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Referrals to children’s social care up by 10%

Nearly 400,000 children in need

The Department for Education has published information as to the characteristics of children referred to and assessed by children's social services as children in need between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2014.

There were 657,800 referrals to children's social care in 2013-14 – an increase of 10.8% compared to the previous year when there were 593,500 referrals. Data collected for the first time, on the source of referrals, shows that nearly a quarter of referrals were from the police.

There were 397,600 children in need at 31 March 2014 – an increase of 5.0% from 378,600 at 31 March 2013, although the longer-term time series does fluctuate.

Of those 47.2% were identified as having a primary need consequent upon abuse or neglect. This is the most common primary need, followed by family dysfunction at 18.6%. This has remained broadly similar to the previous year.
There were 142,500 section 47 enquiries carried out in 2013-14 – an increase of 12.1% on 127,100 last year.

48,300 children were the subject of a child protection plan at 31 March 2014 – an increase of 12.1% on 43,100 at 31 March 2013 and an increase of 23.5% since 31 March 2010.

The statistical release is here.