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05.01.15

Northern councils have highest proportion of children in care

Local authorities with the highest proportion of children in care in 2014 were predominantly northern, new figures reveal.

In a top 10 list of councils with the highest proportion of children in care, Blackpool topped the list with 152 children in care per 10,000, followed by Wolverhampton with 136.

One of the few southern authorities in the top 10 was Torbay, with 127 children in care per 10,000, which was third in the table.

Predominantly, though, the local authorities featured in the list were northern with Manchester, St Helens, Middlesbrough and Liverpool making the list.

The figures from the Department for Education, obtained and published by the Birmingham Post, highlighted the proportions of children in care as of March 2014.

A recent report, prepared for Blackpool Council’s health and wellbeing panel, revealed that the authority had the highest levels of looked-after children in England.

In fact, 78 of its 434 children in care are under three and from the ‘Better Start’ area: Bloomfield, Brunswick, Claremont, Clifton, Park, Talbot and Victoria.

In June 2014, a partnership in Blackpool led by the NSPCC, council and local health organisations, was awarded £45m for the Better Start initiative.

This scheme will see measures introduced over the next decade to ensure babies born in the area get a better chance in life. Another £30m of public funds is to be ring-fenced for the project.

Worryingly, though, the report states: “Large numbers of babies in our town are exposed to parental problems of mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse and domestic abuse. Women’s risk of suffering domestic abuse, for example, is estimated to be nearly four times the national average.”

Responding to the report, Cllr Ivan Taylor, the cabinet member for children’s services at Blackpool Council, said: “The number of people we have in the care system is too high and we want to get that down, but we have to do that in a way that is safe.”

The 10 local authorities with the highest proportions of children in care in 2014:

  1. Blackpool – 152 children in care per 10,000
  2. Wolverhampton – 136 children in care per 10,000
  3. Torbay – 127 children in care per 10,000
  4. Manchester – 122 children in care per 10,000
  5. St Helens – 119 children in care per 10,000
  6. Kingston Upon Hull – 117 children in care per 10,000
  7. Dudley – 112 children in care per 10,000
  8. Middlesbrough – 112 children in care per 10,000
  9. Salford – 111 children in care per 10,000
  10. Liverpool – 111 children in care per 10,000

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Comments

Gary   25/02/2016 at 14:52

What do we expect when this government vilifies social workers and effectively forces risk averse practice onto them.We still have one of the safest child protection systems in the world and yet we are taking an increasing number of predominantly poor children into care with no research to prove that this will improve their outcomes.When we invest money into early intervention this merely exacerbates the problem because these workers cannot or will not manage an appropriate level of risk and report these families to children's services who guess what are now risk averse at a managerial level and so the perfect storm is complete......every area of public services is being driven the same way ,oh dear oh dear

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