Children? - NSPCC research @NSPCC

How safe are our children?

NSPCC research

How safe are our children

April 2013

This report compiles the most robust and up-to-date child protection data that exists across each of the four nations in the UK.
It sets out 19 different indicators and each indicator looks at the question from a different perspective. These indicators will be regularly updated as new statistics are published.
The report allows us not only to understand how many children are being abused and neglected, but also to track progress so that society can be held to account for its responsibility to children. Only by monitoring the extent of child abuse and neglect in the UK can we judge whether efforts to prevent maltreatment and to protect children are working.

Key messages

The number of children experiencing abuse and neglect and those known to services
The report finds that in some ways today's children are safer from abuse and neglect than those of previous generations but worrying levels of abuse still remain.
Even though there has been an increase in the number of children being made subject to child protection plans or registers, the report finds that:
"for every child subject to a child protection plan or on a child protection register in the UK, we estimate that there are likely to be around eight other children who have suffered maltreatment."
The report also looks at nine key risk factors that can put children at an increased risk of maltreatment.

Key findings

The report shows that:
  • 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.

Download the full report: How safe are our children? (PDF, 2.5MB)

Please cite as: Harker, L., Jütte, S., Murphy, T., Bentley, H., Miller, P., Fitch, K., (2013) How safe are our children? London: NSPCC. Available
See also the 19 separate indicators used to assess how safe our children are.

Contact the NSPCC Information Service with any question about child abuse, child neglect or protection

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