15/11/2013

Number Of Children In Care Drops

The number of children listed on the Child Protection Register in Northern Ireland has fallen by 5% over the course of a year, according to a new report.

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety has today published the 'Children Order Child Protection and Referral Statistics for Northern Ireland'.

At 30 September 2013, 1,934 children were listed on the Child Protection Register in Northern Ireland.

While this represented an increase of 8% (144) on the previous quarter (1,790), when compared with September 2012 the Register count has decreased by 5% (106) from 2,040 to 1,934.

There was an 18% (96) fall in the number of children in Child Protection in the Northern Trust and an increase of 28% (74) in the Western Trust.

Since 30 June 2013, there were increases of 17% (54) in the Southern Trust, 13% (39) in the Western, 11% (40) in the South Eastern Trust and 2% (9) in the Belfast Trust.

The age profile of children on the Register has remained stable from quarter to quarter, according to the report.

37% (722) were aged 5 – 11 years, 29% (567) aged 1 – 4 years, 18% (351) aged 12 – 15 years, 11% (216) under 1, and 4% (78) aged 16 or over, for the quarter ending 30 September 2013.

As of 30 September 2013, almost 9 in 10 children (88%) on the Register had no recorded legal status.

The largest proportions of children were on the Register due to Neglect Only (29%) and Physical Abuse Only (29%).

72% of children on the Child Protection Register at 30 September 2013 had been on the Register for less than one year.

3% of children had been on the Register for three years or longer.

Over half of all referrals (55% - 511) originated from within Social Services, 13% (118) from the PSNI, 6% (53) from relatives, 4% (33) from school or educational welfare officers and 12% (112) from 'other' sources.

(IT/CD)

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